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

Roy Elkins’ Your Music and Your Business Workshop – Informative and Entertaining 

Roy Elkins 1Roy Elkins, CEO of Broadjam.com, has been Master of Ceremonies for the Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest Award Ceremony for several years now. This year, he offered to come a day early and give a Your Music and Your Business workshop – at no cost. With the awards ceremony/Christmas party always on the second Tuesday of December, which would be our regular meeting night, we decided on Monday for the workshp.

DSA President Michael Brandenberger has known Tommy Roberts for many years. Tommy Roberts is co-owner of Tone Shop Guitars, north of Beltline on Midway, in Addison. Michael asked Tommy if we could have the workshop in their very large showroom. It is a very nice store. Tommy said they would be happy to have us. I met with him and we went over details.

The day of the workshop, we had 26 rsvps. We were shooting for 30 people. I brought 32 chairs. The Attendees workshop was to begin at 6 p.m. I arrived at 5 p.m. and one person was already there. Since it was a guitar shop, the early arrivals had something to do – which was one of the reasons Tommy was eager to have us.

Since a few people had not arrived by 6, we started a little late. Several people arrived during the presentation. The final tally was 28, with two no-shows of the original rsvps. At such a busy time of year, with traffic like it was, we had a great turnout.

Roy gave a very entertaining and informative presentation. He talked about starting Broadjam because he wanted to help songwriters. The used Broadjam, as well as his experience in the music business to illustrate his points. Roy discussed what, and how, to prepare for a pitch. He described good and bad music or song pitches.

Roy Elkins 2Elkins showed the crowd a written pitch that he had actually been given by a member of a band. The writer was apparently inviting Roy to see them at a show. He went on to basically say that the drummer sucked, but they were still going to use him just for the night. He made some more excuses – with bad punctuation and grammar. He ended by saying “you can find our music on soundcloud, sonicbidz, and revernation.”

Roy talked about how ridiculous the mistakes were. The punctuation and grammar mistakes were obvious. Have good material for them to hear. If it’s good, there’s no need to make excuses. Stand behind your work. And if you want someone to listen to your music, you don’t tell them they can find your music on their competitors website.

“It happens more than you think. I talk to those guys all the time (representatives from the three companies mentioned above) when we’re on panels together,” Elkins said, “and we always laugh about it.”

It was a great workshop. Stay tuned for posts with advice culled from the recent meetings and workshops and experience. You will also read a bit more about Roy in a post about the song contest award ceremony. In the meantime, however, if you are a songwriter, join Broadjam, fill out your profile, and check it out. As with most online music sites, there is a free level. But there is quite a bit you can do, with extras at a la carte expense (which is reasonable). You can have your song reviewed by professional songwriters. And much more.

Peace be with you.


Waiting on Anyone Who Walks Through the Door 

Misty and Buddy Misty and Buddy, waiting for the next person that comes through the door. Whoever it is, they plan to be first to know.

Misty and Buddy 2 Buddy’s ear picks up the signal of a photo opportunity.

Misty and Buddy 3
And the photo opportunity. Meanwhile, Misty, whose eye is actually open, gave a look that said, “Let the little prick do it, I’m too old to give a damn.”

Peace be with you.


Carlos Sanchez Receives DSA Sound Man of the Year Award 

Carlos and Dan Monday, November 30th, at Poor David’s Pub, was not only the regular open mic, but a birthday party for the sound man, Carlos Sanchez. Even though his birthday was actually on Sunday. Open mic started a little late, giving some of the band members time to get there and set up. There was to be a featured artist, Daze of the Moon at 8:30, with Carlos and the Ghoulies playing at 9.

The open mic started about 8 – rather than the customary 7:30 – with the host, Mr. Troll. He played two songs, one of which was Cry. It is my favorite of Troll’s songs. Cyndy made a point of telling Troll how much she liked the song – not knowing it was my favorite.

Troll then introduced PDP owner, David Card,

David Card

David Card

who played a song for Carlos. He had just finished the song a couple of hours earlier. It was a humorous, as well as touching, tribute to Carlos. Craig Langford played next. Craig is a good songwriter with a unique voice. Follow the link to hear his music or check out his music on iTunes.

I followed Craig. Before I played my two songs, I ask Carlos up to the stage. As Showcase Director for the Dallas Songwriters Association, I presented Carlos with the inaugural DSA Sound Man of the Year Trophy for his sound work on the DSA quarterly showcase/fundraisers and his work in general. Carlos recorded the shows and gave them to us on cds. He is easily one of the best sound men in Dallas.
Dan Roark 1
One of the songs I played was a new song I wrote with Carlos in mind, called the Sound Man. When Daze of the Moon finally came on they played a tight, rocking set. They call their music alternative rock, but it simply sounded like rock and roll to me. And that’s a good thing. Carlos and the Ghoulies jammed the house down, with open mic continuing after they left the stage.

It was a great night of music to celebrate Carlos Sanchez’s birthday. And his sound work. Congratulations to Carlos – DSA Sound Man of the Year!

Peace be with you.


Carlos Sanchez Receives DSA Sound Man of the Year Award 

Monday, November 30th, at Poor David’s Pub, was not only the regular open mic, but a birthday party for the sound man, Carlos Sanchez. Even though his birthday was actually on Sunday. Open mic started a little late, giving some of the band members time to get there and set up. There was to be […]

The post Carlos Sanchez Receives DSA Sound Man of the Year Award appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

Another Entry in the Small World Category 

Marie, D.B. (Daniel), and Mary Lou

Marie, D.B. (Daniel), and Mary Lou

I stopped at Office Depot to pick up the programs for the Dallas Songwriters Association Song Contest Awards Ceremony Tuesday afternoon. After getting the programs, I went to buy a bottle of water from the other clerk because I left my bottle at the house. The price tags on the different waters were not clear. I took a couple of different waters to the counter and ask what the prices were. He checked and I put the one back I didn’t want.

When I handed him my card, he looked at the name.

“Daniel Roark, I knew a Daniel Roark once.”

“Well, we’re probably related.” There are a quite a few Roarks in the area and the state.

He kept running the card and finishing the transaction. His name tag said Richy, but no last name.

“That was a long time ago,” he was saying under his breath, “Levitz Furniture.” He shook his head.

I perked up. “Did you say Levitz Furniture?”

“Yes.”

“That was my uncle!”

“Really?

I nodded yes.

“What would that make him now, 100?”

“Close to.”

“Well, then.” And he shook my hand.

I smiled, and thanked him. As I was leaving, I made a mental note to call Dad. He would love the story. I knew my uncle as D. B. Roark. Which he went by, like my grandfather. Which is also why I didn’t put it together until Richy mentioned Levitz.

The huge Levitz Furniture showroom was west of I-35 just north of the Continental exit – where the SoftLayer company is now – at, approximately, 1329 N Stemmons Fwy . And, yes, it was a long time ago. I remember going there with my parents to shop for furniture one time. It was a cavernous store. I’ve never seen as many bedroom suites again in my life. They seemed to go on forever. And being a huge warehouse /showroom, the lighting was not all that bright.

That was one of the few times I saw D. B. before I was in high school. D. B. was an entrepreneur of sorts. Until I was in high school, there were periods when we didn’t talk about D.B. and Mary Lou. Particularly when we were at Aunt Marie’s or Aunt Juanita’s houses. Mom just told me not to ask. Then, in high school, they started coming to family events again. Which they continued to do.

When we went to Levitz that day, the first salesman we ran into went to tell D. B. we were there. While D. B. was showing us furniture, we met a few more employees. I was just following my Dad, Mom, and D. B. around, not at all interested. I was a teenage boy and it was furniture, for God’s sake. Nothing in the experience led me to believe, or even imagine, that 40+ years later I would run into a Levitz ex-employee at an Office Depot in Addison.

Even better, what are the odds that Richy was one of the employees I met that day?

Peace be with you.


Get Your Tickets Today for the DSA Award Ceremony and Save 

This is the last full day to get your tickets to the DSA Song Contest Awards and Christmas Party for a $12 donation. The donation will be $15 at the door. All proceeds go to support Dallas Songwriters Association and are tax-deductible. Go to the event page, find out more info, and get your tickets. […]

The post Get Your Tickets Today for the DSA Award Ceremony and Save appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

Just a Few Seats left for the Free Workshop by Roy Elkins 

There are just a few seats are left for the free Your Music and Your Business workshop by Roy Elkins, CEO of Broadjam.com. The workshop is tomorrow, Monday, December 7, from 6-9 p.m. at Tone Shop Guitars on Midway in Addison. Feel free to come early to look around the shop. Go to the event […]

The post Just a Few Seats left for the Free Workshop by Roy Elkins appeared first on Dallas Songwriters Association.

Aunt Marie’s 95th Birthday Party 

seated l-r: Kelley, Marie, Martha, and Mom, standing (in green), Cyndy

seated l-r: Kelley, Marie, Martha, and Mom, standing (in green), Cyndy

A while back, I wrote about my family having to move my Aunt Marie to assisted living and my receiving her Hammond organ that she and I would play when I was in high school. Her birthday party on Sunday, November 29, was the first time I had seen Marie since she moved into Brookdale. My parents, daughter, Jennifer, and granddaughter, Kelley, met us there. Dad met Cyndy and I in the lobby and took us back.

When we approached the door to the wing, I looked up at the sign at the side of the door. It said, “Memory Care Neighborhood.” That was the first time I had seen the phrase and I thought it was perfect. And that was before I entered the neighborhood.

In my experience with senior living centers – which increases with the passing of time – in each area, there is one employee that the residents cling to, as it were. In the memory care neighborhood, it was Barbara. When she first began working there, she wore red shoes all the time. When she was not there, the residents would ask where the lady with the red shoes was.

There is a reason for that. She was the “mayor” of the neighborhood. She helped our

l-r: Mom, Barbara, Jennifer, and Kelley

l-r: Mom, Barbara, Jennifer, and Kelley

family get situated with Marie in a room where we could converse. Marie insisted that her best friend, Martha, be there. Marie seemed to be more grounded when Martha was with her. Martha is her constant anchor to the present. Regardless of how her memory might fail her, Martha was there. And if Martha was there, all was right with the world.

While we were talking to Marie, I was still unsure what to say. I kept constant eye contact, but we had little interaction. However, our eyes said plenty. There were flashes where I had no doubt she knew who I was (my red hair helped – she always liked my hair. It’s as long now as it was then, but not quite as red. When she would see me on holidays during high school and after, she would feel my hair after we hugged.).

Dad and Jennifer

Dad and Jennifer

Then there were times when her mind would drift. But Martha was there, so it was okay. Marie was happier than I have seen her for years, particularly since my uncle Pick passed away. This was the deliriously happy with life Marie that used to skip church and take Dennis and I to Six Flags – riding all the rides with us. The Marie that listened and watched carefully when I played my songs on family occasions.

After Jennifer and Kelley helped Barbara and the staff divvy up the cake for everyone in the neighborhood, we went into the dining room. Dad helped scoop the ice cream to go with the cake. Jennifer helped serve. We all had a nice visit and party. Our family interacted with several residents. Of course the writer in me didn’t miss much.

Cyndy and I hugged Marie good-bye, as did the rest of the family, and we left after thanking Barbara for her help and dedication to the residents. She said that was where God led her to be. We told her that her dedication illustrated her faith.

Marie had a wonderful birthday – with family, if only briefly in recognition. She was with her best friend, Martha, and her neighbors. Barbara was there to take care of her. And God will take care of the rest.

Peace be with you.


Open Mic Tales – West Texas Mammoths 

West Texas Mammoths

West Texas Mammoths

Open Mic Tales will be a regular feature since the stories keep turning up. If I run out of stories – which is highly unlikely – there are open mic hosts and performers that could fill in the gaps. There is a lot of good music being played at open mics in the Dallas area. With many interesting stories of those who were passing through and showed up at an open mic. It is my intent to feature some of the better singer/songwriters as well as to share some of those interesting stories.

The first featured act is the West Texas Mammoths. To be truthful, only two of the band members were playing at Poor David’s Pub open mic with Mr. Troll: David Kapsner, and Michael Jekot. David is the lead singer and guitarist and Michael is the lead guitar player. I’m looking forward to seeing the entire band play live. The other members are Tyler Rush, on bass, and Joseph Noga on drums. They say their music is a unique flavor of blues inspired rock and roll with a southern twist. And that’s pretty much “on the money,” as it were.

With just David and Michael playing, it was simply good acoustic music. Mike was playing lead (and playing it well) on a dobro. They reminded me of myself and Joel Nichols in Southern Plains before Joel passed away in 1999. When I played my set, I asked Mike to come up and play lead. As it happened, I had decided to bring my dobro that night, so it was dueling dobros on my song, Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters. It took me back to when I was playing with Joel.

So check out the West Texas Mammoths when you have a chance. They are playing at Three Links in Deep Ellum on December 19. Or you can check them out on their website or on Reverbnation, Facebook, or Twitter. Tell Mike and David, Dan said hi.

Peace be with you.


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