Webpage: myspace.com/crushed velvetband
Day job: I’m a personal injury attorney. I’ve been practicing for 33 years now, and have my own practice.
How I got started: I learned to play guitar at age six. Watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show changed my life forever. A buddy who also played guitar and I entered some local talent contests, and formed a band called the Kraftsmen (we liked Sears tools). I played guitar, then switched to bass in high school bands that followed. Wanting to be like Paul McCartney, I played a Hofner look-alike bass. I picked up piano while in high school because my mother played well, and I learned by ear. In law school in the ’70s, I began playing a Rhodes electric piano.
Band: Crushed Velvet is a four-piece outfit that started playing in the Louisville, Kentucky, area in the ’70s. After many years apart, the original members of the band and I are back together and rockin’ again. We’re still playing the best of the Doobie Brothers, Eagles, CCR, Beatles, and many more classic rock groups. We also do some R&B, including songs by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam and Dave. Songs like “Midnight Hour,” “Knock on Wood,” “Mustang Sally,” “Dock of the Bay,” and “Hold On, I’m Comin’” have a backbone groove that I love.
Influences: My first influences included the close vocal harmonies of the Everly Brothers, as well as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. But when the Beatles hit and the British Invasion began, I loved it — the Kinks, Zombies, Animals, Dave Clark Five, Cream, and the list goes on. Today I listen to all types of music, but I still have a great love for soul and R&B.
Why I play: The older I get, the more I appreciate that I can do this — and that I get to do it with great friends who feel the way I do. It’s great therapy from the stress of practicing law, and it saves me money. Instead of paying psychologists’ fees, I spend my money on keyboards! I have no plans to stop, and intend to continue to savor the enjoyment and love of playing before live audiences. There is nothing like it, especially when the band is sounding good, people like it, and they ask you to come back and play again. I certainly don’t play for money, because it just covers my gas expense. I play for the love of the music which was such a big influence on my life growing up.
“I play a Roland RD700-SX and Nord Electro, which I use mainly forB-3 sounds,” says Danny. “I run them through the P.A. mains, with amonitor next to me. I’m thinking about getting a preamp to use with both keyboards, having been told it’d really kick up the B-3 sounds ofthe Nord. I’m also considering purchasing speakers to run the keys in stereo for enhanced sound.”
The Beatles, The Beatles Stereo Box Set [Original Recording Remastered] (EMI)
John, Paul, George, and Ringo inspired 58-year-old Danny Darnall to play rock ’n’ roll. “As I’ve grown older,” he says, “I’m amazed at the volume and quality of the Beatles’ diverse music. It’s as fresh to me today as it was when I was 14.” Last fall, EMI issued what some have called the definitive collection of Beatles music. The Beatles Stereo Box Set contains 16 discs of Beatles treasures — including the band’s first four releases presented in stereo for the first time.