More People Should Really Know About: Daniel Tashian

If ever there’s an artist who fits the bill for this feature it’s Daniel Tashian. He’s the go-to songwriter, he’s a top producer, a multi-award winner, as well as being a brilliant solo artist and band member. Talented or what. His parents are the country duo Barry and Holly Tashian. My first contact with Tashian came back in 1996 when the T Bone Burnett – produced debut ‘Sweetie’ was released. It’s a rocky and really strong affair and already his knack for writing superb tunes was ably  demonstrated with songs like ‘Where Have You Gone’ and ‘You‘. It was on the Elektra label – who had signed him as a 19 year old – showing immense potential.

He then worked with a range of musicians including Patty Griffin (‘Flaming Red’); Warren Zanes (the brilliant ‘Memory Girls‘ and ‘People That I’m Wrong For’ ); Josh Rouse (numerous albums); and Mindy Smith amongst many others.  Tashian then formed a group The Bees that would then become The Silver Seas, who would go on to record a series of superb releases, featuring some beautifully lush arrangements and back in 2011 Danny Baker announced that they were “the best group in the world”. They released five seriously good pop/rock albums with the highlight being their ‘country’ album ‘Alaska‘ in 2013. Michael Hann wrote at the time in The Guardian saying “Daniel Tashian appears to be one of those songwriters from whom melodies simply pour, and there’s barely a misplaced chord in this perfect miniature”. The band even managed to get a song on the TV series ‘Breaking Bad’.

But Tashian really came to the fore as he amassed a highly impressive set of songwriting credits, starting with Lee Ann Womack in 2008 and continuing with Sara Evans, Lissie, Kasey Musgraves to name but a few. He received two Grammys, one ACM award and a CMA award for his work on Musgraves albums ‘Golden Hour‘ and ‘star-crossed’. He’s also done a wide range of production duties on numerous country and americana albums.

More recently he collaborated on one of Burt Bacharach’s last recordings – an EP called ‘Blue Umbrella’. He also produced and wrote songs for Sarah Jarosz’s brilliant album ‘Polaroid Lovers’ including one of my favourite recent songs ‘Jealous Moon’. His penchant for writing catchy and polished songs was also ably demonstrated with his most recent album – ‘Night After Night’ – a fantastic album and one of my albums of 2022 and on it he worked with songwriter and guitarist Paul Kennerly (Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris – he wrote ‘Born To Run‘ – and The Judds).

Tashian has accomplished so much since his debut – and all of his band and solo work is strongly recommended. Melodies really do pour out of him and his varied back catalogue so ably demonstrates that. He’s the sort of act that I count the days for his next project. Can’t wait.

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