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items tagged with Night Alone in the City

“Something That I Am”: Jordan Danielsen, “Night Alone in the City”
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Feature Stories

2011-04-08 20:37:48

Jordan Danielsen has made his living exclusively from music for seven years now, so it might seem a little strange that he’s in his fourth semester studying music performance at Black Hawk College.

Part of the impetus, he said in an interview last month, was expanding his performance repertoire from his natural instruments of guitar and harmonica to piano and drums. And some of it was self-improvement, a desire to learn to read music and to better hear harmonies.

But he also had an eye to his career, hoping to meet horn players and wanting to learn to write charts so other musicians could play them. The ultimate goal appears to be flexibility – the ability to hire the musicians he needs at any time to get what he wants for a project, without being reliant on a fixed band.

The 31-year-old Danielsen recently released his debut CD, the 14-track Night Alone in the City, and it’s largely the product of years hosting open-mic nights at venues such as Davenport’s Bier Stube. The songs are straightforward and seem designed to connect instantly to an audience; one can almost hear where Danielsen expects a cheer or a laugh from his listeners. In that sense, the album works, even though the songs outside of a live context feel somewhat thin. (“Open Mic” probably works as a tone-setting invitation in front of bar patrons, but it feels out-of-place on a CD.)

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