Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dave Daniels, and the joy of discovery

Atlanta contributor Mike Tierney has never played a vibraphone. Heck, he probably never even heard of Lionel Hampton! But he is a musical vibemeister with unnaturally ecletric (yep, we just coined a word for the urban dictionary) taste. Do not miss his occasional musings at the Sanctuary.

By Mike Tierney

One of the unadulterated joys of rock 'n' roll is stumbling blindly into a gifted under-the-radar musician in your town and going "Holy moly" -- or, more likely, holy bleep -- "this dude can really play."

In metro Atlanta recently, I was introduced in to Dave Daniels, who offered that he had a band and invited me to see them perform. With modest expectations, I caught Daniels at a free show in a neighborhood establishment.

A few songs into the set, I'm thinking, "Shouldn't this guy be pulling in 15 to 20 bucks a ticket at some semi-spacious venue?"

Then I reminded myself that there are hundreds of Dave Daniels from sea to shining sea who generate sounds as impressively as the artists who make a comfortable living at it. That dynamic illustrates the yin and yang of the business. It might be unfair to the creators, but listeners can dig up hidden treasures without much effort.

Daniels crafts clever tunes that cover a wide spectrum, with sprinklings of folk and jazz and country and blues. If you are a prisoner of pop music, as I am, you are continously amazed at the talent on a level where players must maintain day jobs to support their muse.

The other day, I punched up Daniels' website to check on upcoming gigs, only to read that he is cutting back drastically on shows. "Trying to make a living off my own music actually hinders my life," he explained.

Such a painful transition is inevitable for the bulk of musicians who brighten clubs and bars and basements with their art.

Here is hoping Daniels gets his moly together, reassembles his teammates and cranks out more songs for more audiences.

If not, well, there are plenty more Dave Daniels coming down the pipe. It is all part of rock 'n' roll's circle of life.

No comments:

Post a Comment