The Dan Sowerby band are only a three piece band but they use every inch of the stage, filling it with a full drum kit, double bass and 4 guitars. Their set is bursting with Blues classics and original songs which Dan has penned himself. Not only is Dan a great song writer but he is an exceptional guitarist, he switches between an array of electric guitars and one Resonator guitar (Dan tells me he uses four guitars because they are each tuned differently). He uses a brass slide to make his guitar sing, this is on occasions used in unison with a Wah-wah pedal which gives his guitar a vocal quality. Having such a great guitarist fronting a band you would expect the performance to be full of elaborate guitar solos, this is not the case. Yes, Dan does play a mean guitar solo but Matt on double bass and Ben on drums see this as an opportunity to join in with Dan. Doing so turns what would normally be a guitar solo into a full band instrumental. As the evening progress the music gets louder, the audience take to the dance floor and the band became even more energetic. Matt on double bass becomes immersed in the music becoming more animated and dancing with his double bass like it was his dancing partner.
HOW DID YOU BECOME A BLUES MUSICIAN?
I think I heard blues for the first time when I was about 11 years old, my parents must have had a blues album or something. I taught myself how to play boogie-woogie piano, I didn't start to learn guitar until much later, I would have been about 16 years of age. I got my first electric guitar when I turned 17 so I came to it relatively late.
HOW AMBITIOUS ARE YOU?
I am always pushing my career but at the same time I think it's important that it remains enjoyable. In the past I have played in many bands where the focus has been on becoming famous, which is fine but you slowly forget about the music. Music is my full time profession, I teach privately and also at a college. I enjoy teaching but it's there to support myself so I can make music.
DO YOU WRITE YOUR OWN SONGS?
Yes we have quite a few original songs, one example is titled 'Chasing his tail' (see featured video) which is semi-autobiographical. I did however give the story the blues treatment. 'Chasing his tail' got us into the final of the New Brunswick battle of the blues 2011. It has also been nominated for The Kevin Thorpe Award for best original British Blues Song.
WHAT AREA DO YOU COVER FOR GIGS?
we mainly play Salisbury and the surrounding counties, but we're happy to travel anywhere if the money's right. I once travelled to India to do a gig with Boney M, It was pretty random. I was flown out to india played the gig and came back the same night.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MUSICIANS PLAYING FOR FREE?
that's a very complex question because they're are many different circumstances involved when playing for free. For example if you have to travel a long way at your own expense. I think ultimately it is down to each individual musician to assess each individual gig to decide what the gig is worth to them.
Please visit Dan Sowerby's website