Blog Post

News from Dan
31 October 2012

All I Need Is a Leather Jacket, Acoustic Guitar and a Cig, for the Times, They are…

“I Just Called to Say I Love You” is an overstatement. In fact, it’s not even close to the truth! Don’t get me wrong, I love Mr. Won­der (or as Tony Ben­nett calls him on his first Duets album, “Mr. Won­der – Ful”), but how long HAS it been?! If only I could “call” every time I wanted to express my “love” – instead of the many moons that pass between blog posts. I don’t know how some blog­gers do it. I set out to write a blog each month updat­ing every­one on what’s hap­pen­ing musi­cally in my life — and what’s upcom­ing — and therein lies the prob­lem… there is SO MUCH going on! Here’s to get­ting back to routine.

There are so many things to share with all of you, and even as I pre­pare to share them, I’m wrestling with how many words to use as I write so to keep all of you inter­ested (I’m noto­ri­ous for long expla­na­tions – it’s a teacher thing). Maybe head­ings will help? Then you can pick and choose what you’d like to read.

Sum­mer Highlights

The sum­mer was amaz­ing for music! Not quite the “Sum­mer of 69” (where can I find a Five and Dime?) but still full of many per­for­mances and musi­cal adven­tures! Although, I’m not sure what my high­light would be? I had such a blast on that deathly hot, Canada Day evening per­for­mance with Shantelle David­son Band, but I had equally as much fun at Inter­PLAY this year per­form­ing with A Touch of Class at the Mid­night Vari­ety Nights (my first taste of what it would be like to be “The Roots” on Fal­lon)! Many dif­fer­ent types of gigs — although no chicken suits yet! Thank­fully, I can still make a liv­ing JUST play­ing music, and not dress­ing up and per­form­ing (no offense given, and for the records, a gig is a gig, and a guy needs to make a liv­ing! I would need to cut holes for my fin­gers though…)


Gui­tar Camps

Oh wait! I’ve found it! Prob­a­bly the high­light of the sum­mer was play­ing along­side Stu G (For­mer Deliri­ous Gui­tarist) for his per­for­mance at Gui­tar Camp in Wetaski­win this year. That’s the one! I loved those guys grow­ing up… and saw them a num­ber of times (in front of 10s of thou­sands), and here I was per­form­ing the songs I grew up lov­ing with the gui­tar guru him­self! I made sure to wood­shed like crazy before that per­for­mance – what an expe­ri­ence though… on that note, let me just say that Gui­tar Camp was very spe­cial! I got to meet some new broth­ers in arms (great musi­cians) – learn so much (teach­ers always learn 90%) and men­tor many stu­dents on their musi­cal gifts – and live off of Tim Hor­tons! Here’s to next year! *raises a 2 cream, 1 sugar cof­fee while smil­ing with stained teeth because all he could bring was his daughter’s tooth­paste*… Speak­ing of Camps, my School of Rock was a great suc­cess! Not the turnout I was hop­ing for — but the stu­dents I was hop­ing for! Thanks to Keyano Col­lege for let­ting me run the School – and to all who sup­ported it with dona­tions, spon­sor­ships, time and with their tal­ents. I know first­hand that the stu­dents had an amaz­ing time, and were pos­i­tively influ­enced in music by all of the dif­fer­ent teach­ers and ses­sions. Plus, they rocked it at the CanadaROCKS Fes­ti­val! Many sto­ries, but in the words of Luke Sky­walker, “Ask me again some­time…” – but please check out the pics on the Keyano Con­ser­va­tory Face­book page! There is an album and also some video clips on the wall fur­ther down.

StuG edited

Now to get to the seri­ous, rel­e­vant and excit­ing stuff

Some of you know, but most of you don’t: I left the Shantelle David­son Band. Now, to be clear, it was my deci­sion and we are on great terms! In fact, they’re still book­ing gigs and hav­ing me per­form with them when I can! I love those guys. The main rea­son for leav­ing was to re-focus my resources (which include time com­mit­ment, cre­ativ­ity) and invest in goals, aspi­ra­tions and plans that I really care about and I believe are the best ways to spend my “musi­cal dol­lars,” if you will. There were many fac­tors that con­tributed to my deci­sion, but the real­ity is my heart wasn’t in it, and our vision wasn’t the same. I will remain a “gui­tarist for hire” on gigs they need me for, until such a time, and I am so grate­ful they agreed to go with that! I antic­i­pate noth­ing but good things for Shantelle and Mel!

So where does that leave me? Well, I’m still play­ing like crazy (‘tis the busy sea­son com­ing up!) and I’m per­form­ing with the A Touch of Class boys on a reg­u­lar basis, but prob­a­bly the most excit­ing thing going on right now is… my upcom­ing album!!!

ALBUM you say? Yes! I am proud to tell all of you that I have fin­ished record­ing a 7 track album and am work­ing on the mastering/production side of it as we speak! The ten­ta­tive release date is set for Dec 1st – so you can all have it in your stock­ings by Christ­mas! Many thanks go out to Scott Weber, who took on the track­ing of the entire project, the guys at the Keyano The­atre for their sup­port, and to Jay and Craig for giv­ing their tal­ents to the record. This album is entirely an instru­men­tal album, all orig­i­nal mate­r­ial (aside from one arrange­ment of a mod­ern hymn) and it indulges in all kinds of styles! There’s even a man­dolin piece on there for you east coasters/relatives over the Atlantic Ocean! This is a big under­tak­ing, but it’s the start of some­thing new, some­thing fresh, some­thing big — as the first track suggests.

So what’s next? God only knows. But I believe (and it feels like) I’ve entered into a new sea­son, a turn­ing of the page, and dreams I’ve had on my heart will start to mate­ri­al­ize. How’s that for exciting?

“The Times, They Are A-Changin’…”

Turning the Page // Dan Gillies
  1. Turning the Page // Dan Gillies
  2. Horse Chase // Dan Gillies
  3. In the Mood For Modal // Dan Gillies
  4. The Voyage // Dan Gillies
  5. How Deep the Father’s Love For Us // Dan Gillies
  6. Heather’s Song // Dan Gillies
  7. Turning the Page (Reprise) // Dan Gillies