Go into detail on why you decided to choose music as a career.
I started playing piano by ear when I was eight years old. At 12, I started playing guitar and at 13 I joined a band as a rhythm guitar player and by the time I was 16 I was playing lead guitar in rock and roll bands for schools, churches, fire barns, recreation halls, and even a few bars.
In Syracuse, N.Y. (where I grew up) the competition was steep with many excellent musicians and bands.
In 1967, when I was 18, I started playing folk music with a partner calling ourselves “David and Daniel.”
We were the premier folk group in Central New York and soon began touring all over the state.
We were a highly polished folk duo with great harmony and were picked up by an agent who booked us in Greenwich Village in New York City.
While playing at the Bitter End we met Harry Chapin. Harry wanted us to be part of his band – he was hoping for a record deal with Epic records. We declined because we were making real money playing on a nightclub circuit.
David and Daniel spent the next two years performing in nightclubs from New York to Florida.
We wrote and recorded several commercials and also wrote and recorded a 45 RPM record.
I knew then that I wanted a career playing music in front of people.
David went to school to be a lawyer so for the next 18 years while I performed as a solo act on the road. I started writing music and recorded two 45 RPMs and a record album.
Brief us the feedback you are getting from fans on your music.
Everyone who hears my music likes what they hear because it touches a variety of genres.
Even after many years, they remember a song that touched them.
I have several of my songs on Music X-ray and Broadjam (music licensing sites).
The feedback that I get from fans and musicians on those sites is very positive.
Five years ago I started writing and orchestrating music to be used in commercials and films.
I have a digital studio, guitars, keyboards, and computer programs for scoring and outputting music.
Discuss the relevance of social networking to music.
Social networking is very important to anyone trying to promote their music and talent today. It also gives you access to a vast variety of music and immediate feedback on your music.
Tell us how you record your instruments.
Sometimes I use commercial programs like Band in a Box. That program allows you to write the chord names and select a style and meter for the music. It then will create drum, bass, and piano parts.
I then export those parts to a MIDI file. I then import the MIDI file into a music composition program (I use Forte), which allows me to change and add to the music score.
I then write the score for horns, strings, and various other instruments.
Next, I mix and output that music to a digital eight-track studio.
I then record guitar tracks and vocals and mix everything down and export it as a music file.
Other times I record guitar parts and then track and the other instruments on a digital studio.
Tell us the inspiration of the melody.
Sometimes I have a melody in my head. Other times I sit with my guitar and get a rhythm going and a sequence of chords and record it.
Later I will go back and create a melody line and add the other instruments.
State your musical skills.
I have been a classical guitarist for 52 years. I have been playing rock ‘n roll, folk, and pop music for 60 years.
I play drums, keyboards, blues harp, and some banjo. I can pick up just about any instrument and play a song on it within ten minutes.
Tell us how long it takes to complete a song from the start.
That depends on how complicated the music is. Sometimes I can record three or four instruments and add vocals in a couple of hours.
More complicated orchestral pieces with counter melodies and lots of instrumentation can take weeks.
Go into detail on how you develop your instrumentation.
It depends on the genre. For example, country music would be drums, bass, guitar, piano, banjo, etc.
On the other hand, Caribbean music requires steel drums, marimbas, vibes, congas, etc.
While rock ‘n roll needs drums, bass, organ, guitar parts with wah-wah and fuzz pedals, etc.
I use unexpected instrumentation for variety – Although it definitely depends on the genre.
Discuss your music in full detail.
My music is very diverse with Folk, Country, Rock, Pop, Ballads, Love Songs, etc.
I also have Caribbean music, Commercial background music for TV, Radio, and music for Films and Movies.
State your five favourite genres of music with reason.
I love big band music, Caribbean music, 1950s rock ‘n roll, 1960s folk music, rhythm, and blues.
I love Simon and Garfunkel, Neil Diamond, Jimmy Buffett, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, soul music, etc.
The reason is this music is the soul of my generation.
Discuss your rehearsal.
Rehearsals now depend on how long I need to warm up my voice or my fingers.
Much of my rehearsal time is spent writing and rewriting a particular part of a musical composition – be it lyrics or musical parts.
State your favorite musical instruments.
Classic, Electric, and acoustic guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, piano, horns, and strings.
Describe the chemistry between you and your fans during a live performance.
I try to make a connection with everyone in the room. When I sing a song, I sing it to each and every person and try to let them understand the feelings behind the song.
It doesn’t matter if it’s three people or 300. By the end of the night, they would feel like they know me as a friend.
Discuss your personality in full detail.
I’m a happy, loving, friendly guy. I’m also stubborn and want my own way. When it comes to music it should either be done exactly the way it was written or very different – period.
Discuss your music career.
I have had a great music career that has lasted over 60 years. I have played in over 17 states in bars, restaurants, hotels, large and small venues.
I have played with and met many famous musicians and performers like Ms. Loretta Lynn, the Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry, Trini Lopez, Vic Damone, the Letterman, Sha Na Na, Harry Chapin, and Steve Chapin.
Share your memorable experiences and elaborate on your music career.
While playing in the duo David and Daniel, We were the featured entertainment for a special after-the-show party for Miss Loretta Lynn. While there; Bobby Vee came in and asked me if I would play lead guitar for him while he sang a few songs for Loretta. I played backup lead guitar for Bobby Vee.
David & Daniel were also were the entertainment for the Miss Grand Prix Beauty Pageant at Watkins Glenn, New York.
David and Daniel were playing in the lounge of the Holiday Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and singing the song “Dream, Dream, Dream,” by the Everly Brothers when in the middle of the song, Don and Phil Everly walked into the lounge. They had a concert that night in Chapel Hill and were staying at the Holiday Inn where we were playing.
When we took a break Don and Phil asked us over to their table and told us how much they liked our arrangement of their song.
They said that they would like do it the way we were doing it from now on. They invited us the next day to their rehearsal and we spent the afternoon teaching them our arrangement of their song.
At the Bitter End in New York City, Harry Chapin asked me if I could stay there and back him up while he chased a record deal with Epic records. I declined and continued performing on the road and, while in North Carolina, I heard his song “Taxi “on the radio and knew that I had made a big mistake. I also could not go back and play with him now because when I said no, I told him about a guitarist friend of mine (Ron Palmer), who went to New York City and played with Harry. So Ron recorded and played in concert with Harry – and I blew it. LOL!
While performing as Daniel of the duo David and Daniel (a folk duo like Simon and Garfunkel) we performed as a warm-up group (front group) for The Letterman on two different occasions.
After the second time, Letterman lead singer Tony Batola said that they knew of someone in Nashville that was looking for a strong folk duo for a pilot television show. He also said that the show may or may not actually run. David and I were performing and making money traveling so we turned down the opportunity. That opportunity was the show called “Hee Haw” and the duo selected for the show were the “Hager Brothers“- the rest is music history.
In 1975 and 1976, while I was performing in New England, I was selected to be the Male Lead Singer in the Miss Vermont Pageant for 2 years in a row. The pageant was the Vermont State level final pageant for the Miss America Program. The Miss Vermont Pageant was a large venue, 3-hour show, with 4 days of rehearsals. It was broadcast on Vermont TV stations.
Although I am not actively performing anymore because I’m now 70, I still write and record music looking for it to be picked up and used in Commercials or for Films and Television shows.