Sunday, 2 March, 2008 11:54 AM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Dan
by Mark Tucker
recording artist Dan Colehour
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
What book is on your
"Cottonwood by Stacy Dean Campbell."
What song would you
like to cover?
"'The Twelfth of Never.'"
What CD is on your
"Led Zeppelin's greatest hits, disc four."
Who is your dream
What word or phrase
do you find yourself saying over and over again?
What mode of transportation
do you prefer: plane, train or 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?
Do you have a lucky
"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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