From: John Foley
Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002
Subject: Outpost in the Burbs, Montclair NJ, Apr. 12 2002
Since Dan seems to operate under the radar (at least in the N.E.) I didn't have much basis for comparison as far as recent Hot Licks shows are comcerned. Still, I've seen Dan "live" twice and I have the Blue Thumb albums and Shootin' Straight pretty much committed to memory so my standards are high.
I sat in the back and the soundman's Bela Fleck T-shirt tipped me off that the mix might be a little too heavy on the instruments which was the case. The sound was otherwise good and, while the vocals were a bit low to my ears, Dan was in good voice and the harmonies were a treat to listen to.
Song selection was another plus - a nice mix even if the Shootin' Straight material was slighted. I'd forgotten how much I liked Cowboy's Dream, Evenin' Breeze and Crazy-'Cause He Is and I was glad they were included even if they're not among the hits. Dan alluded to this show as being something of a shakedown cruise and there were a few signs like the occasional looseness in some of the ensemble lines and an uncertain groove on Crazy... Dan's patter also seemed to take a while to hit its stride but he had the audience laughing from the start and even cracked up the band from time to time - always a good sign.
Overall it was a fine show - great songs, great singing and playing. My only complaint is that I couldn't see them again the next night.