Contributor’s Note: Singer/Songwriter Dan Rauchwerk is a troubadour in the classic sense of the word. His songs are beautiful stories that are told with passion. While the songs on his last album do differ, there is a through line of honesty that I really enjoyed. Fans can find Dan Rauchwerk at the following locations:
Your music on We Are More Than What We Leave Behind is rooted in your storytelling. Whether it’s an Irish singer-songwriter style on “Mrs. McLaughlin,” or an American folk inspired song like “Memphis,” your storytelling seems at the center of your songs. Where do these stories come from?
My stories come from a variety of sources. “Mrs. McLaughlin” comes out of my own weird take on a trope from Irish folk songs. “Memphis” comes from personal experience. Many of the other stories on the album are a blend of things I’ve read about in books and things I have personally experienced.
Tell us a little more about your influences?
I listen primarily to contemporary American folk and bluegrass and a blend of Irish, English, and Scottish traditional music, though I love folk music from all over the world. If I had to pick a few specific artists who have most heavily influenced me as a writer, I’d say that UK-based folk singer Kate Rusby and Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith have been my biggest influences.
Your sound feels like it’s strongly rooted in classic music, but some of your production techniques, feel surprisingly modern. Are you making music with an old school music with a new school twist or do you feel like you’re making contemporary music influenced by classic songwriting?
I suppose it depends on the perspective of the listener! To traditionalists my music will sound modern, but to fans of contemporary music mine will sound like an anachronism. As a traditionalist myself, I always see modern instrumentation like electric guitars and synthesizers to be bells and whistles which help me add my own personal signature to a very old and established tradition.
What was it like working with Caitlin Mahoney on “Tears Shaped Like Islands”?
It was wonderful! We’ve been friends for a number of years, and I have always admired the level of emotion that she’s able to convey in her singing. I thought her voice would be perfect on that track (and on harmonies on “Victoria”), and I am very pleased with how it turned out!
What are some challenges that you face as a solo act that might surprise our readers?
As a solo act, it’s a lot more difficult to hold a new audience’s attention. Bands have the advantage of having lots of activity onstage to keep the crowd visually engaged, but solo acts are generally out of luck in that department. I try to make up for the fact that it’s just me up there by telling a lot of jokes and getting the audience to sing along.
What’s next for you?
I am one of those people who has trouble sitting still, so I am already working on another album! I am also touring in support of We Are More Than What We Leave Behind.
And there you have it! Check out Dan Rauchwerk at the following gig dates:
Sat. 2/16- Kingston Arts Collective & Cafe in Kingston, New York
Fri. 2/22- The Rotunda in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sat. 2/23- The Bowery Electric in New York, New York
Sun. 2/24- Starbucks in Wilmington, Delaware
Sun. 3/3- Boast: Best of Astoria Party in Queens, New York
Wed. 3/6- Lizzie Rose Music Room in Tuckerton, New Jersey
Wed. 3/13- The Downtown in Red Bank, New Jersey
Thu. 3/28- Greenhouse Cafe in Brooklyn, New York
Sat. 5/4- Creative Arts & Music Festival in Monmouth County, New Jersey
Sat. 5/11- Brooklyn Music Shop Homestead in Brooklyn, New York
Sun. 6/9- Beacon Strawberry Festival in Beacon, New York
Sat. 10/5- Jalopy Theatre and School of Music in Brooklyn, New York
For tickets and further information on any of the shows listed above, click here.
- Photo Credit: Sea Rebecca Sloat