Back to Morgantown
Special Release - All Acoustic Dan's current release, BACK TO MORGANTOWN (2008), is all acoustic; with a taste of Appalachia and a bit less production than previous releases. The title track , however, is a departure from the Appalachian tradition with it's breezy tribute to the great little town nobody know much about around the country. The title tune also features the members of the Jenny Wilson Trio and few guests. The rest of the tunes tell stories of the rejected, the longing heart, and some plain old foolish characters in the familiar musical language of the hills. OK, maybe a little bluesy touch at times to boot. Also included are traditional tunes: WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME is offered on solo guitar and a vocal version of the old Scottish tune ANNIE LAURIE caps off the recording with acoustic guitars and cello. MUSICIANS ON THE CD 'BACK TO MORGANTOWN' Mic Fries: (drums) plays in the Jenny Wilson Trio (all three of the trio are on this CD). He is heard on tracks 3,5,7, and 10. Daria Jones: (percussion/vocals) plays in a duo with her husband Randy called "15 Minutes Of Fame" and also performs around the Philadelphia area. She does some backup vocals on "Back To Morgantown" and provides extra percussion for tracks 1, 3, 5, and 8 Nathan Wilson: (bass) also plays in the Jenny Wilson Trio. He can be heard on tracks 3, 4, and 7. Rachel Eddy: (fiddle) Rachel played in the Morgantown Rounders and recently released a most-excellent CD of her own in Nashville (HAND ON THE PLOW). She provided the fiddle on track 7 , "Your Texas" Jenny Wilson: (flute) Jenny usually plays piano these days and is the leader of the Jenny Wilson Trio. She can be heard on track 3, "Back To Morgantown". Dan McCollum: (piano) Dan plays keyboards for the rock band "The Hamptons". He can be heard on track 3, "Back To Morgantown". He played organ on the original version that can be heard on my MySpace page. Dan's Bio: Joni Mitchell in a coonskin cap? (with a gap-tooth grin?) This is 'New Appalachian' music - New and old sounds with the earthy acoustic finger-picking flavor of the mountains. Dan's latest CD, "Back To Morgantown" is all acoustic. With the strains of live old-time music in his ears at an early age, Dan often listened in wonder to the only recordings at hand: one 45 rpm single each of Eddie Arnold and Fats Domino, and the 78's of Dinah Shore and Haydn's 'Surprise' Symphony. The imprint on an impressionable young mind was profound, and you might say he never recovered. Dan drifted in a musical wilderness of rock, country, and jazz, searching for that elusive paradise of musical truth. And then, one late night lying awake in a fleabag motel, Dan saw the light. It turned out to the flickering neon sign from 'Murph's Café' next door. As fate would have it, the very next day as Dan was dining at that same café, savoring the only item on the menu he could afford; a small order of chili-cheese fries. His eyes were drawn to the Elvis portraits in black velvet, and just below, a small smeared blackboard with the lunch special, 'Murph's Bologna Burger'. At that moment inspiration struck and would have knocked Dan's socks off, had he been wearing any. The central question was clear....why top your burger with bologna and not chili? It was time to play real music, music that tops off the meaty taste of life like chili on a flame grilled hamburger still dripping with the satisfying essence of fullness. It was from this point the distinct and varied music he called 'New Appalachian' began to come forth. (As along as he stayed away from the fifth). In the intervening years Dan performed/recorded with Phil Keaggy (Grammy nominee and Dove award winner), Robin Kessinger (1985 National Flatpicking Champion), Nedra Talley Ross (Ronettes), Phil Madeira (Nashville songwriter, recording artist) and others. Dan's first solo CD, INTO THE FLOW, received glowing reviews and was a "Viewer's Choice" award winner on Kweevak.com. His second CD, I THINK OF HOME, built on this musical vision, expanding the range of expression for Appalachian music. The songs received recognition in several songwriting competitions, including an Honorable Mention in The BILLBOARD Song Contest. His third CD, WAYFARING STRANGER, placed third in Kweevak's LISTENER'S CHOICE AWARDS. One song from that recording, BIG GENE, was a SONG OF THE MONTH CONTEST Honorable Mention. The Dominion Post has described Dan's playing as 'guitar genius' and by Ben Ohmart of Music Dish as 'luscious.' "The guitar is outstanding! I'm talking great technique, great emotion and inventive playing." www.southofmainstream.com "Dan Cunningham gives a lasting impression as a soulful and technically adept acoustic guitarist." www.home-of-rock.de.