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Artist of the day: Daniel B. Marshall




In 2006, Daniel B. Marshall was living in Nashville and working at The Melting Pot restaurant. Out of the blue, he received a call from a  promoter who offered him an opportunity to come back to Tampa and play music full-time. Without hesitation, he quit his job and high-tailed it back to the bay area. He’s remained here since.

“Playing covers saved my life,” he said. “Covers are our bread and butter. Playing all originals at shows isn’t the best way to pay the bills. The only prerequisite as far as covers go: We’ll do anything as long as it’s a good song. If we hate it, we will not do it. Our own music is definitely folk rock, but really, we just like doing any of it.”

Singer/guitarist Marshall shares the stage with his longtime sideman, drummer Noel Bisesti. They’ve performed together, on and off (mostly on), for the past 10 years. The sound they convey is a mix of laid-back, groove-oriented contemporary folk rock.

Possibly the hardest working show-businessmen in the bay area, they can usually be found performing at local venues, such as The Dubliner, Skipper’s Smokehouse and The World of Beer, five out of seven nights a week.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, Marshall will perform at Curtis Hixon Park as part of Gasparilla Pirate Fest. Accompanying him will be Biseti on drums, Jeremy Douglas on keyboards and Shaun Hopper on guitar.

Here’s a glimpse into the world of Daniel B.

Influences: “My biggest one was James Taylor. My first song was You’ve Got a Friend on guitar, and I know the guy’s entire catalog. I also was into R&B; Brian McKnight was one of my biggest ones, and Babyface. … And later on, around college, I really got into Peter Gabriel. He’s one of my favorites.”

Songwriting: “I don’t have a set time. I don’t say 'Okay, today I’m gonna sit down and write a song.’ That’s the Nashville way of doing things; it never sat well with me. When an idea would hit me, I would just try to capture it in the moment: whatever I was thinking or feeling. I would start with an idea, going as fast as I can, furiously, then go back and clean up later. I typically think of the groove first. Until you  know where you’re headed, you don’t know what it’s gonna feel like.”

Who are you most often musically compared to? “I get John Mayer. A lot. I’m flattered, ’cause I really like his early stuff. He’s a great artist; I just don’t necessarily always agree. I always thought we sounded more like the Goo Goo Dolls or something like that. Who knows? Everyone has their own take on it.”

Current projects: “I have been recording a project for the last couple of years with engineer Shelly Yackus (who has worked with Alice Cooper, Tom Petty, John Lennon, Lou Reed). He’s mixing, mastering and is the executive producer. I’m also going to Nashville at the end of February. A childhood friend of mine, Danny Rader, is in Keith Urban’s touring band. He asked if he could produce a project, so we’re doing two or three songs. My CD should be out the end of March.”

Ambitions: “When I returned to Tampa, my aspirations changed. I gave up thinking someone’s gonna step in and make all your dreams come true. My new aspiration is to play music and make a living at it as long as possible, getting creative about how to do it, having multiple projects and keeping busy. It’s fun to say that you’re part of something: music you believe in, love and actually get paid to play.”

-- Aaron Lepley, tbt*

[Last modified: Thursday, January 27, 2011 4:02pm]


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