There’s something magnetic about Dan Craig’s music. Often compared to artists like Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne and Josh Ritter, with a voice that is “…soothingly scratchy, comforting and worn…” (Playback:STL) and songs that are “…simple yet refined in all the right ways…disarmingly sincere without sounding contrived…” (DU Clarion), Craig’s musical production coupled with his ambition, kindness and bravery has won him a spot among Denver’s top songwriters.
An Ivy League graduate from Denver with a background in biology, he’s been forced to make some very real decisions about his life’s pursuit. In January 2008, a year and a half into medical school and with the tracks for the newest full-length, Skin Grows Thin, starting to come together, Craig decided to put school on hold to commit to music full-time.
Where his stories were meaty in the 2006 album, Wirebird, Craig has trimmed the excess in Skin Grows Thin – creating a streamlined album that feels more like an earthy storybook than a musical delicacy. Where Wirebird’s arrangements were on the ascent, the accompaniment on the new album is nearly perfect. With more of a collaborative approach for this disk, Craig’s arrangements are smart, spacious and provide his breathy, despairing vocals the air that they so desperately need. Craig’s guitar/piano/vocal styling benefits from his band including cello, mandolin, bass, drums, and harmony vocals, and the live shows are a mix of anything from solo to six-piece ensemble.
The success of Skin Grows Thin since it’s release in May 2008 has been opening doors and ears to Dan Craig both home in CO and on the road. With a touring schedule growing busier and busier at clubs and colleges, the single “Further to Fall” making its way onto One Tree Hill, shows at the Lyons Folks Fest and CMJ, and growing independent radio support, it seems like the business end of Craig’s young career is finally starting to catch up with the art. [J. Bitz, N. McGarvey contributing]