By Marley

He is tall, mysterious and certainly one of the most talented guitarists you will see in your lifetime. He has been compared to many blues legends and he is busy taking over the world with his songs and guitar. His passion is guitar playing, making the guitar weep as she surely was made for it.

Dan Patlansky is the name on everyone’s lips after his new album “Dear Silence Thieves” hit the no. 1 spot on the Blues Rock Review website. He just returned from touring the UK and Europe and is busy embarking on a tour of South Africa doing acoustic shows.

Dan took some time out one evening to chat to me via the telephone to chat about hitting the no. 1 spot on the Blues Rock Review, touring and home life as well as what you can expect from his acoustic shows.

STM: Welcome back in SA

Dan Patlansky: Thank you so much excellent to be here at home.

STM: What is your favourite part of returning home after an overseas tour?

Dan: I have a one-year-old daughter and wife and seeing them is definitely a highlight for me. I’ve spent so much time away this year it’s so fantastic being at home again to spend time with her and bond again with her.

STM: You are a full time musician, husband and father – how do you balance it all?

Dan: It’s tough, no doubt about that it. The trick is when you are home is to put in the effort and yours of spending time with my family. Since I don’t have a day time job and I am home I can put in all the time with them. And on the other end of the scale, it is hard when you touring to balance it.

STM: Your new album “Dear Silence Thieves” was voted no. 1 on the Blue Rock Review in the USA – what does it mean to you?

Dan: It meant a lot to us! A couple of years ago with “20 Stones” we reached the Top 20 (10th position – Ed) and in 2013 with “Wooden Thoughts” we reached no. 16 or so. To know that fans voted us to no. 1 was really great. This year that no. 1 and the nominations opened so many doors for us in the UK and the USA. Playing at festivals there and meeting agents it really has opened doors for us.

STM: The video “Fetch Your Spade” is really a cool and suitable video.

Dan: Thank you so much!

STM: My question is how did it feel doing the coffin scene?

Dan: It was creepy man, being in the coffin when it was closed, it was my least favourite part of the shoot. It was a stage coffin I think that was hired from a theatre group and had big holes cut in the bottom and so, so you could see out of it. It only took one take, we made sure everything was ready before that scene and luckily we only had to do one take.

STM: You offer guitar weekends to fellow guitarists – when and why did you decide to start doing it?

Dan: Obvious I’m not a guitar teacher but the weekends are just a different kind of teaching. It’s 30 people who are all serious about guitars playing on all levels. It’s really fun to be surrounded by people who really love and want to get serious about playing the guitar and share that exact same interest as me. To hang out with 30 people with the same interest is a blast. To teach people who really want to learn, want to be there and want to learn to play the blues-rock as I do on stage is great.

I think we started in 2007 or 2008 and only presented it once a year but this year we will present it twice. The bookings are not open yet but will be in a couple of weeks. We did one in Stellenbosch and in Clarens, we will be doing it again in November. It’s a lot of fun and hard work.

Find out more on Dan’s guitar weekends.

STM: You are no stranger to the Lowveld and have been here often. Is there a favourite place for you to visit like a restaurant / site / stop place?

Dan: Its definitely one of the most beautiful provinces especially the Lowveld, Nelspruit area. The reality is we are there for such short periods of time. I never ever had that opportunity to explore the area, we usually head out as soon as the gig is finished. The only places I’ve visited are the venues where I’ve played for like the Blue Moon. Tough one to answer.

STM: Fan question – who do you feel South Africans should listen or watch out for in blues currently in our country?

Dan: There is Jonathan Peyper who is from Nelspruit, he brings new blood in the blues-rock genre. Sounds great to listen to and a guy to look out for. Sebastian Goldswain from Durban is another one that’s also sounding fantastic. Those two upcoming cats are really getting their name out.

STM: Fan question – What was the hardest time to get through, throughout your music career?

Dan: I think the beginning stage of my career and where my career is the same to me. In the beginning, I was trying to get as many gigs as possible, to fill venues and getting my name out there, now on the other end of the scale, I feel very blessed and happy in my career, it’s very stressful on my personal life. To get everything done with a tour schedule and press schedule and so forth. So to me, both feel the same to me right now.

Dan Patlansky - photo by Yolanda Saayman
Dan Patlansky
(photo by Yolanda Saayman)

STM: What can people expect from your shows next weekend?

Dan: Solo acoustic stuff, it worked very well at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, I received the Standard Bank Ovation Award for the show and it went very well. So I’m bringing that same show to the Lowveld. I can’t play any of the electric stuff but I think it is really cool stuff. The acoustic show is not just a chill-sit-back show, it will still be in your face.

STM: Since it’s National Women’s month, is there a message to the women out there?

Dan: Keep it zen!

A nice guy, fantastic musician and a hard-working person, Dan is certainly a pleasure to listen to both on and off stage. If you don’t have his new no. 1 album “Dear Silence Thieves” then it’s time to add it to your collection.

Follow Dan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit his website!

Thank you again Dan for taking the time to chat to us at Small Town Music!

Marley is the founder and owner of Small Town Music. Born and bred in Nelspruit aka Nelsparta. Marley loves music (rock being a firm favourite), tattoos, festivals, animals and South Africa. Self-taught photographer and writer.