DAN HARRIS – singer/songwriter

On a cold winter night the coyotes would cry from way up in the hills as the midnite train blew its whistle farther on up the Connecticut River valley. I could feel the wind coming through the windows in the drafty farmhouse we grew up in. The coyotes were there most of the time, howling at the train whistle. There wasn’t much else to do on nights like that other than play my guitar, and scribble songs on little scraps of paper. I did alot of fishing in the river back then too. And spent days on end rummaging around in the forest, looking for a cool tree with a cool bird whistling the afternoon away, or maybe a deer, or a trout from the little stream about a mile back in.

On Sundays I was pulled away from my lonely little utopia in the woods and streams and taken to church. My family was very religious and church music rang out loud and clear from our household as far back I can remember. I can also remember sitting on my dads lap, at a very early age, before the coyotes, learning to hold a pick, strum the strings and sing “Hey Good Looking” together.

Once, in the third grade, we went on a school trip to hear Dizzy Gillespie play trumpet and give a talk on the history of jazz. I’ll never forget the way that music made me feel, or how his cheeks would blow up into balloons when he was belting out once cool lick after another.

This is where my music comes from, it started a journey that has taken me to some fun and interesting, and sometimes dark and heart wrenching, places. I listen to and love the music of John Hartford, Woody Guthrie, Gillian Welch, John Prine, piles and piles of bluegrass, and of course all of my fellow musician friends in my area. 

My latest project involves playing guitar and fiddle in an old time/new time string band called The Renegade Roosters. We have  Jeff Becker on mandolin, Jason Lowery on clawhammer banjo and vocals and Jay Allen playing upright bass. I write and sign about half the tunes and Jason sings most of the rest 

When not performing or writing music I teach private lessons on guitar and mandolin. I’m also an instrument builder and have a small shop where I repair stringed instruments and build mandolins and guitars.
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