Tomorrow, Chris Daniels will be inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, and for some very good reasons. He’s a perfect case study for what it takes to develop that “long arc” career in music…
A songwriter nearly 40 years in the making, Chris started his career at 17, back in ’71. He moved west for college and fun with a band called Magic Music in the mid ‘70s and eventually (10 years later, circa 1984) formed Chris Daniels and the Kings, the vehicle that would spur him on for the next 28 years.
He has played with a ton of great talent, all around the globe (toured Europe 16 times), canning multiple albums, featured on commercials, and then on to assistant professor at the University of Colorado Denver at the College of Arts and Media. Whoa! You can bet there have been many moments of doubt and euphoria along the way, including some very public health and legal battles, but Chris keeps moving with his mantra “forward!”
Not wanting to complicate his celebrity moment, I recently asked him three quick questions…
Q: What do you think was your biggest success over the years, or the watershed moment?
Chris: I think I would go for watershed moment, and that was getting to Europe for our first record deal and tour over there in 1991 – that led to our getting a deal back in the States with Rounder/Flying Fish and later with Virgin/France.
Q: What would you have done different early on if you could change a few things?
Chris: I was not in charge with Magic Music so there was not much I would have had the ability to change…it was a group effort. As far as CD & The Kings goes, it took me a long time to learn show dynamics…Gatemouth Brown and David Bromberg were the best at teaching me that.
Q: Lastly, what do you still most want to accomplish in your music career?
Chris: There are two projects in the works, (a) a real Magic Music record that will come out next year produced by Tim Goodman and (b) an album with the Kings and Freddi Gowdy of the Freddi Henchi band – good ol soul music. But what I would like to accomplish myself is to do one more songwriter album and really get to the core of honest with it. What I mean by that is to strip away all the production and get to the core of the songs…and write the best songs I’ve ever written. OK, that might be asking a lot, but you asked and that’s what I would like to do, assuming I get some time on the planet to do it.
Congratulations, Chris! And thanks so much for the inspiration!