Monday, June 09, 2008

Dan Mack

With much appreciation and admiration, I would like to introduce to you another musician who will join our Spirit First celebration on July 19.

What do you get when you combine a folk musician, classical guitarist, rock’n’roller, and songwriter into one? Well, you just might get Dan Mack! Dan has been a performing musician since grade school, when he performed in talent shows. Now, 45 years and thousands of performances later, he enjoys playing music more than ever. In addition to his early training, Dan also studied at Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, graduating with a major in classical guitar and double minor in piano and voice.

Of his Conservatory training Dan notes, “I try not to let the rigors of the classical style get in the way of what I like to play or listen to. There is an amazing wealth of music of all styles, and I can’t limit myself to just one. I started playing clarinet in the elementary school band and then fell in love with the guitar when my sister gave me one in the 60’s. I started learning songs by Dylan and the Beatles and started playing in bands. Playing classical may be the most challenging for me personally, but there’s plenty of effort that goes into mastering a great bluegrass flatpicking solo or high-test electric guitar licks. The word ‘eclectic’ may be overused, but I think it truly does describe my style.”

Dan is also an accomplished songwriter, and has written dozens of songs. He says, “I wrote my first song at age 16, and have been writing ever since. Sometimes I’ll start writing a song and finish it in a few hours, and sometimes I get stuck and it will lie dormant for years. Then I’ll get inspired and finish it 20 years later.” His songs run the gamut from straight folk and rock songs to old-time ballads to jazzy pop tunes. “I never know what’s going to come out,” Dan says. “It’s always a surprise.”

After his Conservatory years Dan played with several rock bands, performed as a solo folk and classical artist, and taught guitar lessons. In addition to solo performances, Dan now performs with The Druthers, a folk-rock band in the DC area ( He also accompanies vocalist Sassy Wagner in duet performances. In addition to guitar and voice, Dan also plays mandolin, piano, harmonica, and ukulele.

If you are interested in booking Dan, you are welcome to email

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