A Lifelong Love for Country Finally Finds Its Voice in Nashville
By PHIL SWEETLAND
Music & Radio contributor - New York Times
NASHVILLE – Laine Daniels’ musical career actually began before he was a year old, when his musician grandmother taught him to sing the Everley Brothers smash “Bye Bye Love.” His lifelong dream to create music, and especially his beloved country, has finally led him to one of Music City’s most gifted producers, songwriters, and top session players, Mark Dreyer.
“Laine has worked his tail off,” an admiring Dreyer said. “I sent him 60 songs, and he learned a bunch of ‘em.” They met when Laine’s sister and manager Lorrieanne discovered the Nashville Music Business Directory, which Dreyer founded and has published for 10 years. “I feel honored to be working with Mark,” Laine says of his producer, who has written songs with Nashville legends including Hank Cochran, Red Lane, Dave Gibson, Ken Mellons, Don Goodman, Adam Hughes and Danny Simpson.
Dreyer and Daniels are finishing Laine’s debut album, which includes the holiday single “It’s A Country Christmas.” “I’ll tell ya, what has happened this time around with my music as opposed to 35 years ago is that this is just feeling right,” Daniels says in a phone conversation from his home outside Chicago.
In a way, Laine Daniels, who was born Daniel Nathan Laine and has worked for the last 20 years as a supervisor for the United States Postal Service in Bolingbrook, Illinois, has been dreaming of this since he was in junior high. Laine has lived and breathed the history of country music for decades.
“I love that stuff, the kind of music that will melt your butter,” he says of traditional country and the Grand Ole Opry. “I sure miss the whine of a steel guitar, and singers like Connie Smith and Ray Price from way back.” Some have compared Laine’s smooth, classy baritone to that of Price or Eddy Arnold. And happily, “It’s A Country Christmas” features tons of tasty steel.
His grandmother got both Lorrieanne and Laine started early on in a family band. The first time Grandma ever heard Laine perform was on a stage outside Chicago. “I kind of blew people away,” he says. “They weren’t expecting such a deep voice out of such a scrawny kid.” At age 19, that scrawny kid joined one of Chicagoland’s top country bands, the Shari Lynn Show, at the popular club Daddy Franks. Shari Lynn opened for top country stars of the time including Tom T. Hall, Barbara Mandrell, and Doug Kershaw. Laine left the Shari Lynn Show and throughout the 1970s and 1980s worked with another band managed by sister Donita. They toured Illinois, playing bars and honky tonks, before Laine took a break to raise a family.
Earlier this year, Daniels says he “made the decision to return to what I really loved to do, with the strong support of close family and friends.” He’s made two trips to Music City to work with Dreyer, with lots more on the horizon.
“Nashville was absolutely amazing,” Daniels says. “To walk down Lower Broadway and go thru those places, I heard some fantastic music. My favorite is probably Robert’s Western Wear,” the famed honky tonk and home base of BR5-49. “This is the right thing to be doing,” he continues. “I’m excited about the fact that I’ve got so many people behind me now, more than I ever dreamed of.”
So at long last, fans and country radio will get to hear the Laine Daniels talent that has been bubbling under the surface for more than 30 years.
After being away from performing, Laine Daniels made the decision to return to what he really loved to do, with the strong support from close family and friends. His sister and manager, Lorrieann, contacted a great producer in June 2010 out of Nashville by the name of Mark Dreyer. Mark Dreyer has co-written songs with Country greats such as Hank Cochran, Beverly Ross, Don Goodman, Steve Clark and many more.
In July 2010,
Mark Dreyer provided some great songs and encouraged Laine Daniel and manager Lorrieann to write some original songs of their own. “I feel honored to be working with Mark, a great producer and musician” says Laine Daniels. An original Christmas song written by the team entitled “It’s a Country Christmas” is set to debut In December 2010.