I was pleased to find out a couple years back that Dan Dyer has returned to Austin to spread some more of his gorgeous white boy soul to the Austin masses. Back in around 1996, during my high school years, I first became acquainted with Dan’s angelic voice when he was employing it as the front man of Austin blues/rock/soul band Breedlove, also featuring Tyrone Vaughan-Fullerton, son of Austin legend Jimmie Vaughan, on guitar, Josh Dawkins on bass, Ezra Reynolds on the keys, and Jason White on drums.
Friends and I used to catch Breedlove play with other local biggies of the time, such as Ian Moore, Steamroller, and Vallejo at Steamboat 1874 before that historic club’s ultimate demise in 1999. I also got to catch them play a couple of times in College Station for the North by Northgate festival and some sort of alumni thing where they played outside of the Academic Building for me and a bunch of disinterested senior citizens eating barbecue.
I’m sure I looked like a fanboy tool at the time, but I loved their music, and Dan’s return is a welcome addition to the Austin scene. Renewing a few old ties from the good old days, the year 2007 even saw at least one Breedlove reunion show at Antone’s, and Dan can even be heard occasionally whipping out a soulful version of “Reach Out” on his acoustic guitar during his frequent local gigs. I still have my original copy of Breedlove’s only album, also titled Reach Out, and I just pulled it out the other day and transferred it to iTunes.
Anyway, Dan is now back and better than ever, expanding upon his soul roots to incorporate many different styles, such as gospel, latin rhythms, and funk, all highlighted by his unmistakeable vocal, a cross between Stevie Wonder and something grittier. His recently released self-titled full length showcases a musical maturity and a revival of the soul/rock sound that Austin seems to have forgotten in its last ten years of musical evolution. Welcome back, Dan. You’re a treasure!
Included below after the video of Dan performing “Love Chain” at Austin club Momo’s is a video just for Gordon of Dan singing the National Anthem with Sam & Ruby, one of Gordon’s semi-recent discoveries that he’s been enamored with. It’s breathtaking, and it should become a staple of every 4th of July barbecue from here to eternity. America!
“The Star Spangled Banner (featuring Sam & Ruby)”