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Interview With an Up and Coming Musician
by: Norm Goldman

Today, Norm Goldman, Editor of Sketchandtravel.com and Bookpleasures.com is delighted to have as our guest, Dan Goldman, Guitarist, Song Writer, Poet, Arranger and a musician of many other talents.

Dan is here to discuss his world of music and travels.

Norm:

When did your passion for music begin? What keeps you going?

Dan:

I can't quite remember when my passion began. It seems to have been an inborn appreciation. My earliest memories are of listening to old records and 8-track recordings that my parents had kicking around the house - anything from Kenny Rogers to Neil Diamond sparked my interest at the time. My father played piano, and I always loved listening to his romantic, albeit, slightly schmaltzy touch. I'd press my ear against the soundboard to get the most out of the vibrations.

Norm:

Who were the musicians that influenced you?

Dan:

There are too many to mention; but if I had to narrow it down, I'd say, in order of appearance: The Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, my uncle Issac, Classical guitar repertoire including Bach and most of the Spanish composers, Joni Mitchell, Jim Hall, Bill Frisell and on and on.I'm currently into Wilco, Joanna Newsom, Lisa Germano, to name a few.

Norm:

When on tour, do you notice any differences in audiences from one city to the next, and if so, would you say that this may due to their geographical location. For example, how would you compare audiences in Vancouver to those in Toronto or Montreal insofar as your music is concerned?

Dan:

Yes, I'd say the main difference lies in how saturated the market is. In Calgary, for instance, where there isn't as much traffic in terms of touring bands, I tend to get a warmer and more appreciative reception than in Toronto, where, although I play plenty of great gigs, the audiences are somewhat numbed by the sheer volume of musicians around. Then again, performances are always different and anything I think is the rule is always put into question as soon as I play an unexpectedly great gig in the least likely situation.

Norm:

What challenges or obstacles do you encounter while traveling and performing? How did you overcome these challenges?

Dan:

I get nervous a lot. I'm fine when I'm actually performing, but I generally get stressed a couple of hours before the show. It's really important for me to eat and rest appropriately so that the stress doesn't take a toll on my performances. I generally try to put aside a certain amount of time every day that I'm on tour to warming up or to my sitting (meditation) practice.

Norm:

Which is your favorite city to perform in? Why?

Dan:

I can't say that I have one. Anywhere where the people are receptive and supportive becomes the best city.

Norm

How do you get the inspiration for your song and music writing?

Dan:

I love music. It's not hard to get inspired, what's hard is following through and staying consistent with my writing practice. I find that the only way to get to where I want to be expression-wise is to spend the time it takes; and you never know how long that's going to be, so you just keep going!

Norm:

What was the first piece of music you ever wrote? What was the reaction?

Dan:

I can't remember. It was probably something in the classical guitar idiom. I've always made sure to ask people who I knew would be supportive - a stacked deck, if you will, in my favor.

Norm:

Do you set yourself daily, weekly, yearly goals? If so, what are some of your goals?

Dan:

Yes, I definitely have to set daily goals, otherwise a whole day passes me buy, and I feel like I've done nothing. These goals are rewarding because I can say, for example, I'm going to work on words for an hour, and then at the end of the hour I've done it - it might all be shit, but at least I've stayed with it, and it'll likely turn into something good at some point. In contrast, saying that I want to tour the world by the time I'm 33 is a bit more difficult to materialize. Ultimately, I know that if I keep writing and touring, I will get led to greater accomplishments in my craft as well as a greater fan base with more touring opportunities.

Norm:

You are a guitarist, song writer, poet, and arranger. Which of the above do you prefer and why?

Dan:

At this point, I'm a singer-songwriter. It's what I practice on a daily basis, and it's how I'm starting to become known.

Norm:

I understand that in Canada there are Music Festival Travel Grants as well as other travel grants that assist professional Canadian musicians to perform at festivals outside their province or territory of residence.

Apparently, these grants are given to introduce experience artists to new audiences at an early stage of their career to a wider public. Have you ever received this assistance and if so, could you tell our audience how beneficial have they been from the point of view of furthering your career?

Dan:

Yes, I've received some assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts and it has been extremely helpful. I got a tour grant last year, for instance, which allowed me to tour across the country. Although the tour wasn't as well organized as I'd hoped for, it did provide me with a new network of people across the country who have since become very supportive, including my current manager, Candace Elder.

Norm:

Do you think there is some kind of a connection between music and travel?

Dan:

Absolutely. Traveling, whether physical or emotional, provides a new perspective, or a new backdrop, if you will, to your old script. It makes your story seem a little more vibrant, and therefore, worthy of being documented, which of course, is one of the main purposes of art.

Norm

What is next for Dan Goldman and is there anything you wish to add that we have not covered?

Dan:

I have a tour beginning in August that I hope will bring me from coast to coast. I'm also working on some new songs and am really excited to record them in the new year.

Thanks Dan and good luck with all of your future endeavors. Thanks Norm

To read more about Dan or listen to his music CLICK www.dangoldman.ca

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Norm Goldman is the editor of the travel site, www.sketchandtravel.com and the book reviewing site, www.bookpleasures.com

Norm is also a travel writer and together with his artist wife, Lily Azerad-Goldman, the couple meld words with art focusing on romantic destinations.