Goodness  Podcast

 Well...yes, its been forever. Goodness is happening all around--studio is finished, new recordings, a novel underway, Wildvine has a new product in demo--stage (and its really cool!) and spring is here. I am currently about halfway through a 30 day binge. For 30 days straight I am doing yoga every day, practicing guitar every day for at least 30 minutes and not inserting anything unhealthy into my mouth. I started this thing the Monday after Easter. I was overzealous when I started--I was going to do 100 push ups and 125 sit ups every day but I bailed out on that. I was going to play piano every day too but I have fallen behind on that so I am just doing it whenever I can. Anyway, maybe more about that another time.

Now I want to leave you with a song, called "Final Toast". Each Monday night I play music with a few of the finest musicians around at an Irish Pub in Kirkland, WA called the Wilde Rover. Machala sparked in me the idea to put this song out there. Late one night, after a fierce night of sweet music, I had everyone gather around off the make the final toast of the night. Edgars and I sang this song--no microphones, no amps...just a guitar, voices and people with their drinks. Machala sat down and joined us, and that made everything feel right. We have started to play this as the last song almost every time. I don't know how long it will last, but its a great way to end the evening. Ah, for moments like these.... Enjoy!
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  1. Final Toast

Coming Soon: Website Remodel 

Looking back through the blog, I see it was about this time last year that I first started working on setting up this website for Dan. He had one before this, of course, but he wanted something that could do more. After researching some possibilities and teaching myself a few things about websites and their design, this is what I came up with. It's worked pretty well, but lately we've been talking about how we might improve it. I absorbed those conversations, and did some thinking, and yesterday, I presented Dan with a quick sketch of some of my ideas. We talked it over some more, and now, it's time to get to work.

So, over the coming weeks, you'll be seeing some changes to the site. I'll highlight those changes here, so you don't have to play the game of spot the difference (though you can if you want - just read the blog last, to see if you're right!). I like to hope you'll consider these changes improvements, but we're always open to feedback. Feel free to comment in the blog or on Facebook, or send us a message through our contact form. After all, the site may be about Dan and his music, but our goal is to make it your site - because you're the one that's using it!

Better yet, talk to us about it in person! You can always find us at the Wilde Rover on a Monday night, and you can check the calendar to find out where else we might be. While you're at it, ask us about the upcoming House Concert series and how you might take part (or stay tuned for more information, coming soon to a blog post near you!).

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Oddfellows, Crossroads & SSR 

Okay, so there should have been a new blog entry with a report on St. Patrick's Day a while ago, given that it's been more than a week. But, well, let's just say it took a while to recover, and Shanie really wanted to be able to put some video with it, and, well, it's not done yet. But there's still cool stuff going on, and I don't want to miss mentioning that, so you'll have to wait on the St. Patrick's report for a bit.

Last night, Dan played Oddfellows. For the first set, Doug McGrew was on drums and Edgars Klepers sang backup vocals. For the second set, Nick LaPointe took over the drums. I don't know what combination of magic was in the air, but it was clear from the start that it was going to be a great night.

Dan started the first set solo, with a mellow layered-loop jam that kept building. The jam set the tone for the night and the guys let the songs expand a little more than usual, with some great moments. Dan and Doug took a fantastic bodhrain and drumkit duo. Lift Your Head, which Dan's been playing more lately, sounded great and hit a particularly high note.

During the second set, Dan continued in the same vein and had the crowd on their feet and dancing, as well as clapping along and calling out on the traditional Irish songs. Just before the encore song, someone who had never seen Dan before thanked him for the performance and pointed out that it's music that gets us through the hard times.

As I'm writing this, Dan is finishing up his performance at the Bite of Crossroads, and I'm looking at a crowd of people hanging on every note and every word of Time for a Change. It's been another high energy set, with the enthusiasm from last night still running strong.

Tonight, Dan continues the series of special shows at Second Story Repertory at 8 pm. These have always been special shows, in an intimate theatre with great acoustics and the ability for Dan and the audience to really connect. Hope to see you there!

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St. Patrick's Week Continues! 

St. Patrick's week began last Friday, with the 6th Annual St. Patrick's Celebration at Kirkland Performance Center. Here's a little more video from that night, of Black is the Color:

Saturday night, the guys played a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, attended by Seattle-area notables such as KING-5's Jean Enerson. It was a formal affair, and Dan was all dressed up, playing his sunshine guitar. I wish I could have been there, to get some pictures, but it was a closed event.

Sunday morning, the band was in Portland for the 33rd Shamrock Run. More than 30,000 people were out, to particpate in events varying from 1k to 15k. As the liquid sunshine came pouring down, the guys thought it only appropriate to play Running Under Water. This picture was captured from a news video of the event.

Monday, it was back to the Wilde Rover, for a little pre-St. Patty's fun. A lot of the decorations were already up, the clock was counting down, and the crowd was already getting into the spirit. I was only able to stay for the first set, but even that was a great time, as the guys played some old favorites, like Finnegan's Wake, along with some of their newer arrangements, including Dirty Old Town.

Last night was like a reunion, as Dan returned to Zeeks in Issaquah for the first time since last September. There were some new faces in the crowd but also lots of old friends out to enjoy the music. Dan treated the crowd to a wide selection of Celtic classics, sprinkled with a few of his originals. A number of songs had the crowd singing along, and Molly Malone earned an especially rousing chorus. Folks were reluctant to let him go, but he finally closed out with Final Toast a little after 10.

Tonight, Dan will be playing Post in Seattle, joined by Geoffrey on his volin. Although they started out as a duo, years ago, it's a fairly rare thing these days to catch just the two of them playing together. Expect some songs you don't normally hear at the Rover; it should be quite a treat.

Then tomorrow is the big day: Saint Patrick's Day! Dan and Geoffrey will be starting out in the morning at a Microsoft event. Eric and Darin will join them at Paddy Coynes in Seattle for happy hour from 3-6, and then the band will be rocking the Wilde Rover starting at about 9. Come on out and join the fun!

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St. Patrick's Week Begins! 

The time around St. Patrick's Day can get pretty crazy, especially if you're an Irish musician. Last night, Dan kicked off the madness in style at the 6th Annual St. Patrick's Celebration at Kirkland Peformance Center (KPC). This 402-seat theater is an amazing venue for seeing (and playing) music: spacious stage, excellent sound and light systems, and not a bad seat in the house. As the night began, the place was packed and the energy was infectious. Things just got better from there.

The show opened with championship dancers Kelly, Connor and Maggie, from the Comerford School of Irish Dance, literally setting the tempo for Geoffrey, Eric and Darin as they launched into the reel Maggie. The Gothard Sisters came out and danced to Strayaway Child, and then Dan joined in with Peggy Gordon. The rest of the night flowed with Celtic classics sprinkled with a few more original works. A highlight in the latter category was when the guys played Feel Your Way:  

Tonight, Dan and the guys are playing at a special fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, then they'll be up bright and early tomorrow morning to entertain participants in Portland's 33rd Shamrock Run. And that's still just the beginning of St. Patrick's week!

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Irish New Year? 

Okay, I know the New Year technically starts in January, but this is the two-year anniversary of the first time I saw Dan perform, so it seems as good a time as any for a new beginning. This website's been dormant for a bit, but we're going to see if we can get it back up and running. As a first step, the Calendar is all newly-updated with lots of opportunities to see Dan play this month.

In case you're wondering, that first show was the 4th Annual St. Patrick's Celebration, at Kirkland Performance Center. Tomorrow, the St. Patrick's Celebration is happening again, with Geoffrey Castle on his electric violin, Eric Robert on keys, and Darin Watkins on drums. Dan will be singing and playing guitar, and I suspect his bodhran will make an appearance, as well. The guys will be joined by The Gothard Sisters, who sing and dance while playing fiddle or the drum. Championship Celtic Dancers Kelly, Connor and Maggie of the Comerford School of Irish Dance will be taking the stage, as well. This time around, I'll be hanging out in the back, catching the whole thing on video. So if you're not able to make it to the show, watch this space - there's likely to be some clips posted soon!

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A New Week 

It's been a while since I've written one of these, but rather than try to fill the gap, let's just say it's a new week, and here's what's been happening:

I was working at my computer Monday afternoon (okay, so I may have been playing games), when a text came in from Dan. A bomb threat at the Bainbridge police station! Aside from being rather unusual, it meant he had to take the Kingston-Edmonds ferry to get over to Kirkland to play the Rover. That put a bit of a kink in his plans, because he'd been hoping to stop by Tim's, in downtown Seattle, to pick up a keyboard. Eric was going to be out, playing a special show with Lucky Peterson at Jazz Alley, so Dan wanted to play keyboard himself for a few songs. I wasn't doing anything important, so I offered to get the keyboard for him. After all, it's not often I get to hear Dan on keys, so I figured it'd be worth the trip. And, true to form, the guys had some fun mixing things up a bit. If you missed out, here's a short clip:

Last week, our friend Lash told us he'd been talking Dan up at the Galway Bay Pub, home of the West Coast's largest Irish music festival. Yesterday, I decided I could use a good excuse to make a trip to the coast, and decided to go check the place out. I swung by Dan's place to pick up his very last Celtic CD (still available as a download here on the website) to take with me. I caught him just as he was heading out the door to catch a ferry, guitar in hand. He was going to Tim's to do some recording for the new CD he's working on. More on that another time; I had a drive in front of me.

I heard it was dark and cold in Seattle, but the sun was out over the water as I hit Aberdeen. That view alone just about made the drive worthwhile. There were a few showers between there and Ocean Shores, but it was a pleasant partly cloudy as I wandered out to the beach. I don't recall visiting this particular stretch of coast before; I was impressed by how shallow the slope was. The tide was way out, exposing a vast expanse of beach, but the advancing waves made it clear it was on its way in. I managed to snap a (poor) picture of an intact sand dollar in the fading light before the waves chased me away.

And, oh yeah! - I also delivered the CD to the Galway Bay Pub. Bill, the guy that makes decisions, is out until Friday, but I had the opportunity to chat with a few others about the place. I'll definitely be following up - I'd love to get Dan out there to play. Beach party, anyone? ;-)

In the meantime, while it's not at the beach, there is a view of the Sound from Post Pike Place, where Dan plays solo tonight, starting at about 9. Come on out and join us!

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Welcome Home 

Last night was Dan's monthly gig at SoulFood Books in Redmond. Spotting Dan getting set up, SoulFood owner Clint McCune said, "Welcome home, Dan!" And indeed, there are few places where Dan seems as much at home as he does on the stage at SoulFood. Definitely one of my favorite venues to see Dan play.

Dan was joined last night by Edgars Klepers on sound and backup vocals, and Clint contributed his energy with percussion. There was also a great crowd, full of old friends as well as some new faces. Thanks to everyone who came out last night to share in the music! If you missed the show, or just want to see it again, the first part is here, and it continues here.

Dan had to clear out pretty quickly at the end, to go join the rest of the Celtic Night crew for a second set at Big Daddy's in Woodinville. The guys played a high-energy set, with a mix of Dan's originals and some classic Celtic material. The crowd particularly enjoyed Black is the Color, and were whooping and clapping when it was done. Geoffrey thanked the crowd, saying they were making him feel like Van Halen or something up there on stage. Eric couldn't resist, and launched into a synth line for Jump. Then Darin joined in on drums, and, before the crowd knew it, the guys were really playing Jump, much to everyone's amusement. You probably had to be there, but it was a lot of fun for everyone that was!

Tonight and Sunday, Dan will be at Post Pike Place, then the Celtic Night crew will be back at the Wilde Rover on Monday. Next week features a couple of special shows, with Dan at Club Broadway in Everett on Friday, and the Celtic Night crew will be playing the Twisp River Pub on Saturday. Come on out and join us!

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Schedule Change 

For those of you who don't know, Dan has shifted his home base from Issaquah to Bainbridge Island, which allows him to spend more time with his kids. This switch has made playing his weekly gig at Zeeks in Issaquah a lot more difficult. With no small amount of regret, the decision's been made to let that gig go. We'll definitely miss all our friends out in Issaquah, but we hope you'll come out and see us at one of our other Eastside shows: SoulFood Books on the second Wednesday of each month (next on 10/13), or SecondStory Repertory (coming up 11/20). Or come see Dan play with the Celtic Night crew at the Wilde Rover every Monday night or at Big Daddy's once a month. If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could cross that lake, and come say hi to us at Post Pike Place, where Dan's playing every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday night.

None of those options work for you? Then tell us where you want Dan to play! We're open to suggestions, and if the demand is there, we'll do what we can to meet it. Dan's still available on some Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Suggest a venue, or, if you've got the space and the crowd (or are willing to open your space to others who might like to come), host a house concert. Just contact us with your idea, and we'll see what we can do to make it happen!

Hope to see you all soon!

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Wilde Rover 

Last night was a fun night at the Rover! I didn't get to say hi to quite as many people as I usually would, because I found myself trapped in the corner by computer and video gear (results of that may just find their way to the website soon!), but I still got to enjoy the show. Darin Watkins was off playing the Puyallup Fair, so last night featured the return of Doug McGrew on drums, giving the night a bit of a different flavor. There were two special birthdays last night: regular Laith, and sound man Sean. Sean's birthday isn't until Saturday, so he may just be showing off his pipes in a rendition of Happy Birthday again next week!

Tonight, family obligations are keeping Dan away from his usual 7:30 gig at Zeek's in Issaquah, so he'll be playing Post Pike Place at 9 pm. Come check it out!

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