CD: 10 Songs; 42:24 Minutes
Styles: Contemporary Rock, Blues Rock
No one ever said that thriving in the music business was easy. In fact, it’s a perpetual tightrope walk: juggling gigs on the road and time in the studio, managing managers and record producers, and paying equal attention to family and fans. Perhaps the most delicate balancing act of all, however, is deciding between art and commerce. What sizzles in artists’ hearts may not sell, and vice-versa. Consider the case of South Africa’s Dan Patlansky. In 2004, he released the CD True Blues. It contained two of the most well-known blues covers of all time: “Hootchi Cootchi Man” [sic] by Muddy Waters and “I Ain’t Superstitious” by Willie Dixon.
Compare that with Dan’s most recent album, 2014’s Dear Silence Thieves. Even though all of its ten songs are originals, either written or co-written by Patlansky, none of them are pure blues. They’re all contemporary rock or an extremely diluted form of blues rock. Only track five, “Taking Chances”, contains a traditional blues rhythm. It’s not that the rest are bad, but you won’t find them in any purist’s CD reference collection. Otherwise, Patlansky is a roaring guitar monster. With Dan on guitars and vocals are bass guitarist Clint Falconer, drummer Andy Maritz, and Theo Crous on keyboards and additional singing arrangements.
According to the “Biography” section of his website, he’s earned considerable plaudits and recognition in the blues rock world: “Ever since his debut album, Standing At The Station, followed by his 2004 major label (Blue Note, EMI produced) masterstroke True Blues, Dan Patlansky has been immersing himself in the rich and rollicking world of blues rock music. In February 2005, and again in July 2006, Selwyn Miller, the New Orleans based manager of David Gates, Bread, Randy Crawford and Petula Clark (amongst others), took Patlansky to New Orleans to showcase his outstanding talent.
“In 2006 Fender acknowledged his talent with a guitar and amp endorsement, making him only one of six on the continent to enjoy such a privilege…Dan started 2014 off with a bang when he was chosen to open for Bruce Springsteen in front of 64,000 people at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg in February on his High Hopes tour. Dan was personally approved by Springsteen as support act, seeing as Springsteen rarely has guest artists for his shows. Also a milestone for Dan’s career when he played in front of the biggest audience he has ever played to.”
Dear Silence Thieves was chosen by Blues Rock Review as its number-one album in 2014; that’s a nice accolade that Dan has won. He may meander all over the musical map, but there’s no denying his instrumental talent. Perhaps by returning to his blues roots, no matter what the invisible hand of the free market may be pushing him to do, Dan will garner the attention of die-hard genre aficionados. The blues are still alive, and Patlansky would do well to play more.