Today marks New Zealand’s own Keith Urban’s 54th birthday. Born in New Zealand in 1967, he moved to Australia with his parents. He signed his first recording contract with EMI in Australia in 1990. He moved to Nashville in 1992. Between 1992 and his first American album in 1999, he played with many notables and recorded with his ban “The Ranch” in 1997. The rest is history. A great guitar player, he notes his influences as being Lindsey Buckingham from Fleetwood Mac and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits.
I sat down (kind of, we were both sitting, just in different provinces) with the very talented singer, songwriter and player Dan Washburn. Dan is releasing a new single on October 25th titled “I’d Rather”. You will love it. My compatriot Don Pearse will have Dan on his show on Kat Country Radio on October 21st at 2:00 Mountain, 4:00 Eastern time. To listen in, you find the station at www.thedonpearsestudios.com Just press the Listen Here button.
Put simply, Dan is a pro. He’s been doing this for a while. Dan started playing guitar at 7 years old, wrote his first song at 10 and became a regular on bass for his first band at 13. Since then he has credits on over 200 albums and has shared the stage with artists such as George Fox, Colleen Peterson, Emmy-Lou Harris (love her) Waylon Jennings, Toby Keith and many others. An outstanding career to date. The interview with Don will be a must listen.
Back to our conversation. We spoke at length on a multitude of subjects. One theme that threaded its way through most subjects was his love for independent artists and the struggles in getting heard. One comment stood out, I’ll paraphrase. As in everything, the independents artist pool contains poor, mediocre, good and top level talents. Program directors will playlist a mediocre tune from an established artist (read on a label) and won’t give the same consideration to a great song from a top level independent.
I have to agree, as I’ve seen this in covering many independent artists. A song is amazing from someone on Twitter or Instagram etc., I’ll download it from a streaming site, and the only time I’ll ever hear it is if comes up randomly or I purposely queue it up. I 100% agree with him on this one. This is completely unfair and stifles talent, not to mention it cheats you and me from hearing some outstanding records.
On that topic, we went into who he listens to and who would he recommend I listen to (I’m a recent Country Music listener). His list was, as expected, varied and full of talented performers. I have just begun to go through their catalogues and he is bang on. The first name that I checked in on is an outstanding talent. Her name is Suzi Kory, and you can find her on YouTube. You will hear more from me on her and all the others as well. Thanks Dan for that.
I asked if there were any tours upcoming. Unfortunately nothing close, unless you live close to Ireland. He is heading out on tour there shortly.
As a recent country listener, I asked what his favorite songs of his that I should listen to. Based on “I’d Rather” and “Simple Things”, I wanted to dig deeper into his repertoire, and who better to ask than the artist himself. I’ll pass them on, all are available to listen to on Dan’s YouTube channel. First “I’ll Have To Drink About That” is a tongue in cheek tune on relationships. Well written and added to my collection.
Next up is “We Were Almost Love”. A very different song than I’ll Have To Drink. It showcases a softer tone. Very strong in the lyrical sense and well sung. Another great tune.
In conclusion, I would highly recommend you grab his tunes off your streaming site and tune in to Dan with Don on October 21 at 2PM MDT, 4PM EDT for the On Air The Podcast on Kat Country Radio.
As a new feature, I will be showcasing Canadian artists that I run across on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter etc. My first article is focused on Lethbridge, Alberta country artist Amy Allred.
Amy was a vocal major at Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia. Upon returning to Canada, she continued her quest in music, but appears to have hit a roadblock with Covid. She writes and performs her own music and is a fixture on the Southern Alberta music scene.
I found the song below on YouTube, where she has her own channel. She has a clear concise vocal and wrote the song, “You Had To Go”.
A bit of live country today. Nicely crafted tune, great growth to a nice ending, with terrific vocals, and, of course, live. The best way to listen to anything is the real thing. Support live music in all it’s forms. Enjoy a now 2-year-old tune from The Lone Bellow titled “You Never Need Nobody”.
The next tune is titled “A Rose Or An Olive Branch” and is very country. Good voice.
Please check out the links.