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Interview With Singer-Songwriter Dan Maguire

How would you describe your music to any person who may have never heard it before?

Dan: My music is chill, country, jazz rock and roll.

Press shot for singer-songwriter Dan Maguire.

What are your musical influences?

Dan: I grew up in Tulsa, OK and that had, and continues to have an enormous impact on my music. Southern rock and blues were huge to me. Also, I heard country music all the time, so it had an influence by its constant presence. When I went to college, I was introduced to jazz and classical ensembles. All these ingredients have come together, country and jazz-inflected rock and roll is the outcome.

Specific influences are The Clash, The Police, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Kimbra, Chris Cornell and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But, the biggest influence was my college guitar professor Scott Smith. 12 years of learning from him and playing music with him left an indelible imprint. What are your musical inspirations?

Dan: I hope to write songs that push the envelope a little without turning people off. So, if you hear one of my songs for the first time, it’s different but it catches your interest and you let it play. Likewise, if you happen to see me live, a similar thing happens, and my performance reinforces that interest. If given the chance, what musician(s) would you like to collaborate with? Rather this is to either write a song or be featured on a track.

Dan: I’d like to say Chris Cornell, Stevie Ray Vaughan or JJ Cale, but they are no longer with us. The top of the list for this question of people still here is Kimbra. I think she’s brilliant. Watching her perform solo on an acoustic guitar is spectacular. What’s your new song about?

Dan: This song is "Maeve." My family went through a tragedy a while ago. When I sat down to write this song in the middle of the sadness and despair, I thought, “I want to add something hopeful to what I am experiencing. I want to have an active role in shaping where this experience goes, and what its memory feels like.” What’s something you hope people take away from the new song?

Dan: Hang in there, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I promise. Do you have any favourite songs to perform live? Could be your own music or even a cover. Any reason why?

Dan: My favourite original to perform is "Seasons." For a while now, I’ve been inspired by Swing Country, or some people call it Western Swing. It’s this cool marriage between jazz and country.

I’ve learned chords and combinations I would have never thought of. As a result, I wrote "Seasons" and it is really fun to play, and I love the story.

A cover I like to play is "Rock and Roll Heart" by Eric Clapton. It’s just a great rock and roll song, and people like that one.

If you could perform a show this very second anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Is there any particular venue(s) or city/cities that comes to mind?

Dan: I lived in Denver from when I was 18 to 30, so this would have to be Red Rocks. If you’ve never seen a concert there, you gotta. If you have, it’s probably time to see another one!

What do you currently have planned for the remainder of the year?

Dan: Spend as much time as possible with my family. Finish the next album I’m working on, keep writing, performing, making musician friends and seeing what comes next musically.

I’m on the Board of an organization called Hope For Haitians. I hope to continue being productive for them.

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