Dan Dyer
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Dan Dyer

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF | AFTRA

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF | AFTRA
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"Dan Dyer Article: Houston Chronicle"

"Soulful singer-songwriter Dan Dyer thought he might be well on his way when funk rocker Lenny Kravitz took him under his wing. Instead Dyer took a trouble-filled trip through the recording industry. But taking his knocks helped Dyer figure out who he wasn't as a musician. And it has put him on the road to figuring out who he wants to be.

If you want to hear the Dan Dyer that Kravitz and Warner Bros. Records heard — a rehash of the rock 'n' rebel persona already perfected by Pete Yorn, Ryan Adams and other bushy-haired, weary-eyed pouters — check out his debut album Of What Lies Beneath.

But a different Dyer will be on stage at the Rhythm Room on Saturday. This Dyer isn't dazzled by golden ring offered by a major label and an established superstar. He's more seasoned and more interested in moving his budding career forward in measured steps.

"We're promoting the Of What Lies Beneathrecord because we have it and we can," he says from his current home in Austin. "But ultimately what I'd like to do is completely distance myself from it altogether. It was a great learning experience and I would definitely do it again just for that. The key for me now is just to get back to playing in front of people."

Dyer was at a crossroads in 2002. He was trying to plot the next move for his longtime band Breedlove, a regional Texas favorite, when a friend introduced him to Kravitz. Kravitz immediately recognized the mix of old soul, classic rock and blues licks in Dyer's music as a blend that had served him well on his own recordings.

"I was always into Lenny's earlier records and us working together initially seemed to make a lot of sense," says Dyer. "He really represented himself as an influence."

Dyer was the first artist to sign to Kravitz's boutique label Roxie Records (named after his mother, The Jeffersons actress Roxie Roker) and distributed by Warner Bros. Together they got to work on a collection of tracks that would make up the bulk of Of What Lies Beneath. From the college pop rock sound of opener Red Alert to the marching anthem Great Ocean to the funk break of Stella, the album contained enough good songs to have long-term potential.

What it did not have, however, was a definite release date. Work on Of What Lies Beneath began in the winter of 2002 and was completed by May 2003. It was scheduled for a fall on-sale date but suffered nearly nine months of delays before it was released.

"The killer in that whole (record release) process is the amount of sitting around time it takes for it all to come down," says Dyer. "As it turned out, I decided to work with Lenny at probably the worst point. He ended up working hard to keep his own thing going."

The huge promise for Dyer and Of What Lies Beneath got lost in the midst of a corporate shake-up at Warner Bros. and Kravitz's efforts to promote his own studio album Baptism, which wasn't selling as briskly as his previous recordings.

The final blow came when Dyer was scotched as an opening act for part of Kravitz's U.S. tour last year.

Dyer headed back to Austin to rebuild. He realized that working with Kravitz led him to make music he wasn't completely comfortable with. He saw it as a disservice to his craft that he is now trying to rectify.

"I'm no longer trying to write pop songs, but if I do it's because it's a bad habit I picked up recently," Dyer says, laughing.

Dyer didn't leave the Kravitz/Warner experience empty-handed. He still has the songs from Of What Lies Beneath. Some, like Great Ocean, have been retooled recently in a style more compatible with the gutbucket soul of his current live show. He also has put together a tight touring band that includes bass player Tony Breit (who used to play with Kravitz), guitarist and backing vocalist Aaron Barerra and former Breedlove drummer Jason White.

Most importantly Dyer has started to develop his own sound and style as a singer, musician and songwriter.

"I'm still trying to figure out who I am as an artist. I'm not even sure I like me," says Dyer. "I do know that my next record will definitely be an indie (independent) release. I have no real interest in going back down the avenue I just left which was pretty narrow and eventually a dead end."

Songwriter Dan Dyer finds his own voice
By MICHAEL D. CLARK
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
- Michael D. Clark


"Dan Dyer Self-titled Review: Austin Chronicle"

3 STARS: It's refreshing not falling back on labels like "retro" and "throw-back" when spinning Dan Dyer's self-titled debut on Fat Caddy Records. Sure, the Austinite's smoky vocals recall giants like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway, but Dyer has as much in common with Spearhead's Michael Franti and Lenny Kravitz, who produced his 2004 solo debut, Of What Lies Beneath, to chilly reviews. Turn your stereo up, and Dyer's rich voice wraps around you on the crawling, gospel-tinged opener "Love Chain." Earnestness is in short supply in today's blue-eyed soul, but Dyer wears emotions on his sleeve and never sings with tongue in cheek, repeatedly asserting that "love can change your life" on "Love's a Game." In a divine falsetto, the album's funkiest track, "Anne-Marie," poses the classic jilted lovers' question: "Why you trippin'?"

SXSW Platters
Austin Chronicle
By Thomas Fawcett
07 March 2008
- Thomas Fawcett


"Dan Dyer Concert Review: Dallas Observer"

"It's one thing to claim soul as an influence and quite another to actually put the classic authority of Al Green and Sly Stone to proper use. Dan Dyer sings with an instinctive urgency that incorporates elements of country, blues and soul, tying things together with what's universal in the best of each genre: intensity."

Dan Dyer
Friday, February 29, at Bend Studio
By Darryl Smyers

- Darryl Smyers


"Top 10 local albums of 2008 (so far): Austin American Statesman"

“[Self-Titled, Dan Dyer]. Produced by David Boyle (ex-Scabs) in a renovated black Pentecostal church, Dyer feels the spirit and comes to genuflect before Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Curtis Mayfield.”

Top 10 local albums of 2008 (so far)
By Michael Corcoran
11 June 2008

- Michael Corcoran


"Dan Dyer Self-titled Album Review: Texas Music Monthly"

“…the Austinite’s self-titled album also drips with the bayou-moss, sticky-humidity funk of his East Texas/Louisiana border hometown, plenty of blue-eyed soul falsetto, his alternately twinkly and dangerous electric piano and gospel influences galore…Dyer does it well while not sounding at all imitative or derivative.”

Dan Dyer
By Lynne Margolis
May 2008

Find it here:
http://www.txmusic.com/cdreviews/2008/04/dan-dyer

- Lynne Margolis


"Dan Dyer Interview & Article: Austin Chronicle"

“Dan Dyer is a blue-ribbon disc. At once joyous, creative, and satisfying, Dyer channels 1970s-era Hathaway and Wonder with modern panache and without a hint of mimicry…Dyer has the cool polish of a talent destined to make it....”

Absolutely Dan Dyer
By Margaret Moser
6 June 2008

Find it (full article) here: http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/story?oid=oid:632159 - Margaret Moser


"NU Magazine Article & Review"

"One doesn’t automatically think discipline when seduced by a soulful croon, as the sumptuous attack on the senses serves more
as a conduit away from oneself. When first I heard Dan Dyer perform the songs from his new self-titled album, I was transported by their soulful realism and taken aback by their full-on force. This blend of funk, jazz and soul packs a punch, an enlivening beat to accompany its intoxicating sway. The raw knuckles of these tunes hit me before I considered the premeditated artistry involved...."

NU Magazine
Sept 2008
by Robin McGary

Find it here:
http://www.fatcaddyplus.com/site/wp-content/uploads/NU_Dan_Dyer.pdf - Robin McGary


"NPR Second Stage Artist of the Day"

"For his follow-up to 2004's Of What Lies Beneath, Austin, TX resident Dan Dyer draws from gospel, Bossa Nova and even ragtime for a contemporary homage of pulsating grooves. His selt-titled sophomore release, which dropped in late August, begins with the soulful "Love Chain," featuring members of the Mt. Zion Baptist Church Choir backing Dyer's own Stevie Wonder-inspired tenor. It's a passionate and stunning opener, showcasing much of the musical styles Dyer grew up on.

But "Love Chain" is only part of Dan Dyer's sonic pastiche. There's the cover of "I Walk On Guilded Splinters," a song originally performed by New Orleans R&B musician Dr. John. "Who I Am" draws from sensual, swaying Brazilian rhythms, and features a guest appearance from Thievery Corporation's John Nelson on percussion. Then there's the sunny "Little Bird" with its gently rolling piano and undertones of a chilled-out ragtime.

Although each song on Dan Dyer's latest effort takes on its own flavor, the disparate mix is more refreshing than a disjointed jumble. For those who appreciate his style, Dyer will be performing several dates in Texas this fall, along with a select few out-of-state appearances."

National Public Radio
Dan Dyer: 'Love Chain'
By Tamara Vallejos
02 October, 2008
- Tamara Vallejos


"ACL Live Shots; Concert Review: Austin Chronicle"

"His showstopper "Anne-Marie" was lost as the second song in a short set scheduled in the thankless position of opening slot at ACL's seventh year, but Dan Dyer set the tone with soul and style. Dyer's self-titled release on Fat Caddy has made him something of a golden boy for the hot local label, and the fresh festival audience basked in the warmth of his spectacularly soulful vocals and sweet but never slavish love of 1970s R&B. After he uttered "Anne-Marie'"s coda by grinning "bitch" into the microphone, the local favorite sat down at the keyboards for a splendid set of his stylish compositions, including "Sorry, Baby," "Love Chain," and a finely wrought arrangement of Dr. John's "I Walk on Guilded Splinters," bolstered by drummer-vocalist Michael Hale and funky bassist Mark "Gumby" Williams. That's good enough for this year, but next year, Dyer will command headline status."

ACL Live Shots
BY MARGARET MOSER
Friday, Sept. 26, Zilker Park
- Margaret Moser


"SoulTracks Music Review"

Some albums are so beautifully realized that all you can do is weep and be grateful for the privilege. Austin-based musician Dan Dyer delivers a sophomore album of such stunning wisdom and shimmering brilliance that you can hardly believe this guy writes commercial jingles as his day gig. Dyer on his self-titled project is a keys playing singer/songwriter on the levels of Carole King when she birthed Tapestry, Jim Croce on You Don't Mess With Jim or James Taylor at his zenith of Sweet Baby James. Produced with a distressed jam session feel, cuts like "Anne-Marie" has just enough rustic edge to make you feel like you've unearth something from an old-time tavern of swinging bell bottoms, low-down grinding, and bottle-swigged Wild Turkey. Â The midnight rock of the Doors flavored "I Walk On Guilded Splinters" and "Who I Am" are haunting tour de forces in voice and composition. "Love Chain" is a modern work song of gospel and blues so authentic you think Dyer's blues band had turned a country church into a Bayou juke joint. Yearning soul ditties like "Sorry, Baby" could have been penned by Smokey Robinson at the height of his Motown fame. Where the luscious "Stop For A Second" has the cosmopolitan sheen of a Gamble and Huff creation, its hip hop syncopated delivery has such a blue collar vulnerability you just know this uptown crooner's delight was five-finger discounted for the working man. I'd put the plaintive lyricism of Dyer's piano ballad "All" up against any universal inspirational anthem produced in the last 20 years and believe it has a chance to make it near the top of the heap. Can you tell I love this album? Trust me, from his bluesy phrasing to his tenor-baritone's scraped bottom soul, Dyer has the goods to make you love Dan Dyer too.

Notable Songs: All of them, seriously.

Vocals: 4 stars
Lyrics: 4 stars
Music: 4 stars
Production: 3 stars
SoulTracks Call: Highly Recommended
- L. Michael Gipson, SoulTracks.com


Discography

Dan Dyer, Self-titled, released 2008
Dan Dyer, "...Of What Lies Beneath", Roxie/Reprise Records, released 2004
Dan Dyer, "12 songs", unreleased 2001
Breedlove, "Reach Out", released 1996

Photos

Bio

Soul-folk singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dan Dyer rose to prominence in Austin, TX during the late 90s as frontman of the much heralded blues outfit, Breedlove. For his debut solo album "...Of What Lies Beneath", (2004) Dyer headed to New York City and Miami to collaborate with veteran rock legend Lenny Kravitz, who produced and released the record on Kravitz’s own Reprise imprint label, Roxie Records. Dyer then returned to Austin, his musical birthplace, to record and release his 2008 self-titled album, a soul-revivalist recording produced by David Boyle in an old snake-charmer church turned studio on the east side of Austin, and released by local label Fat Caddy Records. Dan Dyer was named one of the top 10 local albums of 2008 by both the Austin American Statesman and The Austin Chronicle.

Dyer’s voice and live performance intensity are raw and hot, yet soulful and sensitive, drawing from a wealth of classic soul, blues, folk and R&B legends.

He has toured the US extensively, in support of his own releases, and alongside artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rufus Wainwright, Laura Izibor, Ledisi, and others. He has also been invited to perform at major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, Essence Music Festival, Voodoo Music Experience, and New Orleans Jazz Fest's Annual Piano Night at the House of Blues.