Dana Countryman’s new CD “Pop! The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop Music of Dana Countryman” has been released on Sterling Swan Records. The album features 17 sparkling new vocal pop songs, written by Countryman, in many classic ‘retro’ pop styles.
Over the years, Countryman has worn quite a few hats in his musical career. He started writing songs as a teenager. At 19, Countryman started performing in Detroit, playing bass and singing in his first band, The Sparklers, a Beatles copy band. After that, he spent several years living in Hollywood, writing songs there. In the late ‘70s, he was the leader of a Swing vocal group that performed big band tunes at Holiday Inns in Reno, Nevada.
In the 1980’s, he was the leader and songwriter for Seattle comedy vocal group THE AMAZING PINK THINGS.
The Pink Things performed on both coasts of the USA, and made television appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show, the A&E Network, and The Jerry Lewis Telethon, to name a few. The Pink Things also sang the national anthem at a Seattle Mariners’ game, and appeared as themselves in a television commercial for The American Cancer Society. One of their songs made the “Funny Five”, on the nationally-syndicated Dr. Demento radio show.
In 2006, Countryman partnered with legendary pioneer electronic musician JEAN-JACQUES PERREY, recording two CDs of crazy electronic Moog music with him, and the two appeared in concert together, both in Europe and in America. Their song “Chicken On The Rocks” was featured on The Comedy Channel’s TV series, “SOUTH PARK”. More recently, Countryman wrote a book about Perrey’s life, and released a CD of his own cartoonish electronic instrumental Moog music.
Now, Countryman has shifted gears once again, and has returned to his early singer-songwriter roots.
“I started writing and singing pop songs as a teenager, and in those days, my dream was to write and record an entire album of my own material. When I was 20 years old, I moved to Hollywood to pursue that dream. But back then, I was very, very shy, so after I left Hollywood, nobody really knew I had ever been there!”, Countryman says. “I did, however, write tons of songs during my time in Hollywood. Those were kind of my self-taught ‘college years.’ I learned a lot. It was actually great musical training.” Now, all these years later, Countryman is finally realizing his teenage dream by recording and releasing his first album of all-original songs.
Countryman’s “Pop!” album starts off very energetically. “I wanted to start the album, by singing some of my very upbeat, ‘60s-influenced songs. Then, about half-way through, the album shifts gears and heads more into ‘70s ‘Carpenters’-styled soft rock, including an ‘80s-styled power ballad.”
Countryman plays most of the instruments on the album. He says, “I sing the majority of the vocals on the album, including harmonies, but I also wanted to bring in several guest lead vocalists. It just adds extra spice to bring in other talented singers, who can actually sing some of these songs better than me!”
Guest musicians include Dee Long (Klaatu), and guest lead singers include nationally-recognized singers Scott Krippayne, Wally Reddington III (The Explorer’s Club), as well as R&B newcomer Jimmie Herrod, and Countryman’s own vocalist wife, Tricia Countryman. “Tricia had been bugging me for a long time to sing a duet with her on my song ‘I Lie Awake and Dream of You’, so that’s on this album.” Coming full circle, one of the songs featured on the album is a song called “For Now And Forever”‑ the first song that a teenage Dana Countryman wrote at the tender age of 16.
“Pop! The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop Music of Dana Countryman” showcases Countryman’s ability to write in a variety of musical ‘retro’ styles, ranging from Bubble-Pop, Motown-esque 60s’ R&B, to 70’s-styled Power Pop, rocky ‘80s power ballads, to love songs that would have made the Carpenters proud.
“I have no interest in hip-hop, or other current styles. My heart is firmly entrenched in the classic songwriting styles of the ’60s through the ‘80s. That’s just how I’m hard-wired. I studied those albums by The Carpenters and Bread, for example. They wrote great songs in those days, and that’s the kind of music I still love. I proudly call what I do ‘retro’ pop music. This music really makes me happy, and that’s the bottom line. I write it and produce it because I have to! This kind of music just makes me feel good. My hope is that it makes other people feel good, too.”
“Pop! The Incredible, Fantastic Retro Pop Music of Dana Countryman” is a refreshing “blast from the past”, with a modern spin. The album is available as a physical CD or as a digital download.
Available on iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon.com, and worldwide digital outlets.
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