Next up in my series is Dan Treanor’s Afrosippi Band with Erica Brown and MJ! MJ stands for the amazing vocalist Merriam Johnson! Both she and Erica Brown are two of the strongest female vocalists out there and are featured on 8 of the 12 cuts. I became an instant Erica Brown fan when I first heard her sing at the 2013 Women In Blues Showcase during IBC week in Memphis. Dan wrote 8 of the 12 songs on the CD. They cover Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come will give you goosebumps and is beautifully done. Dan has been around the music scene for 50 some years and is the consummate bluesman. This CD is a stand out for me because its a great mixture of originals and covers and I’m not a big cover girl but I love Dan’s take on the Black Keys song Hurt Like Mine and Orgone’s Who Knows Who. This is a solid CD and is well worth adding to your blues collection.
Q: Has this project changed you or the way you work?
A: No, I don’t think so. I have always been a “in the moment” kind of person. I like to record “live”, when I’m writing it is what I am trying to express at that moment. This whole album was a “in the moment” experience.
Q: Do you have a special name for the instruments you play?
A: No, never named an instrument. I play my own hand made African style stringed instrument-Khalam, Ngoni, Diddley Bow. They have some interesting names.
Q: How did you feel after writing Done Got Old?
A: It reflects where I am in my life right now LOL I done got old!
Q: What was your most memorable gig and why?
A: I’ve been blessed to have had a lot of great gigs in my life but one I will always cherish is standing on the Orpheum Theater stage in Memphis playing in the finals of the IBC (3rd place-2013). Now that was awesome!
Q: Why do you play/sing? Artists are inspired by many things, what inspires you?
A: It is something I have always loved to do. I played in my first band when I was 16 years old and I have been doing it for over 50 years. My inspiration comes from the fact that I have been blessed to do what I love. That is a gift from the Universe!
Q: Tell us the last few shows you went to see.
A: Being a full time working musician I don’t get out to shows much. When we play festivals I do get an opportunity to see and listen to other great acts. Last year I saw Elvin Bishop with his big band-they just blew me away. This past January I participated in the IBC. I heard the Delgado Brothers for the first time-Great!
Q: What is your songwriting process?
A: It varies. Sometimes I’ll come up with a groove and chord progression and try to build something on that. Add lyrics to it. At other times I’ll come up with lyrics I like and try to put some music to the words. I do tend to write in spurts. I wrote the songs for the latest CD over the course of a couple of weeks. I had some previous ideas and sat down and fleshed them out.
Q: What artists or bands get your heart a flutterin’
A: This could be a long list. I have a very wide taste in my personal choice of music. Blues of course, the masters, Delbert, Dylan, Los Lobos, Miles Davis, John Prine, Phoebe Snow. Don’t get me started-this could be a long list LOL!
Q: When did it hit you that music was your life?
A: I guess when I got back from Viet Nam-1970. I made up my mind that after what I experienced, I was going to live life on my terms. I wanted to be a musician and that is what I set out to do. Here it is, 46 years later and I’m still in it.
Q: What was your first musical experience that moved you enough to take action and become a musician as opposed to a fan?
A: I imagine, learning to play the harp in Viet Nam. I had played guitar, played in garage bands, prior to the Nam experience but when my friend Bernie Willer showed me how to blow that little metal sandwich, things were never the same. I made up my mind, that is what I want to do.
Q: If you were to write your memoir what would it be called?
A; Tangled Road
Q: Tell us something about yourself that has never been printed before.
A: I really am a closet fan of Heavy Metal! Def Leppard ROCKS!!
You can buy Born to Love The Blues at www.dantreanorband.com, CD Baby and at any of their shows.