Danny Bakan

Danny Bakan


An Award Winning visionary AmeriCanadiana Singer/Songwriter and Clawhammer Banjoist.


Danny Bakan is a visionary songwriter and a darn fine banjo player.

A Canadian performer with roots deep in the American folk tradition, Danny weaves old time music into compelling original songs to create a truly fresh and unique sound. With contagious enthusiasm, Danny’s masterful clawhammer banjo and guitar playing supports his poignant, thoughtful, and often humourous songs. The melodic rhythm of the Appalachians Mountains anchors the music with infectious grooves...paying homage to and transcending genre.

Danny Bakan’s debut CD, "Dog Man Don't Cat Man Do" and his newly released second CD, “…and Truth is Spectacular” have received national airplay in both Canada and the USA including spins on the CBC, NPR, The Midnight Special (national US syndicate) and more.

Librarians in The American Folk Life Centre of the Library of Congress recently honoured Danny, hosting a special session to collect his songs, stories and clawhammer banjo style for their archives.

Danny moonlights as a faculty member of Ryerson University, where he teaches music and arts pedagogy to future educators. He is a master facilitator and an inspiring teacher. A list of workshops is available on request.


What they are saying:

"... an exceptionally solid and entertaining recording... a talented songwriter... outstanding songs... a pleasurable discovery"
Sing Out! Magazine

"...not just one or two great songs with decent filler; instead, these are powerful, full-bodied songs, sung from the heart without preaching, without pretension."
Steve Fruitman CIUT-FM

“…One talented guy…”
Rich Warren, Midnight Special WFMT Chicago



84,000 Ways

Written By: Danny Bakan

Little Becky Donne took herself a lover
Down in the Mexican sun
She came home only to discover the baby that would come
So she moved in with her pal Cindy
And they’ve been together for a while
There’s eighty four thousand ways to raise a child

Bill’s first wife, she lost her life, he had to raise their boy alone
Heather’s heart had been broken apart, her little girl had a broken home
They met with grief and healing, and now the kids are happy running wild
There’s eighty four thousand ways to raise a child


Who’s to say what’s right? Who’s †o say what is good?
There’s lots of so called normal folk who don’t give all they could
The force of love will rise above any choice in life or style
There’s eighty four thousand ways to raise a child

Joey met Bob one rainy day outside Washington Square
They hit it off right away and been together now for five years
Yesterday they heard the news
there’s a orphan baby saved from abuse
to a happy home in New York City (you can close that file)
There’s eighty four thousand ways to raise a child


I got a call from my nephew Micah, he had something to say
Four years old and smart as a whip and a handful on his good days
Now I never had kids of my own
But talking to Micah on the telephone
I know we’re connected for a while
There’s eighty four thousand ways to raise a child



Written By: Words and Music by Danny Bakan 2003

Do you ever wonder why you’re here?
Or are you the kind of person who doesn’t bother to ask those kinds of questions?
Do you ever wonder why time goes by so slow sometimes?
Have you ever wondered what is in the sunlight, and what is in your eyes?
Have you seen the lights dance across the water and then to your surprise…
You find yourself here.

Have you ever wondered why it appears to our eyes
that the sun and the moon seem to be the same size?
They fit so exactly you know that its kinda weird
That in all of the galaxy
You find yourself here.

Its been the mystery throughout history
We’ve learned to stick to the facts
We measure and test just to prove to the rest that our story is still intact
But the fact is we’re here
We find ourselves here
Whatever the reason
We find ourselves here

And maybe we’re wrong
And maybe we’re right
But in the dawn
At the edge of the night
We look into the sky
And we here ourselves cheer
With no reason why
Except the fact that we’re here.

You find yourself here (4X)


".... and Truth is Spectacular" 2005

"Dog Man Don't Cat Man Do" 2001

Set List

The show is flexible. A full Concert Set is two sets of 50 minutes each. A single festival set is 45 minutes.

A full set will contain a range of material. Original songs played on the clawhammer style banjo make up the bulk of the show. These songs are lyrical and poetic, often humourous and always insightful. A full range of old time material rounds out the show, often with spontaneous eruptions of the unexpected.