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Entertainment News

Sunday, 2 March, 2008 11:54 AM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Dan Colehour

Photo by Mark Tucker

MCA recording artist Dan Colehour

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

Dan Colehour knows how to capture the essence of his corner of the world in verse and melody. He then manages the neat trick of translating that message into a more universal language, so that listeners might sense their corner of America in these songs as well.

A tangible sense of place and time permeates Colehour's songs: On "Quarry Town," the first single from his MCA/Carnival Recording Co., debut album, Straight to the Highway, he throws down a muscular groove, part heartland rock and part fish-fry fiddle, to convey his images of young men not too long ago, who traded dead-end lives in the limestone pits outside of town to "make a deal with Uncle Sam in the name of God and country" in Vietnam. It's not a new theme, but like John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen and other pillars of Americana, Colehour makes it unmistakably his, throughout each of his 10 original songs on this album.

Raised in the rolling countryside of eastern Iowa, he rambled in his early 20s to Southern California, settled for a while in Texas and wound up in Nashville with a deal at Carnival Music Publishing and a head full of songs whose blue-collar poetry resonate far beyond the Iowa horizons. On Straight to the Highway, with help from executive producer Frank Liddell and co-producers David Grissom (Dixie Chicks, Joe Ely, Mellencamp) and Mike McCarthy (Fastball, Patty Griffin), he visits a folkloric theme of injustice on "Another Man's Crime" but achieves greatest eloquence on "Lucky Man" and "My America," songs that bring the American dream down to basics of family, love and freedom, which listeners everywhere can surely understand.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

Who is your musical hero?
"Bruce Springsteen."

What book is on your nightstand?
"Cottonwood by Stacy Dean Campbell."

What song would you like to cover?
"'The Twelfth of Never.'"

What CD is on your stereo?
"Led Zeppelin's greatest hits, disc four."

Who is your dream duet partner?
"Shawn Colvin."

What word or phrase do you find yourself saying over and over again?
"Apparently."

What mode of transportation do you prefer: plane, train or automobile?
"Automobile."

What song do you wish you had written?
"'Sing Me Back Home' by Merle Haggard."

What moment in your life would you relive if you could?
"The afternoon I first met my dog Shelby Lynn."

What actor would portray you in a biopic about your life?
"Ethan Hawke."

Do you have a lucky charm?
"Yes, a St. Christopher medallion."

When they look back on your life in 50 years, what do you hope people say about you?
"He was a friend of mine."

If you wrote an autobiography, what would the title be?
"You'd Better Hang on to Something."

On the Web: www.dancolehour.com

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AMERICAJR NETWORK :: COACH'S CORNER PRO SHOP :: SAND CREEK RECORDS :: LIFE MADE EASY