What a marvellous evening at the
Woodman! Unlike ordinary people some are blessed with having more than
the five digits per hand. I can only think this is the case with Dan
Walsh. His main instrument is the banjo but he is equally at home on the
guitar with a command of both instruments that belie his age. Dan had
been to the club only once before to do a spot on a singers’ night, from
this came the booking.
He started the evening with a set of tunes, and not having seen him
before I wondered if he sang as well. I need not have been concerned
because immediately he sang an excellent version of ‘Shady Grove’ and
showed that he was indeed a quality singer in addition to his incredible
This was soon followed by a song about his home town, Stafford, ‘The
Same but Different’ a song with a catchy tune and also the title of his
Coupled with jazz-orientated numbers such as ‘At Least Pretend’ we had a
sitar influenced polytonal melody line of four tunes inspired by his
visit to India earlier in the year and ‘Mwashah’ an Egyptian tune learnt
from Hamza El Din re-titled ‘Tomorrow’s still to come’. All in all a
wealth of talent!
He went on to explain that most Bluegrass songs are sad - about lost
loves and death so he thought he would write a happy Bluegrass song. He
achieved this with ‘Every Day is a Better Day’. It certainly had happy
lyrics but such a soulful tune that for me it came over as a sad song.
This was to be his last song but such was the enthusiasm in the room we
were treated to an encore of ‘Snow in March’ a slow beautifully crafted
tune on the banjo.
I think Dan will be returning to the Woodman very soon.