Artist Interview: Dan McCoy

Artist Interview: Dan McCoy


Tell us about yourself and your music

McCoy has been bringing his brand of Heartland-Alt.Country-Rock to the masses since 1988 (he played his first gig a month before his 15th birthday). There have been many comparisons of McCoy’s music to Springsteen, Petty, Seger, Mellencamp as well as more contemporary artists such as Lucero, Drive-By Truckers & Will Hoge. “McCoy has a boyish, fun rock voice that sounds like Jackson Browne with more guts and growl” says Jennifer Layton from His enthusiastic onstage persona is infectious & by the end of a set one feels as though he’s an old friend you haven’t seen in a while. When playing the long nights of mixing cover songs in with the originals Jay Wooley’s (of Wooley Bully’s in New Brighton, PA ) description pretty much hits the nail on the head…”A plethora of rock, country & Irish tunes, solo acoustic style.” He currently does around 50 solo acoustic shows a year as well as his shows with his two band configurations, Rambler 454 and Dan McCoy and the Standing 8s.

Talk to us more about your latest release

In November of 2016 Dan recorded a live evening in his hometown of Willoughby, OH. The recording was released digitally on Aug. 14, 2017 & the CD version was made available Sept. 22. Of the album McCoy says, “This is a “warts & all” release. None of my shows are perfect & this is a great representation of what you may hear on any given night at one of my shows; the din of the crowd in the background, the missed chord or two, the wrong lyric here & there.” While those may seem like negatives McCoy shrugs it off by saying, “I’m human & have many flaws. What I like about leaving all that in there is it’s genuine. There were no studio tricks or overdubs to lead one to believe I play perfect every time out. The energy is real & I think that comes through with this live set.” Of the location of the recording he had this to say, “I felt it was important to me to record in my hometown as a sort of thank you to all the folks from that area that have supported my music & I over the many years. The building in which I recorded (Beal’s Pickles & Pints) has a special place in my heart. Before the Beal family took it over I played for the previous owners for a number of years cutting my teeth as a solo artist. Recording there seemed to be the right fit & kind of brought this phase of my career full circle. Plus, I felt recording at one of the clubs in the Cleveland area wouldn’t have been an accurate representation of what a night out with me would be like. I play the small bars a lot & wanted that feel.”



What inspired you to write this release?

I’ve been writing a lot but financially unable to get into a studio to get a proper release made. I figured in the meantime I would release a live album to showcase a few of the new songs as well as show how the older ones have evolved. I change the arrangement of songs on a somewhat regular basis & that is reflected in the live release.

Any plans to release a video?

The idea of a video is certainly on my radar but I don’t really have the financial means to do a good one. I’m trying to be resourceful & come up with a way to do something nice on the cheap but I don’t have a fully realized concept for any of my songs right now. I released a single back in June & have what I think is a brilliant idea for a video but I would need a couple nice cameras, help operating them & a space to bring that to fruition.


Any plans to hit the road?

I will play just about anywhere someone will listen! I play mostly in the Cleveland, OH area but am no stranger to traveling. The only out of town gig scheduled right now is a Sofar Sounds deal in Buffalo, NY in November.

As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

In the musical landscape of today it is extremely difficult to stand out but we find that having strong songs, tight musicianship & an energetic live show gets us noticed.

Who have you been listening to lately?

I have been damn near obsessed with the Turnpike Troubadours as of late, particularly the album Diamonds & Gasoline. I’ve also had Will Hoge’s new album, Anchors, in heavy rotation. Lucero has been a staple over the past few years & very early Seger (pre-Live Bullet) has crept back into the lineup.

Tell us about your passions

I love being active. I do a lot of bicycling (road & mountain), some running, somewhat competitive volleyball, kayaking, hiking. I also love taking long drives particularly in & to locations I’ve never been. All of the above helps my mind stay open.

What else is happening next in your world?

I have a bunch of songs I’m working on & will be recording a stripped down, mostly acoustic record over the next few months. I’ll be recording in the home studio so cost will be kept to a minimum. I’m hoping to have an album ready for a spring/summer release.

Thanks for an awesome interview, Dan!



Connect with Dan McCoy



Dan McCoy released “Live & Alone” on Aug 14th 2017. The release highlights Dan’s solo acoustic show which has become… ...Read More

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