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Daniel Amedee is living proof that a musician can be from New Orleans, but not necessarily be of New Orleans, a distinction that courses through his quirky, eccentric songwriting style, informed by a haunting bluesy vocalese that scratches the soul somewhere between Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart, and certainly belies young Daniel’s 26 years. In fact, he’s been at it – writing and producing his own music (and getting by with a little help from his friends) since age 14. Which prompts the question: How and where did this unassuming bundle of talent come to be inhabited by the avant garde spirits of progressive rock and guerilla classical that suffuse his debut CD, Themes From (Ex Pat Records, 2011)? And what can we expect from its follow-up, Climbing, due for release in 2013?
For all its grand and storied heritage of America’s jazz, blues, rock ’n roll, Cajun, Zydeco, R&B, and hip-hop, the Crescent City can be a harsh and unforgiving mistress for a fledgling singer-songwriter-arranger whose music leans more towards the atmospherics of Billboard’s modern rock chart and U2. Throw in the Gulf’s annual barrage of natural disasters, with their withering effect on the psyche, and it makes for a musical sensibility that is more King Crimson than King Oliver, more Mars Volta than Mardi Gras.
What does the immediate future have in store for Daniel Amedee? Leading up to the release of his second album, Climbing in 2013 (also produced by Charles Gonzales and featuring Patrick Spurgeon on drums) – more videos, more interaction with social media, more recordings, more collaborations. When asked by The Mic what got him started in this business, the answer poured out: “My own persistence and belief that I could write songs and make it in this industry would be the round about answer. But I played with many different people before I realized I was what I needed to succeed and the right people would come to me instead of vice versa. I never stopped writing my own songs and privately developing my own style while playing with other people, and when the opportunity came to take a step forward and record my first full length album I took it.”
– Arthur Levy (November 2012)