Dan Weldon
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Dan Weldon

Ogden, Utah, United States

Ogden, Utah, United States
Band Blues Acoustic


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"Cadillac Man"

Rootsman, Dan Weldon Reveals
His "Soul" On Stellar New Album
by Sam Potter

"There's no real point in writing songs for anyone else," Dan Weldon says stonefaced at a remote table in Rooster's Bar and Grille on Ogden's Historic 25th Street. The 46-year-old songsmith's sobriety is not without merit: the man has more than paid his dues and weathered the storm of nearly every audience imaginable, fickle or supportive.

Weldon cut his teeth at an early age. "I remember seeing Chet Atkins playing on Hee Haw," says Weldon, "just this little arpeggio, something simple. But I was so struck by it, and told my father, "That's it. That's what I'm going to grow up to do."

Weldon grew up in Long Island, joined the Air Force, and through a roundabout turn of events wound up in the middle of Ogden. He spent years in different bands, including the founding version of the Kap Brothers band, Beaver Bite. He later spent three years plus in the soul band Rhythm House, a period that solidified his decision to inject a strong sense of groove in his live performances. Weldon frequently uses a device known as a "porchboard," a long plank of pine with a built-in microphone on which he stomps out a beat to get the crowd going. "If any musician is lacking in rhythm, just let him try to survive for two minutes in a soul band," says Weldon, snickering.

Weldon's many years of dues are beginning to pay off. A regular in clubs all over the Wasatch front such as Jordy's, Beatnicks (Brewskis), The Esquire and Park City's Cicero's (where he would later play the night of this interview), Weldon has carved a handsome living out for himself, plucking away at his arsenal of parlor and dobro guitars and belting out heart-and-gut-wrenching slices of Americana.

Though such a life may seem the stuff of dreams, Weldon insists it's not without its pratfalls. "You have to live spare," he says with a smile, "I mean, you have to make sacrifices, but that doesn't mean you have to live on skid row either."

It's evident upon first meeting that Weldon knows the value of sacrifice: two years ago he quit his day job to play music and he hasn't looked back. This drastic change in direction lead to the penning of his debut solo release, 2002's "Voice from the Blue," a stunning blend of Delta-style blues, Dylan-esque raspy storytelling and blots of country. The album contains the literary breadth of a great American novel, replete with tales of depression, drunkenness heartbreak, and longing. "I had just broken up with my girlfriend. For some reason, I managed to suck all sorts of stuff from that, and that where "Voice" started."

Written and recorded over a brisk eight days, the album is ample evidence of Weldon's considerable musical and songwriting chops. Such a quick project is a remarkable feat, given that many artists spend months to years on one recording. "I don't even like to rehearse," says Weldon with a chuckle, "It just kills the moment. We usually do one or tow takes and that's it, with little overdubs. Any more than that and it starts to really sound forced."

Weldon's upcoming release, The Soul of a Man, due "sometime in January or February," continues to probe the dark reaches of the human psyche. Fortunately, however, it contains an irrepressibly upbeat spirit and sense of hope. "I'm not a religious or really spiritual person," confesses Weldon, "but I tend to do heartbreak really well. People can relate to that. However, I swear I'm not always depressed (laughs)."

Spanning 10 tracks, The Soul of a Man embodies Weldon's go-for-broke spirit. The opening track, "Here comes the Morning" sees Weldon crooning away about waking up to the sunlight ("bright sun on my window - and the gentle hand of the warm sun nudges me from my bed), sticking it to the drudgery of the workday ("day to day surviving like darkness, hid the truth from my eyes - it's time to take my life back from the people that hurt hearts"), and following one's heart ("I feel my spirit reawaken as I live my dream.")

In fact, more that lingering on the down notes, The Soul of A Man focuses on the joys a musician experiences. "I think the reason a lot of roots musicians write about the bad times, is just so they can get through them," says Weldon. "There's a healing quality to writing a tune, as well as listening to one sing it. It's very therapeutic.

Weldon refers to his style as "the American Songbook," and for good reason. Like a good volume of short fiction, The Soul of a Man weaves the real-life tales of common people, all of whom are based on Weldon's real-life experiences. Some, like the aforementioned "Here comes the Morning" are uplifting. Others are extremely whimsical, such as the rollicking "Cadillac Car," and others lean toward the bittersweet, such as the ballad called "Country Angel." "That one has an interesting story to it," says Weldon. "There was this lady in a crowd that I played for one night. A few days later she shows up at my door while I'm listening back to a mix, and she swears the song playing was written about her! Anyway, I found out later she only had four days to live. When I found out she had died, it broke my heart. So I went right back to my studio and wrote "Country Angel" then and there, so she could have a song about her."

It is this unflinching sense of narrative truth that Weldon constantly strives for. "I write about what resonates with me. It absolutely has to be honest. That's what the blues is all about." If Weldon's success is any indication, music-goers are tired of the façade as well. And with the release of The Soul of a Man, that trend can only grow stronger
- Melting Music Magazine

"Magic In This Room"

By Linda East Brady

Singer/Songwriter Dan Weldon lives in old Ogden, his house
tucked away from the noise and chaos of the main drag. Though
his place is as neat as a filo-fax, it is given almost entirely
over to his music. One of the front rooms is dominated by his drum set, with various other exquisite instruments gathered around its feet. The other serves as parlor, listening room and recording booth. He has recorded a number of other artists in this room, as well as a new album-in-progress and his first solo release, VOICE FROM THE BLUE. Several pieces of original art,including his brother Tim's painting that was used for the cover of the first CD, hang on the walls. It is a warm, comfortable home, very much reflecting the personality and art of this talented musician. Weldon hails originally from Long Island, coming west with the Air Force when he was still a teenager. He had plans to be a pharmacist, but instead was rerouted toward a music career when he got the opportunity to tour the world with the USO via the WSU band. Once back in Ogden for
good, he decided to forgo pharmacy school and play music
professionally. In his early days here, Weldon was in the first version of the Kap Brothers band,known as Beaver Bite. "Roby and Ritchie (Kap) influenced me heavily,"Dan notes. "I was a rocker
then, really -- they fired me at one point for being too much of a rocker
-- they helped open my ears. I saw what they were doing and I
saw where the guitar sort of fit in the mix with Western ethic of
music.Weldon's owns contribution to the Ogden sound, he believes, is
adding a rockier element to the mix of cowboy country-jam that
stems from this area. He is a finger-style player with a country
blues/soulsinging repertoire. Though he usually plays as a
solo act -- including every Friday 11:30-2:00 PM at Blue Café and
every Friday night starting at 9:00 PM on Bogey's patio -- he still keeps his rocking roots attuned by running the jam band at Jordy's. Typically handling a road-worn Strat, Weldon most often is backed at Jordy's by Dickie Martinez on bass and James Clark on drums. The trio is joined over the course
of an evening by various talents. On a recent night at Jordy's, Weldon handled a candy-apple red Rickenbacker with clear joyousness.
"I have had moments of great musical joy at Jordy's over
the years," he admits, when the question is put to him. "We get
such a mix there, which is a nice challenge. I really like when
Bobby Koch sits in. He brings that Greenwich Village feel out in my
playing." Speaking of the Village, Weldon cites Dylan as an important influence. For guitarists, he cites such players as Chris Whitley and Mississippi Fred McDowell, and gives a nod to the Beatles for his overall sound and for piquing
his interest in music. Weldon notes he is actively working on his playing
again after taking some time to really focus on crafting his vocal styling. "I didn't want to sing at first because I thought of myself as a guitar player. Then, when I decided to sing because I couldn’t find a singer to really express what I wanted to, I stayed away at first
from the character singers like Dylan. I was a little too tone-deaf
or something and I wanted to listen to singers who had pitch to sort of train my ear," Weldon explains."Vocally, my favorite is Otis
Redding. But then I learned a few things and began to enjoy the
character singers, those guys with salt, grit. I realized, almost by
accident that I could do that type of singing well." He cites, among
others, early Rod Stewart, Frankie Miller and Van Morrison as fundamental vocal influences. In songwriters,he appreciates the above, also giving a nod to the literary rockers such as Steve Earle and Robert Earl Keen. Much of what Weldon performs is
his own material. He finds that the Ogden audience is growing more
receptive to originals. Even when he plays pieces by other artists, he
strives to play something a little different from the usual covers. "If
people like the Beatles, say, I try to get people to listen to REVOLVER
or RUBBER SOUL instead of, oh, ABBY ROAD. Or with blues -- I
mean, I'm not going to hit them with Charley Patton right off, but I
might give them some Muddy Waters. His jovial nature will get
them." Weldon's shows feel loose and cozy, but are well thought out.
He has nearly an encyclopedic set of music, and is always adding to
his repertoire. "I listen to people's requests, but I usually don't play
them when they request them. I go and think about the song." He
adds, laughing, "Then, if they come back to see me a second
time, they deserve their request! If not their request, I at least try and
find something by that artist that I can crawl inside of. I won’t play a
song if I don’t feel it." His first CD was recorded in a little
over a week after the breakup of a relationship. "It was a purging
experience," Weldon says of the session. "But it isn't really as dark
an album as you might expect. This one I'm working on now,
though, is a little more eclectic." He plays a couple of the songs he
has already recorded, also picking up his mahogany Martin to play a
couple of new ones live for me. His singing is solid, and the guitar
work is fine, layered and captivating.This newest original work has a
very positive buzz about it, as does Weldon in general these
days. He has a new romance in his life, and only sees his performance
and recording career growing in the time to come. While working
on this profile, Weldon returned for a visit to Long Island, ending
up winning first prize at a contest at Stephen's Talkhouse, a AAA
club of that region. The prize means cash, recording time, and a
regular gig at the club, if he so desires. He talks of touring more extensively,
of taking the act on a regular basis beyond the Wasatch. In the
meantime, as scheduling allows, Weldon is working with a few
select guitar students. "I am selective about who I teach," he
says. "I'm trying to make a bunch of little artists. I don’t really care to
make guitar players. I know people who can play guitar but can’t
play a song -- I avoid that sort of student." He is also enjoying the
Blues in the School program, especially noting it’s the impact he
has noticed the program having in lives of challenged students.
Meanwhile, Weldon ever expands his gigs, and works at home to further
refine his sound, to write new music, to learn new songs and
document his work with recordings. "It's fitting you came here for the interview," he says as I start to leave the house. He gestures around the recording room/parlor, grinning. "You can't imagine how much fun it is in here. There is magic in this room, in the very wood of the walls."

For further information, please see the
artist's website: www.danweldon.com

Junction Magazine - October 2004 - Junction Magazine


How Ogden’s Porch Pounders became Legendary.
by Randy Harward

Dan Weldon and Bad Brad Wheeler can pound some porch. They’re only two guys but when they play, as the Ogden-based duo did at Jan. 15’s Showdown to South by Southwest Finals, the earth moves. Tall, lanky Wheeler blows his harp like Gabriel’s trumpet … but with real soul, not righteous bombast. Weldon likewise strums his Martin acoustic guitar, playing only what the song requires. When he sings, it’s good gravelly soul that sticks to your ribs.

About that porch thing: Weldon applies his foot to a Porch Board, a device that simulates the sonorous thud of a Mississippi (you guessed it) porch and keeps time. Next to their songs—their dirty, gorgeous, weary, raucous songs, and divine musicianship—it’s the thud that gets you.

The thud is the pulse and the punctuation, there to ensure you don’t miss the point. That’s something the Legendary Porch Pounders, as Weldon and Wheeler are collectively known, hold in the highest priority.

“I’ve broken one of ’em,” Weldon grins. “Cracked it in pieces.”

He’s bragging—that’s another thing you notice about the band. They know what they can do and they love to tell ya about it. At the same time, there’s an underlying humility that actually seems to peacefully coexist with the pride. Like when Wheeler tells the story of the Legendary Porch Pounders.

The veteran local blues musician and manager of Ogden nightclub Brewski’s (formerly Beatniks) looks you dead in the eye—even when your nose is in your notepad trying to keep up with the story, you feel his eyes on you. The bill of his trucker hat is poised like a chicken to peck you to attention. He yarns in what Weldon calls “P.T. Barnum style,” setting the scene: three years ago, at a club on Ogden’s historic 25th Street. The smell of dog food is in the air …

An elementary school teacher calls Wheeler at Beatnik’s. She wants him to come teach the blues to some 800 schoolchildren. He made some handouts and arranged for a guitarist to accompany him and for the kids to each have a little Johnson blues harmonica. The lesson went off huge and the “Blues in Schools” program was born. But he soon had to replace his guitarist—enter Weldon, a singer-songwriter who ran in the same circles.

During their weekly lessons, which have since seen 8,582 kids meet the blues and their very first harps, the two men noticed a startling chemistry. Wheeler began sitting in on Weldon’s solo gigs and the pair wound up with a bi-weekly gig Sunday afternoons at O-Town’s Iron Horse as “Rev. Dan and Bad Brad’s Sunday Service for Sinners.” Here’s where the Porch Board—soon to be their namesake—emerged.

Through Wheeler’s gig booking Brewski’s, they befriended roots-music legend Bill Kirchen. Both acts wound up playing the Sun Valley Arts Festival in Idaho; Kirchen sat in with Wheeler and Weldon the first night, they returned the favor the next. The chemistry, says Weldon, was such that Kirchen proclaimed, “From here on out, we’re the Porch Pounders!” Wheeler added the “Legendary” when Ogden music ’zine Streets used the word descriptively.

Wheeler Barnums further. “Did I tell you about the dream? I had a dream that told me we needed to enter South by Southwest, win the trip to Austin, see Bill and reunite [for a triumphant gig].”

And damned if that hasn’t happened. The band entered the Showdown—another melodramatic saga that saw them almost not play, then surge to the final competition. They pulled out all the stops: the heartfelt songs, the muscular chops, the porch board. The finals crowd—for once not entirely comprised of the bands’ friends—ate it up, cheering like Wheeler and Weldon really were legendary. When the Legendary Porch Pounders were proclaimed the winners, the place erupted in cheers.

Wheeler figures it’s destiny. He may be right. At the very least, it’s one dream that seems to be coming true for them, and it’s about time we sent an Ogden band to Austin—if only as a point of pride. Whether anything develops from the trip come March remains to be seen.
- Salt Lake City Weekly

"Blues Power"

The Legendary Porch Pounders take the Showdown to SXSW Finals.
by Bill Frost

....The strange tale of Ogden’s Legendary Porch Pounders (singer-guitarist “Reverend” Dan Weldon and harmonica-man “Bad” Brad Wheeler): Press kit and entry form were lost, therefore the LPPs weren’t included in the original competition lineup; the duo rightfully raised hell and received a last-minute slot; the underdog LPPs went on to blow everyone away in the first two rounds—oh, and Wheeler envisioned winning the Showdown months ago in a dream (more on this next week). Weldon and Wheeler electrified the Velvet Room crowd with a minimalist Delta-blues stomp heavy with roadhouse grit and charisma, nicotine-’n’-whisky vocals and soaring blues-harp flourishes all the way. Total judges’ score: 298, including popular audience vote—dreams can come true.
- Salt Lake City Weekly

"Slug CD Reviews"

The Legendary Porch Pounders
A Little Gift: Authorized Bootleg
LPP = Muddy Waters + Bob Dylan

I swore off drinking yesterday, but halfway through the emotionally exhausting second track, "Up for Days," I had one leg swung back up on the wagon. Dan Weldon’s lyrics are more folk-poetic than would traditionally accompany many of LPP’s Delta blues tunes, but their song structures range anywhere from there to roots to almost Hank Williams country. Bad Brad Wheeler’s harmonica moans flesh out Weldon’s skeleton picks and strums, nearly voices themselves.

Nate Martin
- SLUG Magazine

"Junction Mag CD Reviews"

Daniel Weldon, VOICE FROM THE BLUE (Independent Release, 2002 -- For further information, contact the artist at voice@danweldon.com)

Ogden's Dan Weldon is a gifted musician and composer. This solo effort of original material was recorded and composed in a matter of days in Weldon's home studio. While recovering from a failed relationship, the guitarist put himself to the task of writing and recording a song a day until he found he had an entire CD.
Knowing this background information, I confess I was prepared for something quite a bit more melancholy. Rather, the resulting CD is cathartic in nature. Weldon's skill with a six-string is emphasized here, though he does delve into mandolin, harmonica and Dobro. There are several standouts on the record, though the bluesy "Way Too Long" is especially fine. The tune is layered with fine slide work, nice harmonies
and compelling visual images. Montauk, the only instrumental included, is a beautiful melody and a fitting tribute to Weldon's boyhood stomping grounds. All and all, VOICES FROM THE BLUE is a worthy solo debut that readily captures this artist's strong suits.
- Junction Magazine

"Three's Not A Crowd For Ogden's Porch Pounders"

Three's not a crowd for Ogden's Porch Pounders
Musical synergism: Duo is joined by a guitar legend who adds a touch of magic in Austin
By Dan Nailen
The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake Tribune

AUSTIN, Texas - The Legendary Porch Pounders hail from Ogden, but they are making themselves at home, deep in the heart of Texas.
The band is the only Utah group playing at the South By Southwest Music Conference and is just one of more than 1,300 acts performing during the four-day jam. Thursday night, the country-blues duo delivered a set for a modest crowd of several dozen people that showed that Texas and Utah aren't that far apart, at least musically.
The Pounders - guitarist/singer Dan Weldon and harmonica ace Brad Wheeler - already had a link to the so-called "live-music capital of the world" before their showcase here at the Hard Rock Cafe. Austin-based guitar legend Bill Kirchen, the man who gave the duo its name after playing with them at a Sun Valley arts festival last summer, sat in with Weldon and Wheeler for the 50-minute porch-poundin' joyride.
Not that the Pounders needed help. The combination of Weldon's down-home songs, his crafty guitar work and Wheeler's blues-fueled wailing is a crowd-pleaser. But adding a player of Kirchen's caliber turns the performance up a notch. Or, as happened several times Thursday, it becomes magical.
Wheeler knew it - he took off his hat several times to wave it at Kirchen's hands, trying to cool his fleet fingers before they combusted on his fret board. Kirchen felt it, too, describing why he likes playing with two Ogden cats.
"I don't ever get to play with anyone like them because there aren't any people like them. They're unique," he said. "And I love playing with people who love music, you know?"
Wheeler spent the better part of his 36 hours in Austin before the show posting stickers advertising the gig and hitting some shows, including a blues showcase where he met Elvis Costello (who plays Salt Lake City's Kingsbury Hall on Sunday). While that was a highlight of the trip for him, playing with Kirchen tops his list.
"I love playing with Bill," Wheeler said. "We threw him a couple of curve balls, but there's just so much going on, it just happens."
The Porch Pounders' live audience members were not the only people to hear their music. Weldon attended a songwriting workshop at SXSW (one of 10 musicians chosen from 70 applicants across the country and beyond). "They like the music," Weldon said. "That's all they could really say. They like the music."
More notable moments from SXSW:
A Taste of Home: On Wednesday, the doorman at Emo's, one of Austin's biggest live music venues, was sporting a T-shirt from Salt Lake City's own Heavy Metal Shop.
Another taste: Austin residents vote in May on a smoking ban for bars and restaurants, much like the one proposed for Salt Lake City during the recent legislative session. Austin's debate is a bit more confrontational. A newspaper ad run by the pro-smoking crowd states: "No smoking? It's a bar, Stupid . . . Save live music!”
Third taste: Only at SXSW can you walk down a street looking for a place to buy a bottle of water and run into Cracker (who visited Park City three weeks ago), playing two-guitar roots rock on a street corner.

- Salt Lake Tribune


1) Voice From The Blue (self produced 2002)
2) Legendary Porch Pounders "A Little Gift" (self produced 2004)
3)Soul Of A Man (self produced 2005)
4)In The Wee Hours -with Lafayette "Shorty" Gilbert (guitarist, coproducer, engineer 2006)



Weldon has earned the title of journeyman roots musician. Over the years, as both soloist and sideman, he has rocked readily, serenaded sweet and lowdown, and twanged with the toughest.

Weldon possesses a soulful singing voice and a warm stage manner that captivates his audiences. He is a gifted songwriter that also has the deft ability to give classic tunes fresh and thoughtful treatment. In addition, Weldon plays an astonishing variety of acoustic and electric guitar styles, picks a mean mandolin, and supplies a steady backbeat courtesy of his foot-operated Porchboard.

Weldon was born in the 1950s to a musically talented Long Island family. Moving west as a teenager, he joined the Air Force with an eye toward earning a pharmacy degree. While in college, Weldon got the opportunity to tour the world with the USO courtesy of the Weber State University band.

Returning to Northern Utah, Weldon honed his chops with any number of regional rock and country outfits. Along the way, he added his own splash of rock spice to the potent cowboy country jam that defined the Ogden Sound. In the meantime, Weldon built a singer/songwriter solo career playing intimate venues throughout the region. He has hosted both acoustic open mikes and electric jam sessions for a good part of the last decade.

In 2001, Weldon decided to leave the day job behind and fully devoted his energies to making music. He has never looked back. From 2001 to present he has gone from playing a few nights a month to over 300 gigs a year. Additionally Weldon has earned a yearly solo slot at Utah's Park City Arts Festival.

In 2004, Weldon won the prestigiuos Stephen Talkhouse Singer/Songwriter contest in Amagansset, New York, and got to perform a headline set there. In 2005 Weldon was picked from over 100 applicants as one of the 6 finalists in the Telluride Music Festival Acoustic Blues contest.

Though Weldon has built a strong regional following as a soloist, he has also recently caused a stir partnering with colorful blues impresario and harmonicist Brad Wheeler. The duo was christened the Porch Pounders by no less than Telecaster-master and former member of Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airman, Bill Kirchen. In true P.T. Barnum fashion, Wheeler soon added the tongue-in-cheek superlative “Legendary” to the handle.

In 2004, the duo entered the Salt Lake City Weekly’s “Showdown to SXSW,” a contest that annually sends a band to Austin’s SXSW music conference. Like a couple of roots rocking R&B Cinderellas, they beat all comers to win the whole shooting match. In 2005 they also won The Salt Lake City Weekly Slammy Award for Best Blues Band. That year the duo wowed the Snowbird Blues Festival opening for Buddy Guy, opened for Bo Didley, and was a main performer for Salt Lake City's Gallivan Blues and Brews Festival and Brown Bag Concert Series. In 2006 they went on to open for the Five Blind Boys from Alabama, Roy Rogers, and Koko Taylor, and were main performers at The legendary Cedar City "Groovefest" roots music festival.

Weldon released his first solo CD, “Voice From the Blue,” in 2002. Just prior to leaving for the SXSW Conference, The Legendary Porch Pounders gave their fans a taste to take home with 2004’s “A Little Gift – Authorized Bootlegs.” In the fall of 2005, Weldon releases his second solo effort, “Soul of a Man.” In 2006 the LPP's recorded another album with Lafeyette "Shorty" Gilbert (longtime Howlin Wolf bass man)

In order to record his own material, and also to help other artists realize their projects, Weldon designs and operates a professional-grade studio in Odgen’s historic Kiesel Building. He also hosts an annual Acoustic Review at the Ogden Amphitheater to help up-and-coming artists polish their performance skills and gain recognition.

Weldon is a performer who gives all, whether it be to a handful of intimates in a local watering whole, or for thousands at a premier festival. He is certain to be long remembered as one of the Intermountain West’s finest troubadours.

(Linda Brady : music writer Ogden Standard Examiner and author of the fine blues novel "Lonestar Ice And Fire")