Danny Click's sound is a refreshing return to smart, sassy blues-inflected rock and roll. Think Tom Petty crossed with John Mellencamp, spiced with the southern tradition of Lucinda Williams and John Hiatt. Add to that Click's searing guitar, reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan and David Lindley, and you've got a winning mix. Yet Click doesn't just pay tribute to his musical heroes, he offers up his own emotionally compelling vision, one that puts him comfortably in their company.
Click grew up in a small town outside Indianapolis, the youngest of nine children in a working class family. One of his earliest memories is of listening to his mother play slide guitar using a butter knife while she held the guitar flat on her lap. Click first picked up his older brother's guitar when he was six and by the time he was in high school he was gigging around the area in his older sister's country band, covering tunes by Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson at VFW halls and other local venues.
During the '90s Click honed his skills in bands throughout the Midwest before discovering a love of the blues. After immersing himself in the musical traditions of Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, and other giants of southern blues, Click felt the pull of the Austin scene, which was bursting with the energy of Eric Johnson, Lucinda Williams, and the legend of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Not long after arriving in Austin, Click put together a three-piece blues-rock outfit known as Danny and the Hurricanes, which quickly built a devoted local following.
In 1998 Click released his first record, Forty Miles (DogStar), a roots-inflected tribute to the tribulations of heartland America. Featuring ten songs penned by Click, Forty Miles received serious airplay on more than 100 stations and garnered Click rave reviews in the Austin Chronicle and other national newspapers. Vintage Guitar magazine opined: "Click plays like a man possessed. His slide playing gives me chills." The video for the title track played in heavy rotation on the Austin Music Network and all major affiliates.
Click followed up the success of Forty Miles with Night of the Living Guitars (Appaloosa/I.R.D 2000) which successfully captured the searing intensity of his live shows. Recorded in and around Austin, Night of the Living Guitars showcases Click's incendiary solos and eerily beautiful slide. A favorite in Europe, Click has toured Italy, Switzerland, and England in recent years.
Click's guitar prowess did not go unnoticed, and in 2000 popular Texas roots rocker Jimmy LaFave asked Click to join his band as lead guitarist. With LaFave Click played more than 200 shows a year to audiences that often numbered in the thousands. A favorite on the festival circuit, LaFave and band have headlined Strawberry, Kate Wolf, Falconridge, and Kerrville, among others. Critics began to single out Click's playing as a highlight of LaFave's shows, and guitar fans flocked the stage afterward to snap up Click's solo CDs. In 2004 Click and his band headlined festivals in Switzerland, Fiji and New Zealand playing to thousands of people.
On his third release, Elvis the Dog (Appaloosa/I.R.D. 2002) Click further defines his soulful sound, putting his unique stamp on songs by his musical heroes (the Beatles, J.J. Cale) as well as lesser-known by local Austinites with whom he's shared a stage with over the years. A showcase for his breathtaking guitar work and soulful vocals, this collection of songs chronicles a journey through loneliness, heartache, and -- ultimately -- redemption.
Recorded between Dec 2001 and May 2002 in his home studio, Elvis the Dog finds Click in top form, surrounded by stellar musicians and serving up a heartfelt collection of songs of struggle and redemption. From the passionate intensity of the opening track, "Killing Fields," to the playful Beatles cover "I've Got a Feeling", Elvis the Dog leads us seamlessly through a range of emotions that closely follows the highs and lows of life itself.
There's the roiling anger of Billy Harvey's "Love at War," the poignancy of J.J. Cale's "Tijuana" and the haunting instrumental title track that closes the album. Dedicated to the memory of Click's beloved dog Elvis, this record evokes both a profound sense of loss and the wonder of transformation.
Take a few minutes to listen to the stunning purity of Click's slide intro to "Dust on the Bible" and you can't help but feel a deep appreciation for life's equal doses of pain and beauty. Click explains his eclectic song choices with the simple comment: "These are songs that really deserve to be heard."
Amen to that.
With three previous Internationally released albums to his credit, the fourth, 'Life Is A Good Place', due out summer 2009, will resonate with all who value amazing song writing along side the resulting maturity of years on the road.
'Life Is A Good Place' places Click squarely in the upper echelon musically and lyrically. His songwriting continues in the tradition of the Texas greats. Wide open songs with a dose of hope for all the people who hear them. His singing and live performances are equally compelling, calling to mind Chris Whitley, Tom Petty and Jackson Browne. An eclectic mix to say the least.
From ‘hear a pin drop’ solo house concerts to massive European festivals, every show is a joy to witness. The new CD will make believers of all who hear it. From its radio perfect songs to the sparse stories taken from real life, it leaves you filled with hope and new respect for the human condition.
So put it on, sit back, and brace yourself.