Dan Guzman @ Carbone’s

For the many who’ve asked about Dan Guzman’s performing, here’s an article about a recent gig complete with a pic of Dan about to twist some amp knobs.  Thanks to Ted Slowik, North Central College’s head PR guy, for sending me this piece, or else even I wouldn’t have known.

The article says Dan hasn’t recorded an album yet—but there is a cd from his old band Hypnotist Collector, which some of you may have, as must Adam Joseph, the author of the review below, because he does good, brief analyses of three songs from it.

On this site I’ll soon begin featuring seven of Dan’s songs, one every two weeks or so, accompanied by simple videos meant to highlight the lyrics and music.  I’ll let you know when they start coming out.  I’ll start with some rough cuts of songs many of you will not have heard but which I think are some of his best (“CBS,” which is already in this site’s feature rotator, ”Slippin’,” “You Are There,” “Telephone Rag,” “Fall in Line”), then a solo acoustic/Hypnotist Collector mix of one of the old band’s best, “Moby Stank.”  This first set of seven songs will end with a surprise: ”What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” an old hymn powered by Dan’s guitar in the good old days when he, I, and five others played together at Friendship United Methodist Church in Bolingbrook, Illinois.  I love his guitar work on this one.  It would be hard to count the number of great musicians and singers who started in church.  As one person who’s already gotten a sneak peek at the songs has said, not only is Dan’s music really good, it’s also about something, too.  Enjoy the article and pic below.

Shooting Starrs

By Adam Joseph

The Monterey County Weekly, 7/26/12

A fresh Singer-Songwriter Acoustic Showcase at Carbone’s features six musicians on the last Tuesday of every month.

There aren’t many hidden gems lurking uncovered in New Monterey’s music scene. But there’s one goodie that’s been hiding out right under the area’s collective nose for the past several months: Chicago native Cowboy Starr’s Singer-Songwriter Acoustic Showcase, which brings a half-dozen acts to Carbone’s on the last Tuesday of every month. With no cover.

Over the past few years, Starr has been involved in beat making, engineering, producing and playing bass in several acts including the Secret Parade and the Cowboy Starr Project, but his songwriter showcase is a reflection of his life-long love of stripped down, good old fashioned songwriting goodness.

Past performers have included everyone from Jordan Smart to Mikey Silbecky to Michael Glines to The Lightfighters. “It’s really important to always have a strong emphasis on songwriting,” he says. On Tuesday, the fifth installment of the showcase will deliver a diverse lineup of songwriters. Mike PZ (of Mike PZ & The Associates) does standard bluesmeets-rockabilly. Mike Dilks (aka Walter Rose) trafficks in crisp fingerpicking anchored by his raspy whisper of a voice. Button Phace (Brandon Burdon) leans toward folk with a jazzy twist, Adam Behan (The Adorkables drummer) translates pop punk through his acoustic axe and Jonathan Glines (brother of Michael Glines) delivers complex melodies guided by vocals that are part M. Ward, part Sean Hayes. And one of Starr’s longtime Illinois acquaintances, DAN GUZMAN, anchors the evening.

Guzman and Starr originally met several years back while attending North Central College in the suburb of Naperville outside of Chicago. They crossed paths again shortly after Guzman relocated to Santa Cruz around the same time Starr moved to Monterey.

Guzman hasn’t recorded an album yet but he already has an arsenal of original tunes—some of which come from Hypnotist Collector (a line from a Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me”), a former band he had with his late brother—that span the genre mill. “Bricklayer” and “We Can Walk” bring heavy up-stroke, Sublime-style reggae/ska, while the electronica-centric “You Never” tastes like it was flavored with Portishead’s brand of down-tempo dreaminess.

On the nearly seven-minute “Two Tone Eyes,” which is soaked with jam band style blues and rock inspiration, Guzman shows off his talent on guitar. The last half of the track moves onward into a Built to Spill-like cyclical riff that’s fully equipped with mesmerizing tendencies.

Thanks to a mid-westerner named Cowboy, New Monterey has another option for music lovers, and one that focuses on the important but sometimes overlooked role of the songwriter. But best of all, it won’t break the bank.

The Singer-Songwriter Acoustic Showcase happens at 8:30pm Tuesday, July 31, at Carbone’s, 214 Lighthouse Ave., Monterey. Free. 643-9169.

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