Dan is a London-based composer and guitarist. He uses a range of extended techniques in the service of emotive, soothing, melody-driven fingerstyle acoustic guitar pieces, featuring rich chords and lush textures, His playing and compositions have drawn praise from the likes of Martin Simpson, Jon Gomm, Pierre Bensusan, Clive Carroll, Trevor Gordon Hall, Thomas Leeb, Adam Miller and many others.
Dan has performed (both solo and in bands) across the UK and abroad. He has headlined his own solo shows; performed at festivals (including Tommy Emmanuel’s TommyFest, several sets at Glastonbury, and regularly at Small World), workshops, weddings, charity events, street parties and house concerts; supported world-renowned artists (such as Martin Simpson, Danny Thompson and Trevor Gordon Hall); and shared bills with – among many others – Sam Carter, Sean Taylor, Chris Woods, Will McNicol, Michael Watts, Amrit Sond, Trouble Over Tokyo (now Sohn), Charlie Lewis, The Jay Rayner Jazz Quartet, Elliott Morris, Nathan Ball, Jacqui Bastek, Jacob Szulecki, Richard Moss and, er, … Ed Sheeran (admittedly when Ed was rather younger and less famous)!
In 2022, Dan entered his first (and, to date, only) guitar competition, winning second place in the European Fingerstyle Collective (online) contest.
“A sensitive guitarist making beautiful music with a great vibe, in quest for the best sound and mood. Something to soothe you in the middle of the ambient chaos of life.“ – Pierre Bensusan (guitarist and composer), France
His influences range from fellow fingerstylers (e.g. Michael Hedges, Pierre Bensusan, Andy McKee, Sergio Altamura, Preston Reed, Will Ackerman and Justin King, to name but a few) to Steve Reich, Orbital, Squarepusher, early Smashing Pumpkins, Global Communications and many others.
Dan picked up the guitar in his teens, and began writing music (frequently in alternate tunings, often fingerpicked) immediately. He subsequently played in several bands (mostly electric guitar – Judas!), and worked as a recording engineer, music producer and session guitarist (with credits including Thames Television, Teatro Vivo, Goldie’s Metalheadz, J Majik, Infrared Recordings and Warner Brothers ). From around 2004, he began focusing on acoustic fingerstyle, typically writing in alternative tunings and often in a variety of time signatures. Dan is principally self-taught, though has since 2008 attended a number of seminars and residential workshops with fingerstyle luminaries, including Andy McKee, Pierre Bensusan, Jon Gomm, Don Ross, Thomas Leeb, Declan Zapala, Clive Carroll, Mike Dawes and Martin Simpson.
To this day, at least on his website, Dan continues to boast about himself in the third person, compete with copious name dropping (those names in bold are all links, by the way).
“Wonderful, beautiful playing. In my mind and heart, this is the epitome of what great acoustic guitar music sounds like!” – Beth Houskamp, Pasadena, California
CURRENT PROJECTS – FORTHCOMING ALBUM, ETC
Dan is currently recording his debut fingerstyle album, aiming for a release in around 2023. It’ll consist of a variety of mellow tunes – from stripped back solo instrumental acoustic pieces to lush orchestrations featuring electric guitar, piano, percussion, strings and even a smidge of choir.
He’s also working on a few other projects … including videos, covers and collaborations – including two Candyrat Records video features, two with FretMonkey Records and one with G7th – The Capo Company.
Tabulature will be available for most of the pieces.
Huge thanks to Clive Carroll for his compositional input on a few pieces, and to Declan Zapala and Ben Cartwright for assistance with pre-production on some of the tracks.
He’s also working on a few other projects … including videos, covers and collaborations. More to be revealed in due course!
PAST PROJECTS AND COLLABORATIONS
… and many others …
Dan’s undergraduate thesis was on the socio-cultural significance of the guitar in post-war Britain.
Dan is co-organiser of the Rec.Music Makers Guitar Acoustic (RMMGA) UK annual guitar gathering. an annual residential guitar retreat set over a long weekend. The event has been running since 1997. It’s hosted performances (and often workshops too) from the likes of Clive Carroll, John Renbourn, Will McNicol, Sam Carter, Jon Gomm, Gordon Giltrap, Michael Watts, Wiz Jones, Declan Zapala, Steve Tilston, Ben Powell, Chris Woods, and (Gr)Amrit Sond.