Jessica Klinner If you close your eyes and listen to River Dan, you might mistake him for Waylon Jennings. He’s got a deep, Southern voice that is reminiscent of old time country music. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, River Dan is no stranger to the country music history in our city and has let it infiltrate his life and his music. From every chord he strikes and every note he hits, this musician embodies the soul of the South. If you’re looking to have a good time while listening to music, find out where River Dan is playing and let his charm and Southern drawl rock you sweetly into the night.
Tell us a bit about how you got started as River Dan.
River Dan is just a nickname from high school. Catchy enough, I stuck with it.
Has being a musician always been your dream? When did you first realize it's something you wanted to pursue?
I had always wanted to learn to play banjo. My dad got me one when I was fifteen so I taught myself. Eventually, I wanted to sing so I got an acoustic [guitar] and started playing and singing. After traveling all over the country playing along the way, I figured that music was something I could make a living at. After working a job and playing on the side for a while, I decided to quit my job and make music my full time endeavor. It's a beautiful thing when you love how you make a living. Everyday is like a dream.
What or who has been the most influential on your music career and why?
Hands down Waylon Jennings. I never would have known I could sing baritone. I started out singing and playing traditional bluegrass. The first time I sang "Luckenbach Texas,"I knew that was my path. And there isn't a song that he sang that I didn't care for, each song more beautiful than the next.
You're working on an album. How is that coming along and what can people expect from the release?
We have been working on the album over a year now. Taking our time and making sure we create a great record, a record we love. My good friend and manager, Davis Nix, and myself produced the record together. I believe we have a solid album and cannot wait for everyone to get their selves a copy. We are hoping for a release in August of this year. The album will be titled "Substance Abuse and A Woman On the Loose."
Where do you gather inspiration for your songs?
My life and the people in it. That’s all you need. It's not hard when you have the time of your life everyday and surround yourself with great, creative people. Big thanks to all my friends and family. It looks like you've got a pretty packed show schedule.
What's your favorite part about performing in the River Region? Any favorite spots?
I do enjoy playing in Montgomery. I don't have a particular favorite spot to play, but I do enjoy seeing friends and family at shows and always enjoy meeting new folks. I would answer the Flora-Bama if we were to talk about performing and being on the road.
For those who have never seen you perform, how would you describe your sets?
Mostly traditional country. I think they are calling it Ameripolitan these days - a bit of Honky Tonk, Outlaw and Texas Swing. I am also a songwriter during the day and will throw in a handful of my own tunes during a set.
Where can people check out your music?
Facebook, iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and RiverDanMusic.com.