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Band of the day has everything to do with Danny Brant

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyGuitarist, singer and songwriter Danny Brant Schultz cruises through Vail on a Colorado run.
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With Band du Jour, Boulderite Danny Brant Schultz was a regular fixture on the Fox stage. Now an upstanding citizen of the Bay Area, the guitarist, singer and songwriter has focused the majority of his musical energy on his latest project, the Danny Brant Band. They return to the Vail Valley today at The Bridge at 10 p.m. with Bill McKay of Leftover Salmon on keys.

To Schultz, returning to Colorado is a bit like coming home. The move to the West Coast came at a natural point in time.

“I’d been here for a long time, and the band (Band du Jour) was winding down,” he said. “It just seemed like a good time to try something new. I moved out there, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay out there. But I lived on a sailboat in Sausalito for a year. It seemed like a good way to wind down from a decade on the road.”

His music has been influenced by the city – specifically by the diversity of the people of the city. The different ethnicities and cultures offered him new rhythms and sounds to put into his music.

“Our music is an interesting combination,” he said. “We’ve got funk, some Meters stuff, some jamming, like Grateful Dead or Allman Brothers, then you gotta add in some Van Morrison kind of stuff, some calypso, some reggae.”

And shazam, it’s the Danny Brant Band. It’s a marriage of blues, rock and funk. In addition to his original material, Schultz’s live shows include cover tunes ranging from “Hey Pocky Way” and “People Say” by The Meters, to selections by Little Feat, Bob Marley, The Allman Brothers, Taj Mahal, Jerry Garcia and others.

He’s just cut a new album, called “Change at Jamaica.” The nine-track disc starts with the title track, a song inspired by his childhood in New York City.

“It was raining, and I was thinking about the winter,” he said. “I was thinking about my mom, and this really strong image came into my mind. For so many years, I heard the conductor on the train, whenever I was going to see the Knicks at Madison Square, or jazz artists at the Village Vanguard, on the Long Island Railroad. Wherever you went, you had to change at Jamaica. And the way the conductors say it is so distinctive: change at Jamaica, change at Jamaica.”

Inspiration comes in all sorts of ways for the musician. Though he’s not always writing, he wishes he had time to do so. As it is, he waits for the muse to call, and then he’s off.

“Most people who do any kind of art can relate,” he said. “Probably it’s a weakness in me, but I can’t sit down and say I’ll have an inspiration. I couldn’t sit down and think, OK I’m going to sit down and write a song about home, you can’t plan it.”

After their run through Colorado, the band is returning west to play in support of a fellow Californian.

“We’re playing for a big party for this medical marijuana doctor,” said Schultz. “Even though what he’s doing is legal, the feds have been trying to crack down on him. We’re doing a big party for him – we believe in the cause.”

Though the new album is filled with short and sweet songs, Schultz likes to jam during his live concerts.

“This show is going to be really good,” he promised. “Every time we’ve played The Bridge it’s been just a great time. We haven’t had a bad show there yet. It’s fun, small and intimate. Come on down and you’ll get a big fat discount off the CD.”

For more information on the Danny Brant Band, visit http://www.DannyBrantBand.mu.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.


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