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Spotlight On C. Daniel Boling At The Higley Center For The Performing Arts In Gilbert, Arizona
Photos by Glenda S. Paradee

C. Daniel Boling performed January 5, 2014 at the Higley Center for The Performing Arts in Gilbert, Arizona.  He is a great performer.  Boling told many stories of his experiences with friends and other folk singers he has met during his career.  He is a fantastic guitar player.  During his two set show, Boling also played harmonica and a six string he calles a banjitar.

Daniel Boling is a songwriter with a storyteller's ear for detail and a balladeer's turn of phrase. His songs are inhabited by interesting characters drawn from Daniel's life, family and friends: the vagabond running off with a tiny circus to tour the West; an aging Viet Nam veteran looking back with surprise at his departed youth; a young rancher inheriting his grandfather's nearly worn out rangeland and hoping he can hold on and live up to the family legacy; a passenger on Flight 93 calling his wife to say goodbye; and morons with a death wish proving Darwin's theory of evolution! His finger-picked guitar and banjitar support a good, clear tenor voice that evokes his characters' emotions perfectly.

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Glenda S. Paradee & C. Daniel Boling

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More on C. Daniel Boling:

Sharing experiences from a life well-lived in places as far ranging as Okinawa, Japan, and Padre Island, Texas, this balladeer/songwriter with the friendly tenor brings his well-crafted story songs to lucky audiences coast-to-coast in over one hundred shows a year, from house concerts to festivals (Kerrville, Winfield, Woody Guthrie Folk Festival). Born into a traveling Air Force family, he later worked as a National Park Ranger (yes, the gun-toting kind) and as a Criminal Investigator for the US Bureau of Land Management, and he started touring at 50, an age when most guys are planning their retirement. He's got six albums, including the brand new Sleeping Dogs, produced by Jono Manson and released in September 2013 on Berkalin Records.

Songs on his new CD include wonderful musicians and great stories about a variety of characters, including himself. In "Moderation," he tells us, "One small step starts an ugly trend because moderation is not my friend." Toward the end, even his mama is telling him that. Whether your weakness is chocolate or soap operas, Daniel empathizes with you and confides that he gets through with the help of his friends and Bill W. He plays the banjitar here (a banjo/guitar hybrid) and a guitar on other songs, with a deft fingerpicking style that always enhances the stories.

The title cut is a story of self-discovery, first of self-loathing about the "moments of the past that won't stay gone." By the finish, though, he's telling us that " no one can tell you what your life should mean." He turns to the whimsical for "Hooked." You think he's singing about fishing "Stink bait dough squished on a hook / You've got to know just how attractive that must look / To an old catfish down in the mud" but then you realize it's a love song exemplifying that old adage, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." The merry accompaniment includes a fun tuba played by Freebo (Bonnie Raitt's longtime bassist). There's another great tale in "Nobody's Business," but perhaps not one you'd expect from a guy married to the same woman for 30 years. When he gets to the chorus in this poignant story, it becomes clear: "Marriage is two people in love / Marriage is two hearts holding hands." In a tender and thoughtful way he links same-sex marriage to the bans in the past on interracial marriages. In "Pontificating Paradox," we hear from everyone from "the Holy Squirrel of Chapel Rock" to an old agnostic troubadour. This song is presented simply, with only his guitar and vocal philosophy this poignant doesn't need a huge band. "Someday" is a Pete Seeger-like call and response anthem that starts out with only the banjitar and builds to a rousing room full of voices. The album closes with beautiful harmonies and cello accompanying the contemplative "Summer Sweetcorn," ostensibly about the passing of the seasons, but really a metaphor for how we pass through the years.

Daniel's personable stage presence and intriguing backstories keep his performances engaging. There's a lot of Steve Goodman in his delivery and storytelling. You can also hear other classic folk singers like Tom Paxton and John Prine. It's no surprise that the great Appalachian folk singer Jean Ritchie is a distant cousin. He's had the pleasure to share the stage with Tom Chapin, Small Potatoes and Jack Williams. He's won numerous songwriting awards including the Walnut Valley Festival, Santa Fe bluegrass and Old Time Festival, Albuquerque Folk Festival, and Woody Guthrie Folk Festival and has played juried showcases at the Southeast, Northeast and Midwest conferences of the International Folk Alliance.

There's a reason that Still on the Hill calls him "one of the most talented songwriters on the circuit." Whether or not you've walked the very same roads, you can't help but relate to these songs and no matter what your story, you'll love Daniel's.

Songwriting honors include:

*1st Place Songwriter - Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival 2012
*Winner - Love Songs - Walnut Valley Festival 2010
*Winner - Feeling Blue Songs - Walnut Valley Festival 2010
1st Place Songwriter, Woody Guthrie Folk Festival 2007 - Okemah, OK
*Winner - Songs for Children, Walnut Valley Festival 2005 - Winfield, KS
*Alternate Winner - Love Songs, Walnut Valley Festival 2005
*Daniel's song WELCOME HOME has been chosen as the Festival Theme Song for the
Albuquerque Folk Festival - Albuquerque, NM

Check out C. Daniel Boling's website at

 Thanks for the Music Daniel!

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