Welcome to the World and Music of Dan Roark

Welcome to the world and music of Dan Roark. I have lived here for a while now and it's not a bad place to live, really. Although on some level, it's probably just as well you're only visiting. But hang around as long as you like.

Here you can listen to my songs - and buy them if you wish - read my thoughts in posts on my blog, see my pictures, and find out when and where I am playing. 

You can also hear live versions of my songs on Reverbnation, as well as see videos of live performances. You can also see my videos on, and subscribe to, my YouTube channel

 

Digital Tip Jar

Some Mondays Suck More Than Others 

Let’s make no mistake – most Mondays suck. Since it is the first of the week for everybody, everyone wants to share their particular suckiness with the rest of the world. I’d like to say that it’s hard to blame them because it’s their job, but I can’t.

There is a guy that mows yards on our block. And other places I’m sure, but that is not of my concern. Over the years, he has changed days. First on Wednesdays, then on Tuesdays, now, as you would figure, Monday. He could have even started with Thursday, but I’ve slept way too many nights since then.

He has also varied times – from annoying to pain in the ass. Almost always before noon. I understand (a little) when it gets up into the 90s on a regular basis. But it’s still cooler now and I wish he would take that into account.

I could even live with all of that – having to do with mowing. But the leaf blowers drive me crazy. Forget that the only thing they do is blow. Forget the fact that, here in Farmers Branch anyway, it’s against city code. The grass doesn’t just magically disappear. It just goes somewhere else – including our yard.

I’ve paid attention to other instances around the neighborhood – they thankfully happen after I get up. I’ve come to the conclusion that they either have no clue how to operate a leaf blower, or they just want to make the homeowner think they’re working harder than they are. Either way, the dogs in the neighborhood – including our two – begin to loudly protest the sound of the leaf blowers.

Then when I got up, everybody and their uncle began to call, email, message, or text – preventing me from accomplishing anything else, including waking up. Like I say, some Mondays suck more than others.

Then I woke up this morning – on Tuesday – with a headache that hung around for most of the day. Do some Tuesdays suck more than others as well, or can I still blame that on Monday? I wonder.

Peace be with you.

Damn the Girl Scouts and Their Cookies 

I just can’t quit Thin Mints (insert your personal Girl Scout cookie choice). I certainly can’t “eat just one” as the saying goes. Usually, I barely hear about the cookies in time to buy any. Or one of our sons buys a few boxes and we get to share.

This year, I was determined to stock up. I was about to go into Walmart when they were starting to sell them. I bought four boxes of Thin Mints. I gave Cyndy a box, and I had a box, and I put two boxes back. It wasn’t but a couple of days or so when the first two were gone.

The next time I went into Walmart on a weekend, I bought four more boxes of Thin Mints. The last two boxes of the first four were going quickly. But now we had four boxes to spare. But, despite putting them in the freezer – out of sight and out of mind – they still were going. Not as quickly, but definitely steadily.

Then it began to be harder to find a sales location. The list of cookie sales sites on the Girl Scout website helped. One Saturday, I went to the wrong Half-Price books. The next Saturday, our son, Cameron, and I made another cookie run. This time I bought five boxes. Between the two of us, we bought them out of Thin Mints.

I put all five boxes in the freezer. I had seven boxes. I’m not sure how many Cameron had. So, to this point, Cyndy and I had gone through four boxes. That does not include the box my Mom gave us. Cyndy and I tried on another Saturday, but apparently they were out because no one was there.

I don’t know how long the remaining boxes will last. But once a box is open, its life is short. I know, though, that my question will not be answered again this year.

How many boxes would it take to last until next year? While I still don’t know, I do know that it is quite a few more boxes than just fourteen.

The other question I would like to know is – could I afford enough Thin Mints to last until next year?

Damn the Girl Scouts and their cookies!

Peace be with you.

Final TSR Shaun and Dan Show at Canucks 3-22-’18 

The TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan show at Canucks in Lewisville on March 22nd was the last show due to owner cancellation. The performers on the show were:

Robbie Cleigh Marks

Robbie Cleigh Marks

Jade Nickol

Jade Nickol

Shaun Outen

Shaun Outen

Taylor Chicks (I was running sound and didn’t get a picture. Here they are at Stan’s Main Street in Frisco.)

Taylor Chicks

Jason Gibson and Mark Burnaugh

Jason Gibson and Mark Burnaugh

Brett Cox

Brett Cox

Follow the links and hear their music for yourself. Notice when they are playing and go see them live to support live music. Keep an eye out for possible future Shaun and Dan shows.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

 

Final TSR Shaun and Dan Show at Stan’s Main Street 3-21-’18 

While it was the final TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan show, the radio show will continue to be hosted by Shaun at Stan’s Main Street. I will be playing at Malarkey’s Tavern on Wednesdays. Here were the performers for the show:

Shaun Outen

Shaun Outen and Scott

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

Michael Franceus

Michael Franceus

Baylis Laramore

Baylis Laramore

Harold King

Harold King

Taylor Chicks

Taylor Chicks

Brett Cox

Brett Cox

Follow the links to hear their music for yourself. Make a note of when they’re playing so you can see them play live. Keep an eye out for possible future Shaun and Dan shows.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

TSR Shaun and Dan Show at Canucks 3-15-’18 

The TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan Show at Canuck’s in Lewisville on Thursday, March 15.

Layne Elizabeth

Layne Elizabeth

Cat McGee

Cat McGee

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

Click on the links and hear their music for yourself. Notice when they are playing, go see them play, and support live music. If you are a songwriter and would like to be on the show, message Dan to be scheduled for a future show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

TSR Shaun and Dan Show at Stan’s Main Street 3-14-’18 

The TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan Show at Stan’s Main Street in Frisco on Wednesday, March 14.

Dan Roark

Dan Roark

Shaun Outen

Shaun Outen

John Mason

John Mason

Jade Nickol

Jade Nickol

Jeff Stachowski

Jeff Stachowski

Red Neighbors

Red Neighbors

Follow the links so you can hear their music for yourself. Make a note of when they are playing, go see them play, and support live music. If you are a songwriter and would like to be on the show, message Dan to be on a future show.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

 

TSR Shaun and Dan Show – Stan’s Main Street 3-7-’18 

TexasSelectRadio.com Shaun and Dan show at Stan’s Main Street in Frisco on Wednesday, March 7:

 

 

 

Mark Burnaugh and Jason Gibson

 

Check out the links and listen to their music for yourself. Make a note of when they are playing next, go see them play, and support live music. Songwriters who would like to be on the show, send Dan a message.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Being Jesus 

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

First of all, it was for about five minutes. And, obviously, I wasn’t really Jesus.

I received an email on Saturday from Tina Thompson-Broussard, the Choir Director at Christ UMC, Farmers Branch, saying that she had asked the staff who they thought would play Jesus, and Pam Capener mentioned me. Tina asked if I would be Jesus during a song in the early service on Sunday – no speaking, just acting. The early service begins at 8:50 a.m. so I was to be there at 8:20.

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

I didn’t have a show on Saturday, but we were to turn the clocks forward. It was doable – needless to say, I don’t usually go to the early service. Besides, how many times do you get the chance to be an Irish Jesus? After a few hours deliberation, I replied in the affirmative.

All I knew was that I was to be Jesus. The sermon series is on Jesus Christ Superstar, so as an old hippie, I knew that what I usually wear would probably work. I did have a pair of sandals, just in case. I thought about having my tie-dyed shirt at the ready, but it is the early service and it might not go over.

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

I was getting ready for my role Saturday night. I knew she was looking for the Jesus Christ Superstar Jesus. But I kept falling back into the Eric Clapton Jesus in the Who musical, Tommy, when he walks down the aisle of the church in a white robe playing a Les Paul. But I didn’t have a white robe. I’m just more comfortable with a guitar.

I walked into the church at 8:15, coffee in hand. The choir was practicing in the choir room, so I just hung out in the hallway reading the bulletin board over and over and drinking coffee. After about 4 minutes, Katie Buck walked in and smiled at me

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

like she expected to see me. I commented that it was really early, and she agreed. Katie and her older sister, Lillian, were in youth with our boys. Her father, Charles, led the confirmation class that all the kids went through. So I didn’t think anything about it.

Then Tina walked in the door, put something in the choir room, and took Katie and I to the sanctuary. Then I learned what the plan was. The sermon was entitled “I Don’t Know How to Love Him.” We were to do our little “skit” during the Anthem -Kyrie – Schubert Mass in G Major by Franz Schubert. (I know, it surprised me, too – and I was Jesus.)

As the music began, I was to walk up the middle aisle of the sanctuary to the chancel. Where I was to step up on the riser, turn, and stand there “looking Jesus-y.” Then, after so many measures, Katie came up. I turned as she was coming up and faced her when she got there. We looked each other in the eye, then Katie “the fallen woman” (I know – I felt better, too when I learned that) would bow before me, look up, and then back down. I patted her on the shoulder, and helped her up. We looked each other in the eye. Then she looked down again, I reached out and raised her chin, and we looked at each other, Katie looking relieved, and me looking Jesus-y.

Katie Buck and Dan Roark

We practiced it once and Tina asked if we wanted to go through it again. We said we were good. Katie had actually brought a sheet fashioned into a tunic. As you see, I wore my shirt with the fish on it, untucked, and jeans. Before the service began, I went to Charles and Rebecca Buck with Katie.

“I’ve gotta be honest with you,” I was telling them, “I don’t think even Jesus would get up this early. I see him strolling down to the synagogue about noon.”

So I went and sat with Cyndy toward the back, and Katie sat on the front row. The service began. After the scripture reading, the anthem began. I walked up the aisle, turned and looked Jesus-y, Katie came up and we did our thing, and returned to our seats.

After the service, people thought we did well, and it all worked – Katie has done some acting – hence the tunic. While Katie and I were looking at each other, we actually had a conversation with our eyes. And then, just like that, I was plain old Dan again. Which is a good thing. Being Jesus ain’t easy!

Peace be with you.

Richie Smith – Good-bye to a Musical Friend 

Richie Smith and I

Richie Smith and I

Richie lost his fight with brain cancer and went to his heavenly home within the past twelve hours. Below is the post I wrote when I met Richie in 2016. He was a wonderful young man. Even at the worst, he had a smile on his face, a song in his heart, and praise for God. He will be sorely missed by his family and friends – which includes everyone he ever met. I can still hear him sing his song, For A Reason. Rest in peace, Richie.

I was hosting the Angela’s at the Crosswalk Monday night open mic on Halloween when I first met Richie Smith. He came in with his mom and dad, waving to people as they came by the tables – just saying hi. His dad, Rick, came over and told me who he was so I knew when his slot came up. I asked him what he needed, sound-wise. He said Richie just needed a mic because he was going to play the song on a small Bose iPod/iPhone player.

When his time came, Rick helped Richie up to the microphone. Richie’s left leg was in a brace and his left arm was in a sling. I got him set up with the mic and his dad helped him start the songs. I adjusted the sound and Richie introduced himself.

“I’m Richie Smith. I had surgery for brain cancer to remove a tumor and what was left was diagnosed as grade 4 brain cancer. After surgery, I came out I was like this. This isn’t part of my costume.”

The crowd erupted in laughter. That is a perfect introduction to Richie. He is a twenty-two year old young man who has always loved music. He could play piano as well as other instruments. Music came to him naturally. He performed in cafes for charity.

Then he was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2011. No one outside of his family knew he had brain cancer. When it worsened in 2012, he had two

Richie and his father, Rick.

Richie and his father, Rick.

days to live without immediate brain surgery. After the surgery on November 24, 2012, what could not be removed was diagnosed as grade 4 brain cancer, and he was given two years to live. “The fight raged on, and in 2013 there were two brain tumors growing in size, leading Richie to lose most mobility on the left side of his body, but he never gave up.”1

Richie thanks God for his music even after all that has happened. His positive attitude and faith in God is infectious. There were a number of his close friends there, but, as far as Richie is concerned, everyone there was his friend. He had everyone laughing and dancing along to one of his songs. Even me – and I don’t dance – used to long ago,  but not anymore. Except for Halloween night.

Two weeks later, when I once again hosted the open mic, Richie was on the list. His left arm hung by his side rather than held up in a sling. He played piano with his right hand while he sat behind it and sang. His father, Rick, played the cajon. Once again, his laughter and infectious spirit filled the room. He played a hilarious cover of Skinny Girl Jeans with some additions of his own. Richie had the crowd singing along on Lean on Me by Bill Withers.

Veronica, Richie, and Rick Smith

Veronica, Richie, and Rick Smith

And, naturally, he played his song, For A Reason. Not only is it the name of his song, but it is also the name of his For A Reason Foundation. For A Reason is also Richie first official song release, produced by multi-platinum producer, John Kurzweg. The song was released this past Thursday, the fourth anniversary of his first brain surgery. It was also – as Richie pointed out at Angela’s – Thanksgiving, his mother, Veronica’s, birthday, and his re-birth. His re-birth is how he refers to the immediate emergency surgery.

For A Reason is available on iTunes, Amazon, and the usual online music distribution sites. You can also check out Richie’s Facebook page and his YouTube channel. You can see Richie on Mondays at Angela’s or  at the fourth Saturday Dallas Songwriters Association (DSA) showcase on December 17.

Peace be with you.

                                                                                        1  Quoted from ournewmonarch.com

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