With his heart on his sleeve and a fire in his bones, Dan Hannaford swaggers between acoustic guitars, bottleneck slide, jaw harp and backyard-built stomp boxes. Born the son of a preacher, his musical heritage journeys back to childhood gospel performances growing up in the seaside town of Ballina just south of Byron Bay. Now based in Currumbin Valley on the Gold Coast, he has spent the last three years playing hundreds of east-coast pubs, festivals and venues.
In addition to intensive gigging, Hannaford recorded and released the Roots, Soul, Rock ’n’ Roll EP in 2008; he played on a Channel [V] TV showcase in 2009, where he was spotted by legendary producer Seymour Stein who requested a demo, which led to the recording of his Bootleg EP/demo at Sony Studios in 2010.
Hannaford’s love of the land and sea comes through, never more so than on his latest release (and debut LP), Rust & Dust. Recorded at the Hannaford family fishing shack in Red Rock on the north NSW coast in July 2011, Rust & Dust is songs about love, life and fishing according to Dan Hannaford. Via eight tracks, Hannaford leads you down country roads, across oceans, through the minds of friends and into his own kitchen. Recorded with noted musician and producer Mike McCarthy, it sees Hannaford bring to life some older tunes along with some fresh ones; it sees him flesh it out from acoustic and stomp via backing vocals, junk percussion and McCarthy on second guitar; it sees a man realise where he’s at as a musician, build a platform from which to jump, and go for it. Songs from the heart delivered with over- (and under-) tones of blues and country with a bit of good ol’ rock ’n’ roll thrown in for good measure.
See Dan at the Coolangatta Sands Hotel on Sunday.