Dave Hanley- the debut album "Gifthorse" co-produced with legendary producer/engineer Lucky Lew. Eleven tracks that will beg for multiple listens. Quality songwriting, quality recording. With influences from Led Zeppelin to John Hartford, Steve Earle to David Bowie and Soundgarden- this album will rock, soothe and move you.
"I super-love this album" Jason Lytle (grandaddy,v2)
Dave Hanley was nominated in 2005 and is again nominated this year for best acoustic/americana band.
Go here to cast your vote for the Dave Hanley Band! www.modestoview.com/mama
A native to the California central valley, Dave Hanley grew up with the sweet smell of chocolate billowing from the Hershey factory at the edge of town and the haunting, lonely sounds of the train whistle from the railroad that cut the town in half as it passed through at a snails pace. Oakdale, "cowboy capitol of the world" so the welcome sign says, is the place where Dave Hanley grew up taking in and experiencing all those little gifts of life that he now recreates through his songs and his music.
After living in Vancouver, Wa.Dave returned to California by himself to begin work as a park employee in the Wawona Hotel at Yosemite National Park. One day, (at age 17) he was visiting friends in Modesto and one friend brought out her guitar that had been sitting in her closet for years and gave it to Dave. From that moment on, Dave's passion and commitment to his guitar and his music grew and began to shape and direct his future. During this time, he met the legendary Frank Solivan, Sr. (California Bluegrass Association, Ambassador at Large) at a bluegrass pickin' party. This man and his music had a profound affect on Dave and he found himself spending hours and days learning from this bluegrass master, known for his fast flat-picking rhythmic banjo style, melody and tempo and to this day he is Dave's constant musical and life mentor.
Around 1992, Dave continued to learn his music and would often come to San Francisco with his friend to play music in the subway. Armed with bluegrass and folk tunes he had been learning in Modesto, Dave began to hone his skill of gathering a crowd with his music.
In 1994 Dave began a 3 year year journey playing second guitar,backing vocals and harmonica with the Sons of Levi this band was the first professional touring and recording band Dave had been a part of. Their debut album "Enter In" was recorded with Jonny Colla (Huey Lewis & the News) at his recording studio in Novato Ca. Quite an experience for a kid only playing seriously for 4 to 5 years.
With the birth of their first child, the Hanley's moved back to the Oakdale/Modesto area and soon after, Dave started the Puffin Billies (a name he found while making a flyer for one of the groups first shows) with a couple bluegrass friends. Over the next four years he played guitar and sang vocals for the Puffin Billies, often using songs that he had written. The Puffin Billies opened for many groups such as Canned Heat (Barton Enterprises), Built Like Alaska (Future Farmer) and Grandaddy (Virgin V2). In 2002, the Puffin Billies received the Modesto Area Music Award for best Americana Band.
Midway through 2004, Dave embarked on an ambitious solo endeavor. He began writing and recording new material for the "Gifthorse" LP coproduced with Lucky Lew (Howe Gelb,Fiver, Grandaddy) which has quickly become a favorite amongst indie, bluegrass and Americana folks alike. "Gifthorse" LP and Dave Hanley have been nominated for the 2005 Modesto Area Music Award in the acoustic/Americana category, again. He is getting rave reviews from his live performances, hooking crowds with his big sound, energetic guitar, and passionate lyrics that tell stories through a range of dynamics and style.
It was during this period of time that I was introduced to Dave Hanley's music. While performing at the Brookdale Bluegrass Festival in Brookdale, Ca. in December of 2004, a friend came running out to the lobby saying "Come quick!, You've got to come listen to Dave Hanley". What I heard that night was the beautiful music that is uniquely Dave Hanley. His guitar purrs with the rich fervor of his passion. His voice gently reaches out and wraps it's fingers around you as it pulls you in close to him to envelope you in those sounds and feelings that somehow are not just his, but ours, also. The music he plays and the words he sings seem somehow to transport you through to a place where you are no longer the listener, but suddenly a part of the soul of that music. Dave's music is the pure essence of life. In June 2005, I had the pleasure of meeting Dave in person. As I sat and talked with him over the weekend and had the special privilege of sitting with him as he sang me some songs, I began to see where his music comes from. It comes from the gentle, kind spirit of an old soul in a young man with much to say.
by Sharon Elliott