If you like Classic West Coast AOR sound with great arrangements as artists such as Michael McDonald, Chicago, Pages, Steely Dan, Toto, Kenny Loggins, Daniel Nelson first album is for you.
Growing up South of Philadelphia, it was almost impossible not to be affected by the music coming out of Philly. From the Thom Bell sound (like The Stylistics) to Hall & Oates. “I used to stay up all night listening to the local AM station on my transistor radio, hoping Mom and Dad didn’t catch me up past bed-time”
Daniel Nelson has been cutting his teeth on Pop, Soul and Jazz for most of his life.
“My oldest brother was a music director at a New York station, so I got a chance to listen to all the promo records from the late 70s to early 80s.. I heard great West Coast music like Steely Dan’s “Aja” and Ambrosia’s “Life Beyond LA”, and I knew I was going to end up in Los Angeles writing and performing this genre of music .”
While at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, Daniel studied recording and production, and spent a Summer in LA working at the Bill Schnee Studio, where he met many of his heroes, including David Paich (Toto) and Boz Scaggs., and before long, Daniel had gone West and was playing in local LA bands and spending his free time song writing. Daniel also began performing solo, and won the open mic night contest at the then-famous Hollywood Palomino Club. Daniel also found work in TV, which gave him access to shows like the Grammys and Billboard Awards. There he met Kenny Loggins and Ambrosia’s David Pack. “Their encouragement really helped me finish the Mini-album.”
After writing about a dozen demos, Daniel was ready to go into the studio. “I wanted my music to have a more theatrical flair, so I sought out someone who was really well versed in arranging, as well as standard production.” Daniel met Ed Smart, who scored the music for the Academy Award nominated Documentary “Hank Aaron - Chasing the Dream”. Their first collaboration was the bitter-sweet ballad “Emily”, the two decided to continue working together and the Mini-album was completed. Daniel and Ed even co-penned the Soul and R&B laced “Madelynn”, a song about an obsessive relationship.
Ed brought many studio professionals in to fill out the sound, including guitarists Nick Brown and Allen Hinds, David Derge on drums and the amazing Vine Street Horn Section. “My music as a lot different than the stuff that’s going on out there right now. I really dig great arrangements, horns and strings, not just straight-ahead guitars and drums. I love great lyrics and melody lines, and I really think a lot of people want to hear music from good Singer/Songwriters."