About

Dan with resonatorDan Bubien is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. With a career that spans over two decades, Dan is constantly refining and redefining his craft with a wide palette of tones and textures, sounds and styles, to express his songwriting through an open, honest and wide catalogue of real songs.  Rooted in soul versed in styles from blues to funk, roots-rock to reggae, alt-country to singer/songwriter.

Dan began his career in his mid-teens by working the bar and club circuit in and around his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.  In 2004 Dan started the band The Sun Kings which would carry him through the next decade. In 2006 they released an album of original material called “Rub Up In It”.

In 2013 Dan released “Empty Roads”. A self-produced solo record recorded with four-time Grammy Award Winning Producer/Engineer Jay Dudt at Audible Images Studio in Pittsburgh. “The best collection of songs I’ve worked on in years” says Dudt.

In August 2016, Dan released his second solo Album “Grinding These Gears”, self- produced and recorded by legendary Pittsburgh musician Joe Munroe. The album is a rootsy collection of original contemporary blues and soul songs tied together by classic instrumentation, soulful vocals and contemporary songwriting.

Accolades

Grinding These Gears: 

  • Three weeks in top ten RMR Blues/Rock Album charts, charted as high as #4
  • Three weeks in top twenty RMR Blues Album charts, charted as high as #12
  • Three weeks at #1 RMR PA State Album charts
  • Spent over 5 months on the Blues, Blues/Rock and PA State Album Charts and selected as #36 “Best of 2016” Blues/Rock Album Roots Music Report
  • Selected by the Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania in the “Best Self-Produced CD” category at the 2017 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

Empty Roads:

  • Selected as one of the top 5 albums of 2013 in 91.3 WYEP’s Year in Review Publication by deejay Rob O’Friel
  • Charted has high as #14 on the PA Roots Charts and #41 on the Worldwide Blues Charts
  • Selected by the Blues Society of Western Pennsylvania in the “Best Self-Produced CD” category at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.

Festival Appearances

People’s Choice Festival, PA – Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, OH -Canal Winchester Blues Festival, OH – Pittsburgh Blues Festival, PA – Heritage Music Festival, WV – Blast Furnace Blues Fest, PA – Dream On Fest, PA – Carnegie Blues Fest, PA, – Strip District Music Fest, PA – Blind Raccoon Showcase at IBC, TN

Opened For/Performed With

311, Los Lonely Boys, John Browns Body, Robert Randolph, Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), Anthony Gomes, The Bros. Landereth, Patrick Sweany, Seth, Walker, Davey Knowles, Indigenous, Quinn Sullivan, Seth Walker, Anna Popovich, Magic Slim, Bernard Allison, Tinsley Ellis, Shemekia Copeland, Debbie Davies, Guitar Shorty and Michael Burks.

 

Review of “Grinding These Gears” by Peter Merrett PBS106.7 Melbourne Australia

*** Track 1. – “Palest Rider” Written by Dan Bubien & Roman Marocco.
Soulful atmospheric Blues intro to this much anticipated album from Bubien and his band before stunning slide guitar, drums, bass and keyboard that propel it into a crescendo of sound. Budien’s voice is expressive and commands absolute attention. Pathos laded but forceful, certainly a instant hit that will draw in many a listener who have not heard of Bubien prior to this.

*** Track 2. – “Grinding The Gears” Written by Dan Bubien.
Hard rockin’ Rock/Blues drives along with a take no prisoner attitude that is full of swagger and bravado. Munroe provides some very tasty piano as Bubien unleashes his prodigious guitars talents that lead into an outstanding sax solo from Manion. Bubien certainly processes and extraordinary voice that has a power but also a more soulful side that lends itself well to all that  is required to send each and every song to dizzying heights.

*** Track 3. – “Forever Yours” Written by Dan Bubien.
Wow, wow, wow where does one start with this one. Glorious Soul drenched Blues that envelops the listener in a cocoon of aural delight. Gospel tinged with a big chorus style backing vocals. Munroe is certainly in his element with this one that is resplendent in a keyboard heaven. Strong percussion from Taravella and bass from Munroe provide a solid rhythm section. Bubien once again shows just how much of a singer he is as well as the stunning understated guitar. This for me is a tour de force of Soul/Blues  that just takes one’s breath away and  makes you feel so very good.

*** Track 4. – “Vagabond” Written by Dan Bubien.
Potent Rock/Blues that has a driving undertone that  relentlessly propels throughout this one. Bubien’s vocals growl and rise and fall as if he is howling at a full moon.. Munroe expands on that almost Gothic feel with his keyboards laying bare the emotion from Bubien’s fire laden guitar. Again the rhythm section of Taravella and Munroe is faultless. This is quite a musical epic that tells a powerful story, not for the weak at heart.

*** Track 5. – “Dark Hearted Woman” Written by Dan Bubien & Roman Marocco.
Bubien’s exquisite vocals and stunning slide guitar introduces another trademark big big Soul drenched Blues that could easily be construed as his trademark. Certainly pathos laden with Bubien wailing as if his life depended on it stripping back his soul to allow his guitar to cut even deeper. Munroe again is blistering and heart wrenching with his keyboards. Here again we have another tour do force song on an album that is abundantly adorned with “classic” tracks. All l can say is “have mercy mercy”!

*** Track 6. – “Second Hand Man” Written by Dan Bubien & Roman Marocco.
A retrospective sounding Bubien who launches into a Reggae  inspired offering with wonderful Caribbean inspired doo-wop backing vocals. To complete that sound Bufalini provides the wonderful trumpet and Davis the saxophone. Big bold and brassy just as it should be. On this one not only does Bubien provide the outstanding guitar but also plays bass. Wonderful full bodied delight here. Enjoy the sound and feel.

*** Track 7. – “Memphis Murder Blues” Written by Dan Bubien & Roman Marocco.
Ahhhhh yeah a bit of Texas boogie for good measure as Bubien lays on some stunning slide. Taravella provides a touch of the South with that flat bass drum sound that is swept up into a crescendo from  a great band that delivers all the goodies. Driving rhythm section, soaring guitar, piano triplets and stunning keyboards all melded together by Bubien’s amazing voice. Can’t ask for more than this!

*** Track 8. – “I Will Take Care Of You” Written by Dan Bubien.
Taravella’s masculine drum heralds in this powerful heart wrenching ballad. Bubien’s vocals a subdued and somewhat restrained to great effect delivering a mesmerizing feel soaring from very high to dizzying lows. Deeply rooted in the Blues this one is definitely full bodied what with the keyboards and faint distant backing vocals that combine with Bubien’s guitar and the rhythm section to take us to  a whole new place as they play with our emotions and cut deep into our heart’s.

*** Track 9. – “Coming Clean” Written by Dan Bubien & Roman Marocco.
Quite a jaunty Rhythm & Blues with Bubien singing in a slightly restrained manor so as to draw every emotion he can from this one. By now it is more than obvious that not only do we have a seriously great album but also stunningly written and well crafted songs. Beautiful restrained orchestration that the charts simply shine on. Bubien certainly can squeeze every emotion from a song what with voice and guitar. As for the band, well they don’t get any better than this as the song and voice are  there to be enjoyed and the band are a beautiful dessert.
*** Track 10. – “The Struggle Is Real” Written Dan Bubien & Roman Marocco.
The final track has a Southern chain gang work song drive about it. Taravella again employs that hypnotic flat bass drum to haunting effect. For Blues this has been an omnipresent subject that gave birth to so many songs and legends. Such a gut wrenching potent Blues that displays all that is great about Dan Bubien and band. The guitar from Bubien weeps and moans with a thousand stories  of what was so wrong in the South. With every note and chord there are tears and pain that we can feel, but here we have a way to reach out to our unforgivable past. Perfect Blues!!!.

Dan Bubien the Aliquippi Pennsylvania native hasn’t graced us with a new album since the 2013 release “Empty Roads”. Was the wait worth it you might ask, my heartfelt answer is a resounding YES! “Empty Roads” was absolutely stunning and it would have been very easy to dismiss this as just another ordinary follow up by an artist to a great album. In this case however l didn’t feel that Bubien could raise the bar that much higher but raise it he did to a dizzying height. The pathos and power of each track is tangible with well-crafted thoughtful songs and orchestration that doesn’t get much better if at all. There are no mere fill in tracks as each can stand alone as work of aural art. I for one, like so many others fell instantly into Bubien’s web of talent but here this one has made my heart sore with delight and admiration. Already with “Grinding These Gears” you have an album that will feature strongly in everyone’s favourite albums of 2016 and will be one that the listener will return to over and over again. Every track is an “A” side and l just have to go back and have another listen so please excuse me as l press replay!