I first came across Dan Raza supporting the Whybirds at a gig in Bedford in somewhere between 2009-2011. He was youthful and energetic but as equally important his songs were accomplished and distinctive melding a winsome melancholy with insight and a highly developed lyrical understanding of the human condition, unusual in one so young. The performance lingered long in the memory and how many support acts do that especially on a grey night in Bedford!
His debut was a recorded gig at live at the Green Note and released in 2008 (although his website says 2006 so it’s one or the other!). Essentially a troubadour laying out his stall with some deft guitar and subtle fiddle accompaniment. It highlights Raza’s skills both as a singer and songwriter. There are strong comparisons to be drawn with Josh Ritter – literate and literary – as well as a more English folk tradition such as Ralph McTell.
The first album ‘Dan Raza’ (2012) develops this troubadour persona with sensitive and deeply evocative production and instrumentation. Flutes, accordions and fiddles for goodness sake! Raza’s vocal delivery and the occasional steel guitar keep the americana boxes ticked as well as the narratives which have an honesty and clear-eyed conscience.
2017s ‘Two’ is a beautifully continuation and development of his style and back catalogue. The stunning ‘Old Ways’ is a worthy Van Morrison peak comparison all melting melody and yearning vocals. ‘Where The Rivers Divide’ has a heft and feeling in the delivery that can make a grown man weep.
He gigs continually and can be seen in some very small rooms. I urge you to explore if your americana tastes are on the folky side or if you appreciate great music of whatever hue!