Storyteller and Traveler. Guitarist and Writer. Teacher and Coffee Drinker. Michigan singer-songwriter Dan Vaillancourt is all of these things and more. Drawing on his vivid imagination and real-life events, he weaves words and notes together into a rich tapestry of musical poetry. Vaillancourt, and his guitar, criss-cross the country each year, having performed hundreds of concerts in 35 states. Critics, heralding his musicianship and lyricism, refer to Vaillancourt as a guitar virtuoso and “one of the eclectic original and iconic wordsmiths writing songs today” (Bob Gottlieb, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange).
Part worldly troubadour, part down-home Midwesterner, Dan's weathered and conversational voice is warm and resonant, lending a simplicity to his well-crafted lyrics. With an eclectic list of influences and hundreds of songs to his credit, Vaillancourt has been compared to such diverse talent as Shawn Mullins, Todd Snider, Paul Simon and Joe Henry. He has even been called the Jimi Hendrix of Folk—fitting because he continuously pushes the boundaries of acoustic music with improvisational prowess, contributing to a style he calls Funktified Folk.
Melodic Snapshots, Vaillancourt's previous critically acclaimed album, was released in late 2005 and received radio airplay on over 100 stations. It even landed an extended stay on many stations’ CMJ AAA charts. Songs from the album were featured on several nationally syndicated radio programs, including Acoustic Cafe. Five different songs from Melodic Snapshots were featured on CD compilations that had a total distribution to the United States and Australia of 15,000 copies.
For his newest album, Lovely Distractions, mastered by multiple Grammy award-winning engineer Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Dixie Chicks, Wilco), Vaillancourt shares the recording and mixing duties with Grammy-nominated producer Ric Hordinski (David Wilcox, Phil Keaggy, Ellery). Vaillancourt assembled the musical talents of family and friends, along with a couple of the best Cincinnati studio musicians, to produce a creative, and decidedly unconventional album, filled with lovely distractions from everyday life. The album has been added to the playlists of nearly 200 radio stations and featured on Coast to Coast AM, which airs on nearly 500 stations with nearly 3 million weekly listeners.
Dan hosts Funktified Food, the first web series dedicated to unique recipes with a blend of great music, Dan isn't a chef; he's just a musician who loves to cook. His cooking style blends influences ranging from growing up with daily home-cooked meals to dishes from the unique cafes and restaurants he has visited during his travels.
Ever prolific, Vaillancourt never seems to sit still. Since writing the newest of the songs included on Lovely Distractions, he has written nearly 200 additional songs, many as part of songwriting challenges, such as February Album Writing Month and 50 Songs in 90 Days. He continues to teach music, a decade-long pursuit and passion, and, along with other musicians, runs a week-long rock and roll camp in northern Michigan. Vaillancourt's medley of experiences: teaching, writing, performing and traveling keep his creativity honed—he always has a new song to write and a compelling story to tell.