Vana Liya in the Midwest

In early May 2024, Vana Liya did her first Midwest shows. Leaving Philly on May 1st, she and the band—which includes my son Daniel on guitar—played Indianapolis on the 2nd, Chicago on the 3rd, Milwaukee on the 4th, and St. Paul on the 5th.  Life on the road.  Martin Scorcese’s film on The Band’s farewell concerts, The Last Waltz, came back again and again to the difficulties of being on the move so constantly.  At least every city’s name can become part of a song’s lyric.  The 8-minute video below shows highlights of the Chicago and Milwaukee shows, which we were able to catch on the 3rd and 4th.  It features some songs not captured on other videos I’ve posted, particularly “Vana Liya: We’ve Got A Brand New Dance.”  Like a brand new sing-a-long on Creedence’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” where in Chicago Vana sings, “I wanna know, Have you ever seen the rain / Coming down on a Chicago day.” Next night it was, Have you ever seen the rain / Coming down on a Milwaukee day.”

There’s also a few seconds of Vana’s “My Island Heart” and “Come Away,” and two others that are on “We’ve Got a Brand New Dance,” but they’ve been transformed so they almost seemed like new.  On her signature song, “Gold,” Derek (aka Man of the Forests) and Daniel do a beautiful violin/guitar duet, with Daniel and Vana signaling Derek to join Daniel center stage.  Then there’s Vana’s “Feelin’ Good” that’s been turned into a vehicle to feature drummer Logan Tyler! That was the evening’s biggest surprise in Chicago, and it works so well.  “It’s our basic show we’ve been working on for a long time,” said Daniel.  You take it on the road, see how it goes, see it evolve audience by audience, city by city by city.

A sad update:  On Monday, July 1st, we learned of the sudden passing of drummer Logan Tyler, “the evening’s biggest surprise in Chicago.” Logan and Daniel were close. He was the drummer for Daniel’s former group, Light the Band, and brought Daniel over from that group into Vana Liya’s.  As of today (July 3rd), I’ve received no definite cause of death. Our deep condolences to Logan’s family.  He was a wonderful musician and friend.

♦ Go Here for more music from Dan Guzman, including more with Vana Liya and others.

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