Local musician Kevin Danzig opens for America at the Vilar and releases 11th CD Friday
It’s a busy week for Kevin Danzig as he prepares to play at a dream venue for a sold out show with an iconic band
Kevin Danzig was backstage at the Cirque Mechanics “Birdhouse Factory” show at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek this spring when he had a chance meeting that landed him a gig opening up for America, the sold-out performance by the iconic classic rock legends this Friday night.
“I was approached by Owen Hutchinson, the new executive director for the Vilar. He said he was going to contact me and was happy I was there. He introduced me to some people who were big supporters of mine and they said they had seen the “Meet Your Musician” write-up in the Vail Daily. In the article, I list the Vilar Performing Arts Center as a dream venue of mine and they told Owen ‘we need to make this happen for Kevin,’” Danzig said.
Hutchinson asked Danzig to choose a few performers who were on the calendar for upcoming shows and shopped his video to those acts.
“America is the band that chose me and gave me the go-ahead, which is perfect, because I grew up singing and playing their songs! You can say the Vail Daily started the whole ball rolling for me!” Danzig said.
Although Danzig never owned an album by America, he was a big fan and owned a lot of the band’s 45s.
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“I grew up in Southern California, so when I heard ‘Ventura Highway’ I fell in love!” Danzig said.
The gig at the VPAC will also be a chance for Danzig to introduce the audience to his new songs on his 11th CD, which is out this Friday as well.
It took two years to record the tracks because of Danzig’s busy schedule playing during the winter and summer seasons in Colorado. It was co-produced by Danzig’s longtime friend and bass player, Ken E. Keller, in his Iobeam studio 2 located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Other musicians include Jimmy Brotherton, who plays drums and percussion, Doug Rees who plays the slide dobro guitar and Taylor Miinch who sings much of the harmonies. Everything else you hear on the album is Danzig.
The 12 original songs on the album tell a story, which is a nod back to Danzig’s days of touring folk clubs and folk festivals around the country. Danzig also likes to paint a picture while telling the story, much like Joni Mitchell, which is depicted on the album’s cover art.
“I’m a huge fan of Joni Mitchell and she said she paints her songs so that the listener can imagine the scenarios in their minds as they are listening to the songs. I tend to take the same approach with my songwriting,” Danzig said.
The album is entitled “Holland Café” and the first track features a young artist named Sara who works in a coffee shop and paints her masterpieces when she is not busy. The art on display represents the various songs on the album such as “Another Side of New York,” a 911 tale, the folky pop style of “Life is a Gamble” and the guitar and his boy, which is written about in the song, “In The Shadow Of The Arch.”
You may have already heard a few singles from Danzig’s new album locally on KZYR The Zephyr 97.7 and KYSL Krystal 93 radio stations. “Ava” was inspired by his neighbor’s daughter who plays ukulele and yodels. The single “Fishbowl” was recently released in June on Spotify, YouTube and other social media platforms.
“With streaming services reigning these days, it’s a good idea to keep releasing quality tracks every six to eight weeks,” Danzig said. “I put together this album because I wanted to include the songs released last year with the new songs in one collection.”
America, which is celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary this year with a tour, isn’t the only big-name act Danzig has shared a stage with. John Mayer, Leon Russell, Shawn Mullins, Martin Sexton and The Bangles are also on that list.
“To be playing at the Vilar Performing Arts Center is going to be such a thrill because they have world-class acts on a consistent basis and it is a more intimate setting where you can really connect with the large audience,” Danzig said. “I feel very fortunate and I hope it’s not the last time.”