Last year Dan Waters released his excellent solo LP La Vita E Bella to critical acclaim and he was rewarded with Best Country Album at the Age Music Victoria Awards. Waters has followed that up with a new EP under the name The Gulbransen Brothers, featuring Chad Mason of Wagons as his equal songwriting/sparring partner. Don’t Let The Music Stop is a collection of duets that are, in their own words – “forlorn love songs inspired from the words of Roy Orbison, the guitar picking of David Rawlings and Gillian Welch, and the harmonies of the Everly brothers”. Dan kindly took the time to answer some questions for PTW’s Six Strings.
What was the album that first led you down the dusty path of Americana music?
Steve Earle’s I Feel Alright was the first. I bought it because I love Tim Rogers and Tim was supporting Steve Earle when he came to Australia way back when. Maybe like ten years ago? I bought the album without knowing anything about him and it blew me away. I became hooked from that point.
What’s been your favourite gig you’ve played and why?
They’re all pretty good to me, to tell the truth. My own album launch for La Vita E Bella was pretty special to me because all my friends came and played with me. There were members from Wagons, The Audreys, The Victorian Symphony Orchestra, The Nymphs, and the whole show was so much fun. I also played a set for one person once to get a haircut. That was pretty sweet, as well.
How did you learn to play your instrument?
Friends, mainly. My sister’s boyfriend showed me how to play Layla on guitar. Then another friend showed me how to play Seek and Destroy by Metallica. From there, I would just ask people at parties “How do you play this?” and people would always show you. It was good times. Still is, really.
Do you feel there is a strong folk/country music community in Australia?
There is. It’s not massive, this I know, but the folks who care REALLY care about Americana music. They have great parties.
What was your favourite Americana release last year?
My Favorite Picture of You by Guy Clark. That Guy, I tell ya.
What are your aspirations over the next 12 months?
I’m heading over for Americana Fest in Nashville in July which is going to leave me awestruck, I’m sure. I’ve got another record to make and lot’s of shows and a few festivals. It’s going to be a busy year. Hope yours is too.