The first time I heard Danny Wilder play was in about 1995. It was at an event called The Monday Night Blues Jam (imagine that) at the old Tommy’s Place, and he was hosting along with Jason Coffield, Kevin Smith and some bassist in flip-flops who drove an old Volvo :-).
I remember thinking as I listened, “Damn, that guy over there on the right is great. I wish his amp were about six or eight decibels louder.” Danny’s playing is always tasteful and often understated- anyone who knows him knows how good he is, but I think sometimes people fail to appreciate how complex and melodic his rhythm and solo playing are, simply due to the fact that other musicians can get between his amp and the audience. I asked him why he didn’t just crank it up more, and he said, “I don’t want to go deaf!”… I think he’s got a point there.
No such problem last Monday night. Danny had the Les Paul sounding great! Just check out the very first number the hosts played. It’s Freddie King’s “Hide Away”, and you’ll hear Danny and Jerry Beach on lead guitars, Ted Lindsay on bass (didn’t notice if Ted’s toes were showing), Dirty Red on trumpet, Kid Mims on drums and Stan Hoffman on keyboards. Click here to listen!
Thanks to Ken for the pic!
(Forgive the lack of a picture… It ain’t that Danny’s not a great-looking guy, it’s just that the side of the stage where he and Stan play is forever in the shadows, and it’s hard to get a decent picture without firing a flash in their faces. Perhaps Ken could email me one?)