Stepping out: Dan Kincaid, 28, has spent the past decade writing, and his first CD, The Walk Within, is being released this weekend. The remarkable process that brought it to fruition includes tales of serendipity, traumatic life changes and an impressive battalion of behind-the-scenes players.
Spiritually guided? At 3 a.m. on a late winter morning in 2006, Kincaid hastily decided to leave his home in Burlington, Vt., leaving behind all his possessions to make a new start. "It was as though I was talking to a higher being, or it was talking to me, Kincaid says. "I was working a lot. I was in a good band, but I just knew it was the wrong path. The moment I knew it was the wrong path, it was mind-blowing. I had never had a moment like that. It was a realization on a very deep level." He says he had in mind a visit to an uncle in Davis Islands.
A fateful coincidence: By sheer coincidence, his uncle, musician John Scioscia, called while Kincaid was on the road the following morning and urged him to visit. He had heard Kincaid's demo and wanted to help him record a CD. Scioscia, who up to that point had only been peripherally involved in Kincaid's life, got the help of Warren Cohen, owner of Smiling Dog Studio and founder of the recording label Well Found Music. Cohen loved the songs and enlisted the help of Jonathan Priest, a Davis Islands legend and drummer for several local bands. Priest befriended Kincaid and got a slew of musical heavyweights involved in the project of backup players, including engineer Chris Huston, the man behind the classic Low Rider by War.
A mighty impressive debut: The songs on The Walk Within sound like music that time forgot; uplifting, confessional and inspirational tunes not neatly tied to any niche or scene. Kincaid's lyrics offer uplifting messages and aching moments of confession. To call it honest rock on an epic scale would not be an exaggeration. Choice highlights include Bill Pike's guitar on Holy Man, Jeremy Powell's sax on In the Light and former Candy Bar Melissa Grady's cello on Oh Paradise. Great keyboards by Joe Montanaro of the Sheaks and other appearances too numerous to mention here can be viewed on Kincaid's MySpace page at myspace.com/musicdankincaid.
From pain to peace: Reflections on a difficult life experience led Kincaid back into songwriting after a long hiatus. Four years ago Kincaid and his then girlfriend decided to give up a son for adoption because of difficult circumstances. "He has a beautiful life now," Kincaid says, adding that he gets updates about his son through his new parents. A dedication in his CD's liner notes reads, "For my son, who taught me the meaning of sacrifice."
Hear him: At his CD release party, featuring several of the musicians mentioned above, 10 p.m. Saturday night at Yeoman's Road Pub, 236 E. Davis Blvd., Davis Islands, Tampa. $5. 18 and older admitted.