(Songs copyrighted and registered.)
(Some music by “OTHERS,” below, also features Dan.)
Island Style — Vana Liya, the talented singer/song writer with an acoustic version of her “Feelin’ Good Tonight,” done for the Sugar Shack Sessions. And with her new band. “I’ve finally found my people,” she said in a recent Facebook post, “…badass musicians who get the vision…Feels like my life is starting new right now!” First she brought on new drummer Logan Tyler, from Light the Band (see below), who suggested she bring on…Dan Guzman, who started out as her keyboardist, but now has become her guitarist and musical director.
Vana Liya — We’ve Got a Brand New Dance. What a pleasure it was to catch Vana Liya at the Teragram Ballroom in downtown L.A. It was the last show of a recent tour and, except for a goofy error by Dan Guzman in the set’s last song—an error that caused drummer Logan Tyler to explode in laughter—it was a beautiful evening of good vibes, fun, and grit.
Light The Band — In 2013 drummer Logan Tyler, bassist James Tashnick, and Dan formed Light The Band, which became a quartet in 2015 when guitarist/singer-song writer Tim Gan joined. This video gives short shots of some of the band’s key songs, links to other Light the Band videos, and you’ll see keyboardist Pat Blizinski and sax man Chris Noonan, who often join its sets. It’s a funkier, blusier, more New Orleans sound, with real, honest, immediate grooves building to high-energy jams. There’s lots of dancing at Light The Band shows.
“CBS (Cool Black Sickness)” — Music & Lyrics: Dan Guzman, Brad Hoskins. How you lose all things if you put your faith in things. “The steel and glass and concrete/Will come tumbling from the sky/With your bitch ass inside….” Classic apocalyptic dread sheathed in cool grooves.
“You Are There” — Music, lyrics, guitar and vocal by Dan Guzman. “I could be wrong/And I know you know/That you—you could be wrong too.” If you give it one more try you might avoid living life “tangled in a net of regret.”
“But It Was (Hijacked)” — Another Dan Guzman song, tough rock ‘n’ roll from Hypnotist Collector: Dan Guman, guitar and vocals; the late Bryan Guzman, bass and vocals; Justin Flanigan, drums. “They thought it would be the end…but it was.” Dan once said the song was about the hijacking of Christianity by the religious right. Hmmm…
“Slippin’” — A Dan Guzman song about floating up and sinking down, being dragged towards heaven and pulled the other way, too, while some watch and can’t help much. And then in the middle of all this, a luminous line: “I have seen in daylight and in dreams, a place in me where angels come to lean.” A song about being lost, and being found.
“Moby Stank” — Liars, theives, cashing in favors, selling your soul, dropping it down in the desert. One of Dan’s toughest songs, here played by his old band Hypnotist Collector, with the late Bryan Guzman on bass, Justin Flanigan on drums. The video footage, however, comes from another of his bands, Guzberries.
“Fall in Line” — Bursts of jagged guitar ride cool grooves in Dan Guzman’s song about not conforming, even though you probably will some day. Intentions count for something even though this song visits a place where, “Intentions die like a rose might / in a killing frost on a winter’s night.”
“Telephone Rag” — Dan Guzman in a country flavored song about calling your love on the telephone when the night grows cold when you hurt inside. The song has a throwback quality, not just from the “Rag” thing, but because of its referencing telephone wires in the age of the wireless.
“Roundabout” — You got a disease but can’t afford the diagnosis? There’s a way around that: a roundabout way. Dan and Hypnotist Collector in a rough soul groove ending with one of the band’s best long music freakouts.
“Smile” — Dan Guzman’s take on Charlie Chaplin’s and Nat Cole’s advice from many years ago: “Smile.” It’s way stripped down here, but he’s added one new angle: smiling—it won’t hurt you. Come on Nat and Charlie. Party—if only for a moment.
“Erase You” — Slow, sensuous, liquid. One reviewer compared the sound to Portishead, but beneath the dreamy, romantic vibe there’s a nastiness that’s really a longing to deny everything, to run as far away from memory as you can.
“Hallelujah” — Kevin Andrew Prchal and Dan Guzman in an impromptu performance of a Leonard Cohen classic at the dedication of the garden at Bryan House. Early in his career Kevin often ended his shows with this song. Here check out Dan’s simple, gorgeous solo. At this event they also did Kevin’s “Peace, Not War.”
DAN’S MUSIC CAN ALSO BE HEARD ON MANY VIDEOS on this site, especially ones about Emmanuel House. Go to this page and click on items under VIDEOS.
II. AND BY…”OTHERS”
“Beauty in the Time of Pandemic” — Aaron Guzman conducts the Gage Middle School Orchestra, a small but momentous return to LIVE music in the midst of our Pandemic dangers. It’s a reminder of what music means to us and does for us, and why music and music education must continue even in—or maybe especially in—the hardest, most uncertain times.
“What A Friend We Have in Jesus” — A bluesy, country take on an old favorite by the Praise Band at Friendship United Methodist Church, Bolingbrook, IL. Nedra Groggins and Teresa Huberty vocals, with Dan Guzman on guitar, Richard Guzman on piano, Mike Feldmann on rhythm guitar, Nana Wiafe-Abbabio on drums, and Dan Ryan on bass.
“Count Your Blessings” — The Friendship Church Band at its height in a romp through the story of Job, with Theresa Huberty’s soaring vocal, Nedra Groggins-Sage alto harmonies, and Dan Guzman’s wonderful guitar. This is a first take. No rehearsal. Yet what came out flows with joy and beautifully detailed interaction between all band members. It’s also a memorial to two of them: Nedra and Mike Feldmann.
“Why I Am Against the War” — Concept and sampling by Richard Guzman, music by Dan Guzman, featuring the voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. (used by permission of the King Center). Samples were taken from King’s famous “Riverside Sermon,” April 4, 1967, a nearly hour-long speech against the Vietnam War and economic injustice. The Guzman’s crafted it into a 4-minute song and released it as a protest against the Iraq War. It was one of King’s most courageous speeches–and perhaps his most controversial. After it, even many in his own movement began turning away, thinking he should stick more to just Civil Rights and “I have a dream” speeches. Exactly one year later he would be dead.
“Come Together Wright Now” — A parody of John Lennon’s great song done to celebrate the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright and the labors of the 100’s of volunteers at the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust. Concept by Linda Guzman, Music by Dan Guzman, Lyrics by Richard & Linda Guzman and Jim Nedza, with many apologies to Mr. Lennon.
“Nativity” — Here I am at 17 with my jazz trio: me – piano, Dave Dwyer – bass, Tom Pence – drums and spontaneous “Yeah” when the groove just gets too good. Though Ray Charles was my hero, here on my variation of an Alleluia, I’m an odd combination of Ahmad Jamal and Dave Brubeck. A friend captured this rehearsal performance on his little reel-to-reel. The song/video comes at the end of a post about me getting to play Frank Lloyd Wright’s piano in the miraculous space of his Children’s Playroom in his Oak Park Home & Studio. It’s usually Christmas, and I still usually play “Nativity.”
“Lay Your Head Down” — Music and lyrics by Richard Guzman. My version of the 23rd Psalm, with my vocal and piano backed by a simple, ghostly organ.
“Emmaus” — Already preformed many times, this is still the first draft of a Richard R. Guzman choral piece focused on the Emmaus Road incident told in Luke 24 and other places in the New Testament.
“The Beauty of the Lord” — Jubilate, conducted by Carl Beard, and featuring Ed Fontaine’s incredible voice. Despite its many failings, the church has been a source of my deepest friendships, but most of all it’s the beauty of Jesus that continues to draw and embrace us even though it’s our habit, it seems, to fall so far short of his beauty.
“The Love of Thy Children” — A big, multi-part choral number featuring the choir of the University Baptist Church, Charlottesville, Virginia. Composed by Richard Guzman, with him on the piano. During Bicentennial celebrations this piece was picked for performance by Black and White choir members from throughout the city, the first time such cooperation had ever occurred—decades and decades late, but better late than….
“Psalm 103” — My choral setting of one of my favorite Psalms. Our souls praise the Lord because He knows that we are like flowers that blow in the wind and are gone. It is one of the ironies of faith that this impermanence is the root of compassion.
“Climbing Up That Mountain” — What a joy and privilege it was to have Jubilate, the wonderful University Baptist Church/University of Virginia choral group, do so much of my music. In April 2018 it celebrates its 45th anniversary, and I’ve been told this anthem will be on the program.