Dan Navarro with opener Jamie Lin Wilson
Dan Navarro’s long and eclectic resume includes “songwriter,” “recording artist,” “singer”, “voice actor”, “road warrior” and “arts advocate” in its range of credits.
His former acoustic duo, Lowen & Navarro, released 13 albums, enjoyed widespread Triple A radio airplay and performed 1500 gigs before Eric Lowen’s retirement in 2008 and passing from ALS in 2012. Dan set out solo in 2007, and tours constantly.
His acclaimed album “Shed My Skin” released in 2019 to glowing reviews, produced by Steve Postell with guest bows from Janiva Magness, Wendy Waldman, Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, Tony Furtato, Freebo, Bob Malone, Brother Sun and Grace Pettis.
He is currently recording a new album, “Horizon Line”, produced by Grammy® winner Jim Scott, who produced the first five L&N albums in the 90’s, and their final turn in 2008. The set will release in Summer 2022.
During the 2020 Covid pandemic lockdown, Dan got busy and started his “Songs From the CoronaZone” live stream series, running almost daily for five months, and ultimately doing over 250 2-hour+ live streams in 13 months, on the Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Twitch and Periscope platforms, Then he doubled down, teaching others the live stream ropes in workshops for SAG-AFTRA and Folk Alliance’s “FAR-West” region, as well as several rounds of online songwriting classes dubbed “Songwriting and the Creative Muse”.
In July 2021, he released a special duo album with James Lee Stanley, “All Wood and Led”, with acoustic “Laurel Canyon” re-imaginations of Led Zeppelin tunes. He is presently recording his next solo studio album (and 18th album overall) with Grammy-winning producer Jim Scott, slated for release in early 2022.
As a songwriter, Dan wrote or co-wrote heartfelt songs for Pat Benatar (the Grammy nominated “We Belong”), The Bangles, Japanese girl group Wink (the #1 hit “One Night in Heaven”), Dutch superstar Marco Borsato (the Top Ten “Je Hoeft Niet Naar Huis Vannacht”), Dave Edmunds, The Temptations, Dionne Warwick, and Austin outlaw country legend Rusty Weir.
His songs have appeared in the films Deadpool 2, Pitch Perfect 2 and Talladega Nights, TV series This Is Us, Mare of Easttown, Halt and Catch Fire, American Idol, The Voice, American Dad and The Office and national commercials for Pepsi, Sheraton, Chase Bank and the United Way.
As a bilingual singer and voice actor, he’s sung in the 2021 holiday hits Encanto and Sing 2, Oscar® winning movies Coco and Happy Feet, the upcoming Father of the Bride, plus The Addams Family, Dora and the City of Lost Gold, The Lorax, and Ice Age 2 & 3 ; TV series The Simpsons, Prison Break and American Dad; voiced characters in Pirates of the Caribbean 5, The Book Of Life, The Playmobil Movie, We Bare Bears, Invincible and Ultra City Smiths; sung on albums by Luis Miguel, Andrea Bocelli, Jose Feliciano and Neil Young; voiced video games Red Dead Redemption II, Fallout 4 and Uncharted 4, and performed vocals and voice-overs in literally hundreds of commercials for Toyota, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Honda and many more.
In his “spare” time, Dan serves on the Board of SAG-AFTRA, the actor-performer-broadcaster’s union; is a Trustee on the AFM/SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Fund; serves on a committee of the Mechanical Licensing Collective and is a past president of Folk Alliance International. He has been a vocal activist in Washington DC for intellectual property rights for over 20 years, having testified before the US Senate Judiciary Committee and the Copyright Royalty Board.
Dan Navarro’s music probes life at its most resonant. In his rich baritone, he sings songs of heart and insight, steeped in experience, soulful tales from a long road well-traveled.
He’s the proud father of a 25-year old filmmaker son, thinks music is food, art is love, and sleep is for babies.
“It’s a weird road we’re on right now––I guess it always has been,” Jamie Lin Wilson says. She’s sitting on her porch in D’Hanis, a tiny town on the Seco Creek in South Texas, not far from San Antonio. She laughs a little, then adds, “But nobody’s life is the same. There is no blueprint.”
Thank goodness for all the lonely paths Jamie’s had to find that no one else has taken. With a voice that slides in and out of notes with easy grace, a sly sense of humor, and lyrics that highlight the details most of us miss, Jamie creates stark vignettes: intimate conversations between friends who might be lovers and lovers who can’t be friends; kids hopping from stone to stone in a graveyard; the way rolling clouds can signal a new season. She lives and works in that sweet spot where folk and country meet––Guy Clark territory.
“It’s unfair that the poets and songwriters are the ones who have the songs about their lives, when maybe that’s not what’s poetic,” Jamie says. “Maybe the moments are the ones happening in everyday farmers’ lives, or to a widow, or a son.” It’s her comfort in and commitment to two distinct worlds––that of the dream-chasing artists and the dirt-under-their-nails realists––that makes Jamie and her songs not just inviting, but cathartically important.
Jamie’s anticipated new record Jumping Over Rocks marks her second full-length solo album, but she’s not the new kid. She cut her teeth fronting and co-fronting beloved bands including the Gougers and the Trishas, winning over listeners and peers across the country. Now, her place as an acclaimed singer-songwriter on her own seems fated, imbued with a singular blend of freshness and road-earned wisdom. “I consider ‘Jumping Over Rocks’ to be a definitive record on myself and my style,” Jamie says. “I hope it’s something people connect with, that it’s familiar to them but also new. I hope that people find it interesting.”
No one covers the spectrum of age and experience quite like Jamie: moving portraits of men, women, and children coping, striving, wondering, and celebrating. Interesting? Undoubtedly. Universal but specific and personal, too. “I studied people around me more for this record than I have in the past,” she says. “I wrote songs from my perspective, from the outside looking in.”
Jamie didn’t pick up a guitar until she was 19. Casual remarks she dropped to her mom and cousin led to a gifting of an acoustic that Christmas. She started attending open mics in College Station, and was immediately welcomed into what was primarily a boys’ club of aspiring pickers and writers that included future fellow Gouger Shayne Walker. “By the end of the summer, I was playing gigs in a band, the Gougers,” she says. “I learned how to play guitar on stage.”
Jamie never looked back. She fell in love and married her college sweetheart, Roy. Together, the two raise their children and make their “weird road” work beautifully. “I’ve been taking kids on the road for eight years, touring constantly, just taking breaks to have babies,” Jamie says.
Jamie recorded Jumping Over Rocks during four days at Arlyn Studios in Austin. A fierce cast of musicians joined her, including Charlie Sexton on guitar, and together, Jamie and the players cut every track live. “You’re hearing my voice with the band––their playing, reacting to my emotions, and my voice reacting to the things they’re playing, all in real time,” Jamie says. “I think that adds to the feeling of these songs.”
The result is a rich collection of story songs delivered over rootsy strings, moody keys, crying steel, and sparse percussion, carried by Jamie’s songbird soprano that can convey tears or laughter with equal panache, sometimes in the same bar. The record kicks off with “Faithful and True,” a vocal showcase that mixes the sorrow of admitting shortcomings with a plea for forgiveness. Written with Jack Ingram, the song sounds like a classic from golden-era Nashville. “In our minds, it was about a relationship and obvious temptation,” Jamie says. “I started playing it at shows, and someone came up after one and said, ‘That song sounds like a prayer.’ I said, ‘Man, I think that’s what it is!’ That’s how I’ve thought of it ever since.”
Gently rolling “The Being Gone” questions the cost and payoff of decisions made, while “Oklahoma Stars,” which Jamie wrote with Turnpike Troubadours’ Evan Felker, pays tribute to those long nights that run together, unremarkably, but in hindsight come together to build a relationship, land, or life. Dreamy “Everybody’s Moving Slow” conjures up images of hazy summers as Jamie delivers a crooning performance worthy of the Rat Pack.
Opening with plaintive strings, “If I Told You” mulls over a painful thought: what if the other person doesn’t really want to know how you feel about them? Smiling through defeat, “Eyes for You” explores the vulnerability love brings. “In a Wink” kicks off with a poignant question: “Did you enjoy the clouds as much as Maggie did this morning? / I don’t know that anybody could,” before cataloguing the gorgeous moments we rush through instead of savor.
“Instant Coffee Blues,” originally written by Guy Clark and featuring Ingram as a duet partner, is the sole cover on the record. It’s followed by Jamie’s own song, “Run,” which explores an area Clark mastered, with a stirring debate over how long is too long for a woman to stay.
The album gets its title from standout track “Death and Life,” an epic it took Jamie four years to write. A widow mourning her husband and not quite ready to let go; a son who copes with his father’s death by getting to work with his hands, hammers, nails, and 2x4s: the two true tales became intertwined thematically as Jamie mulled them over. “I realized the song is how people who are still here deal with death,” she says. “It’s life after death, but not heavenly life. It’s how the living deal with death.”
When asked how she hopes listeners react to Jumping Over Rocks, Jamie brings up a hero: John Prine. “On his new album, there is a song that always gets me––‘Summer’s End,’” she says. “Every time I listen to it, I start crying, and I think, ‘I don’t know why I’m crying!’” She laughs her big laugh, which comes often and easily. “I hope something I create can get to somebody in that way. That’s what gets us through––finding common ground with someone else, whether it’s in songs or friendship. It makes you feel better about your own life.”
Wednesday, June 22
Doors at 7:00, Music at 7:30 pm
$18 in advance, $22 at door