Tag Archive: Daniel Lee Roark


Dan Roark, Jennifer Holm, Colleen Francis

I had the good fortune to be asked by Jennifer Holm to join her and Colleen Francis for the Song & Story show on DentonRadio.com on Thursday, September 7. The two women were in place with Jake Laughlin setting up the computer and sound when I arrived. I got my guitar and the necessary accessories and settled into my chair in the studio.

We were making small talk as Jake finished getting things set up. Colleen told me she was supposed to tell me hello from Vic and Mary Brooke Casad. Keep that in mind – it will come up later. After a technical issue that caused us to restart the introductions, Jennifer welcomed the listeners and did the usual radio announcements. After which we introduced ourselves – follow the links for our info.

Then Colleen started the songs with Night Owl. While we traded off songs, the other songs she played were Wildflower, a piece from a current project, Better Than This, and Rainbow in the Night. I liked all of her songs, but I liked Better Than This best.

Jennifer was next in the rotation. Her first song was Falling, about falling in love. Her other songs were Old House, I Guess This is Goodbye, Against the House, and Fire and Ice.

When my first turn came, I played Hello Out There, my song for those on the autism spectrum. My following songs were I Just Want to Get Social, Why Now?, and Walking to Jerusalem, before ending the show and my five songs with Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters. Walking to Jerusalem is a song I wrote while reading Mary Brooke Casad’s book, Road to Amazing, which she wrote with her brother, Clayton Oliphant. Mary Brooke is Colleen’s aunt in-law. Talk about a small world.

It was a delightful show and we had a lot of fun. Performing in the round is always a good time. But you don’t have to take my word for it. The video is below and you can see for yourself.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

David Card

David Card, Poor David his own self, put the benefit at Poor David’s Pub together in six days. I am proud to be a member of Team PDP that produced a successful benefit and raised  over $4000 on Saturday, September 2. The money  was delivered to the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and a pet rescue agency in Port Aransas.

I opened the show and was happy to be the first in a long line of songwriters and one cover band.

Dan Roark/Mr. Troll/Don Wall/Sam Baker/Bill Nash/Loose Change/Elizabeth Wills/Grady Yates/Jimmy Baldwin/Mike Freiley/Bob and Sally Ackerman/Caroline Murphy/Jimmy Adcock Trio/Rickey Gene Wright/Tim York/Travis Buster/Rick Babb/Annie Benjamin/Grace Pettis/Sonia of Disappear Fear/Greg Schroeder/Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes/Baylis Laramore.

I will post pictures on my Facebook music page. I had to leave after Caroline Murphy so I may have the exact order a little off. If people who have pictures of the other acts would send them to me, I’ll add them to the album.

Thanks to David Card, Clare Card, all the great songwriters and musicians, the food crew and all of Team PDP for a wonderful benefit for our southern neighbors.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

I was guest host for Mr. Troll at the Poor David’s Pub (PDP) open mic on Monday, August 28. I started the evening off at 7:30 with my Poor David’s Pub song and a couple of others. A second time newcomer, Michael Williams came next. He played three nice songs, including a bluesy number, despite his insistence that he “still needs to practice.”

The inimitable and cynical Roy Howell

Michael Williams

followed Michael with three songs, including his “mass murderer song” dedicated to John Lennon. Cort Harris, a first time newcomer, preceded the featured artists, Dan and the Decade. He had a nice voice and country/americana style.

Visually, Dan and the Decade look like a culturally diverse Buddy Holly and the Crickets. And these young men can certainly rock and roll. They are definitely in sync with one another. Lead vocalist Dan Friedman and Vivek Koshti both play guitar, with Kyle Lester on bass, and Vinay Kotamarti on drums.

Dan and the Decade

Dan and the Decade brought friends and fans and played a tight half hour set. This was their premier performance and they did quite nicely. A band to watch as they bond more musically. They will only get better. Like them on Facebook and go see them when you can. It will be worth it.

Rob Case, former Houston resident with family still there, played a set which included

Cort Harris

Bayou City. Bayou City is about Houston and why Rob left in the first place. Rob and Lynda’s family are safe, but they may be headed down to help out.

Michael Newkirk began what I called the “extended absence” set. Michael, Jeff Stachowski, and Tin Man Travis returned to PDP open mic after an extended period of time. We were glad to see them. Michael Newkirk is a country crooner of sorts. Jeff has also been a comedian. The humor and cynicism shows in his songs, such as 99 Postcards. Tin Man Travis played Stormy Monday, and Georgia, to end the open mic.

Another good show you didn’t get to see. (More pictures on my Facebook music page.) Support open mics – you won’t regret it.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

Welcome bag contents at a Nashville hotel.

My family was driving through Pennsylvania while I was living at home. Mom told Dad to pull over at a fruit stand because we needed something sweet. She bought a bunch of cherries. My parents, my brother, and I ate cherries until we couldn’t anymore. Then Mom saw a nut stand.

“We need something salty.”

The cycle continued. I’ll never forget it. Ever since that vacation, I’ve spent time caught in the sweet and salty cycle. The picture of the welcome bag at the hotel convinces me I’m not the only one. But I knew that. I’ve been familiar with the munchies for years.

But a lot of you know what I’m talking about. Whether you want to admit it or not. You’re sitting there late at night at the computer or watching tv. You see a small chocolate bar and think “gee that sounds good.” And it is.

Which is fine until you realize you need a little salty to offset the chocolate. So you find something salty. But it’s not the kind of salty that hits the spot. You look for something else. Before you find something else salty, you see something else sweet – but not as sweet as the chocolate. Then you’re back on the salty end of the cycle.

There are nights that it drives me crazy. Sweet, salty, sweet, salty, salty, sweet, salty, sweet, sweet. A piece of cheese will break the monotony. Then I absentmindedly pick up something else and pop it in my mouth and I’m back on the damn cycle again.

As far as I know, there is no known cure. If you have found a remedy, please let me know.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Alex Francisco Caruthers

I had the good fortune to be in the lineup for New Faces Tuesday on August 22 at Love and War in Texas in Plano.

Christopher Odell Mills

Shaun Outen was hosting the evening. The sponsor, Texas Select/Texas Select Radio, was broadcasting live on TexasSelectRadio.com. Dana Verrill of Texas Select was on hand for the first part of the show.

Alex Francisco Caruthers opened the evenings performances. His music and songs are reminiscent of Dan Fogelberg. Although the lyrics were a little hard to distinguish through the harmony pedal up a little too loud. But we could distinguish enough to know that they were good songs. After a few songs, he was joined on stage by Christopher Odell Mills and they traded songs. Christopher  made one think of Darius Rucker – in stage manner and vocal style more than looks or sound of his voice. He had nice songs and stage banter  – which Alex shared with him.

Dusty Fields

Next up to trade off songs were Dusty Fields, Kenneth Waters, and Mandalyn Mack.

Kenneth Waters

Whereas Alex and Christopher were more Americana, these three were straight country. Real country, not the crap you hear on mainstream country stations. Some of the cover songs played throughout the evening may have been played on those stations, but not in heavy rotation.

Dusty Fields is also in Shaun Outen’s band and a good friend of Shaun’s. At one point during the set, Shaun took Dusty’s place and played his single, Senoritas and Tequila. Kenneth Waters calls his music red dirt – as does Shaun – which works in both cases. You can find their music on Reverbnation.

Mandalyn Mack

Mandalyn Mack is a sixteen year old girl with a big voice. She played mixed cover songs and originals as well. The most memorable of her originals was My Love Song to Beer. Which is ironic – as her father Alvin pointed out – because she is sixteen years old and has never had a drink. Nevertheless, the song was good.

Following them were Jeff Smithart and Ray White. Which mixed outlaw and traditional country. Check the links for their music.

Last up was Dan Roark, John Willis, and Scoot  Drescher. Mixing americana, folk, and country. John and Scoot played together since they

Dan Roark

are part of the Garage Door Boys. They played along with Dan on I Got My Ass Kicked in Nashville, Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters, and the Aardvark Song. Likewise, Dan joined them, adding his voice on Why You Been Gone So Long.

Shaun joined John and Scoot for the last songs of the evening. (More pictures on my Facebook music page.)

Thanks to Shaun Outen, Texas Select Radio, Dana Verrill, and Love and War in Texas Plano for New Faces Tuesday. You don’t want to miss the next one. Hopefully, it will be a little cooler and less humid.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

guitar-tableDon’t know what to get that guitarist in your life for Christmas? Why not give him/her a guitar-shaped table? Perfect for using at the gig for drinks, picks, capos, etc. (see picture below), or for eating dinner in front of the TV at home.

The prototype was made with a Fender cutting board. I was the recipient of the first one. I’ve been using it for two years now and it still works great.

Each table is one of a kind. Different guitar shapes are possible. Or you can just choose Stratocaster or Les Paul. Each table will be handmade.

Order at www.danroark.com/store. Price does not include shipping. After ordering, contact Cameron Roark at CameronRoark23@aol.com for shipping information and custom orders. That allows you to choose the shipping method you prefer. Shipping will be paid by Paypal or C.O.D.

Time is running out to receive it by Christmas. If we can’t get it to you before Christmas, you could order a table and let them know it’s coming. While you are in the store, you could also pick up some stocking stuffers.

Peace be with you.20160402_184735_resized

Dan during video shoot

The week before we filmed footage for the What the Lord Intends (Sack Summer Hunger) music video, I kept practicing the song. I had already been playing it frequently in support of the program. But since we were going to film me playing the song, I wanted to be able to do it in as few takes as possible.

On Friday night, I played it numerous times. Then I got up Saturday and played the song to warm up. I arrived at the church at 8 a.m. I set up my camera and filmed myself playing the song a couple of times. Marcus Belmore arrived and began getting footage of the volunteers, including me, sorting and delivering the food to the families whose children received free or reduced lunches during the school year, but nothing during the summer.

I don’t know about other songwriters, but when I write a new song that I really like, I have a hard time getting it out of my head. And since I was playing it in support of the program during the summer, What the Lord Intends was really stuck in my head. I played it a couple of times after I got home from the church.

After a nap and dinner, I later decided to play the song again. I fingerpick on the song and couldn’t play the opening licks for the likes of me. My fingers just wouldn’t work together in the syncopated way they normally would. It was comically frustrating, if you catch my drift.

The lack of dexterity actually concerned me for a moment – even though it was only on that song. Working at the computer a lot of the time, I’m used to carpal tunnel type symptoms. I exercise my hands frequently. Playing guitar helps to stretch the fingers. Except in this case when the two worlds collided, so to speak.

Are there any lessons to be learned? Never play guitar after a nap and dinner? I don’t think so. Never film a video at a church on Saturday morning? Again, no. Don’t play the same song one more time, being tired, without playing other songs? That’s closer.

Anyone had this, or something similar, happen to them? Any other lessons to be learned? I laugh about it now, but it was scary for a while, not having the fingers work on a song.

Peace be with you.

KristyLee Hair

KristyLee Hair

If you are a regular reader, you know that I am one of the rotating hosts of the Monday night open mic at Angela’s at the Crosswalk in Plano. There is a group of regulars that play the open mic, in large part due to the list being online the week before. But I say usual suspects (something a friend often says) tongue in cheek – they are neither usual nor actual suspects.

Take Monday the 14th for example. The first performer on the list was a no-show, so I played a couple of songs before KristyLee Hair played her set. KristyLee is charming, good-looking young woman from Prosper, Texas. She is a college student at UNT and has a beautiful voice. With another no-show, I invited her to extend her set.

I followed next in my scheduled spot. Mr. Joe played after me. Joe is a teacher who is called Mr. Joe at school. As he says, “the name just stuck” and he got used to it. He had recent throat issues. He tried to sing one, which we thought he did well. He didn’t think so though, so he played instrumentals.

Johnny Cromer played a few songs since we were still ahead of schedule. He returned to the mic to close out the evening in his scheduled spot at 9:30. Johnny is one of those stalwart open mic performers who shows up early on to support the other performers.

Pamela Pantea and Dianna Rice sang next when Richie Smith called and said he was running late. Pamela usually sings one song by herself

Dianna Rice and Pamela  Pantea

Dianna Rice and Pamela Pantea

before Dianna joins her for the next two songs.  The two call themselves the Daughters of the Gospel. They sing hyms and Christian songs to tracks on the computer. And they sing them very well.

Richie Smith, who followed Pamela and Dianna, is an amazing young man whose story calls for it’s own post. Look for it shortly.

Allen Larson was on the list next. Allen is a good friend who is also a fellow member of the Dallas Songwriters Association. He plays a number of open mics around town. Check out his Facebook page for coming appearances with longer shows. But you can pretty much count on him being at Angela’s. He is also one of the rotating hosts of the open mic.

Joe Dan (JD) Webb decided recently that he was going to pick the guitar up regularly and get his chops back. He is making very good progress. Although he might tell you differently. Come out on a Monday to hear him and see for yourself. Let him know if you enjoy his set.

Tommy LeBoeuf has a pedal setup that includes a looper and other effects. Which is not unique, but not all that common with acoustic guitars. He plays cover songs and plays them as close to the original as he can with pedals and looper.

Johnny Cromer finished out the evening. Angela’s Monday night open mic is always an interesting mix of performers, some playing original songs, others playing cover songs, and a few playing both. Stay tuned for the post on Richie Smith. Watch my Facebook page for all the pictures.

Peace be with you.

 

Here is the video for my song, What the Lord Intends (Sack Summer Hunger). The video was filmed and produced by Marcus Belmore. The song was produced by my son, Daniel “Conner” Roark. It is the bonus song on my new cd of live songs, Peace Be With You. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel while you’re there. Also, please like my Facebook music page.

Peace be with you.

Emily Chambers and Brendon Krieg

Emily Chambers and Brendon Krieg

On Monday, October 10th, at the Poor David’s Pub open mic hosted by Mr. Troll, we were treated to a dose of Canadian soul. Emily Chambers is a sultry voiced singer from Vancouver. Brendon Krieg, who is playing guitar for Emily on the tour, is also from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Ordinarily, he plays drums in the full band.

Her website says she “combines an old school Motown vibe with hints of hip hop and a little bit of Southern grit.” That hits it pretty close. She is also charming, amiable, and a bubbling personality on stage. With a voice that will lull you into a musical trance, then slap you in the face with sudden vocal intensity, before grooving through the end of the song.

Which is just another example of what you’re missing by not going to an open mic. But check out Emily’s website, listen to some songs, and buy the EP, Magnolia. Then watch for her tour news and let’s hope she comes back through Dallas next year.

I played my set just after Emily . As she was coming off the stage, I said, “sounded good!”

“Cheers,” she said.

Which is something we don’t hear a lot of in Texas. But it’s refreshing in a way. It’s always nice to share the stage with someone from another country and share music across borders.

Cheers. Peace be with you.

 

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