Dan Zanes Biography

1 July 1961, Exeter, New Hampshire, USA. Formerly lead singer with the acclaimed US alternative rock band the Del Fuegos, Zanes launched his solo career in 1995 with the release of Cool Down Time. Produced by Mitchell Froom with help from Tom Waits associate Tchad Blake, this collection anchored elements of blues and country as accompaniment to Zanes’ dark narratives of loss, hurt and betrayal. As well as a cover version of Mose Allison’s ‘If You Live’, the artist’s own writing included the affecting ballad ‘Carelessly’ and the tough blues of ‘Rough Spot’.

After relocating to New York City in the late 90s, Zanes settled down to family life with his wife and new baby. He began playing with a group of fathers under the name the Wonderland String Band, recording a number of privately distributed tapes. The idea evolved into a series of CD releases on Zanes’ Festival Five label, featuring guest artists including Sheryl Crow, Aimee Mann, Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega and Dar Williams alongside the original band’s partners and children. Mixing standards, original material and childrens’ songs in a delightfully unprententious manner, the series attracted positive reviews and even earned Zanes a Grammy Award for 2006’s Catch That Train!

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.