The master is back by popular demand, playing to a full house crowd at Catalina Theatre on Wilson's Wharf. He's still doing some amazing guitar magic, but with a slightly different twist to his set - it's more accessible, with a few extra upbeat numbers, including a new track called "D.I.Y." that is a major play into more easy-listening blues style.
The Catalina is a cosy little venue, with fantastic seats of a comfort level far surpassing the torture that is the Kwasuka theatre chair. Perhaps a little too cosy, as the temperatures began to climb into the thirties as the evening progressed, due to some sort of ventilation or air-conditioning malfunction.
The heat was no match for the the spirit of the evening however, and the slightly older blues-loving crowd were letting out hollers and yelps of "WING IT DAN!" and "Yeah! We love you!" inbetween songs, much to everyone else's amusement.
View From Catalina Theatre
Dan's voice is perfect for his style of music, it's got that raspy, big-black-man-from-the-deep-south sound that really distinguishes blues from other styles. He has obviously trained his vocals into this sound, but I can't help but think there must be some kind of later-life consequence.
When you speak to him after a show, you can hear that his conversational voice has a throaty, croaky whisper to it; like a smoker in his 40th year of a box-a-day habit. I hope that he does serious vocal warm-ups, because otherwise he's going to be communicating in sign-language at the age of 50!
Bassist "Smelly Fellows" appears exclusively in red socks.
Dan has also cut out a certain part of his performance act, the part where he chucks his guitar to the floor and chases down after it, plucking and pulling at the strings. I never really liked this instrument abuse in previous sets, it reminded me of watching a lover's quarrel, emotional and charged but painful and awkward at the same time. I prefer to see musicians treating their instruments with tender love and affection.
Here's a 5 minute video from Sunday night - Dan playing one of the songs off his album "Real", called "Dead Shrimp Blues":
Pull in to the White Mountain festival this year, to catch Dan along with several other top national acts. I'll post further details on that later this week, but until then check out the websites: