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Dan Cunningham | Country Roads

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Folk: Appalachian Folk Country: Americana Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Country Roads

by Dan Cunningham

Tragedy, beauty, and humor of the mountains come to life with driving fingerstyle guitar - John Denver’s Country Roads, Dan’s tales of Mothmen and exploding graves, with traditional tunes, Wreck Of The Old 97, Star Of The County Down, and Wondrous Love
Genre: Folk: Appalachian Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Monongah Mine Disaster
2:52 $0.99
2. Your Texas
2:59 $0.99
3. Mothman Blues
3:35 $0.99
4. It Ain't Whiskey
2:27 $0.99
5. I Think of Home
2:52 $0.99
6. The Blowed up Grave of Harry Spitz
2:34 $0.99
7. Star of the County Down
4:29 $0.99
8. Stinky Joe
2:47 $0.99
9. I Stand at the Window
3:12 $0.99
10. Head for the Hills
2:58 $0.99
11. Rise to Thee
2:40 $0.99
12. Wondrous Love
2:46 $0.99
13. Wreck of the Old 97
2:23 $0.99
14. Take Me Home Country Roads
3:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

"You are a mighty fine picker and singer...""
- DJ Clark KSPC 88.7 FM

The Dominion Post has described Dan's playing as "guitar genius"
and by Ben Ohmart of Music Dish as "luscious." 

“The guitar is outstanding! I’m talking great technique, great emotion and inventive playing.”

Country Roads CD Song Notes

1. Monongah Mine Disaster
On December 6, 1907 the worst mining disaster in US history occurred at Monongah, West Virginia.
The official death count was 361, 362, or 367, depending on the source.  It is agreed that the actual
number was much higher, as the sons of the miners often worked alongside their fathers to
increase their tonnage. Some place the death toll at 500 or more. Most of the workers had been
recruited from foreign countries, Italians comprising the largest group of laborers.

2. Your Texas
A man of the mountains thinks about a lovely girl far away in the Lone Star State, and
imagines her life there. Paul Marganian on the fiddle. An earlier version of this song appeared

3. Mothman Blues
The Mothman was first sighted near Point Pleasant, West Virginia in 1966,
and later by others. Some have linked the Mothman to the collapse of the Silver Bridge in 1967,
resulting in the death of 46 people. John Keel’s book, “The Mothman Prophecies’,
was adapted to film in 2002. The movie, bearing the same name, starred Richard Gere and
Laura Linney. If you find yourself in Point Pleasant, you can visit the official Mothman Museum,
or take a snapshot of yourself and fellow travelers with the Mothman statue downtown.

4. It Ain’t Whiskey
A man dominated by three women can’t stop thinking about whiskey.
Rhythm guitar and drums by Mark Poole.

5. I Think Of Home
A seafarer thinks of his home in the mountains and his love so far away.
Fiddle by Paul Marganian. An instrumental version of this tune appeared on an earlier CD
called (you guessed it!) I THINK OF HOME.

6. The Blowed Up Grave Of Harry Spitz
A beloved boy of three years is buried peacefully in 1912 and eventually forgotten by all
but his mother. His grave exploded in 1975, somehow leaving the tiny coffin and body undisturbed
after 63 years. His mother, now in a mental institution, seemed to respond to the event
without being informed. Despite intensive investigation, no cause for the explosion was found.

7. Star Of The County Down
Traditional Irish tune with Paul Marganian on the fiddle

8. Stinky Joe
A young man with an an personal problem sees his mother murder his Uncle for a
urinal cake fortune. Perhaps the basis for a novel...or an epic opera. Drums by Jeffrey Anthony.

9. I Stand At The Window
A dear one is often away and there is nothing to do but watch and wait for their return..

10. Head For The Hills
A jailbreak and a man on the run. Like any good son, he remembers what his mama told him.
Drums by Jeffrey Anthony.

11. Rise To Thee
“O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?”
Song of the earthly man, with shades of the Good Book, Judee Sill, and Flannery O’Conner.

12. Wondrous Love
Solo guitar rendition of this traditional mountain tune.
This tune is often titled, "What Wondrous Love Is This".

13. Wreck Of The Old 97
A little railroad music - a terrible tragedy…and a moral.
Audio drawn from a YouTune video for this traditional tune - just one guitar and vocal.

14. Take Me Home Country Roads
That John Denver song everybody sings
Daria Jones - lead and harmony vocals -
Chris Haddox - 2nd verse vocal, guitar solo, banjo
Mark Poole - rhythm guitar

About Dan (and other stuff)
At an early age, Dan spent long hours listening to a 50's era Zenith console,
playing and replaying the the one 45 rpm single each of Eddie Arnold and Fats
Domino, and the 78's of Dinah Shore and Haydn's "Surprise" Symphony. The imprint
on an impressionable young mind was profound, and you might say he never
Drifting from rock, to country to jazz; to blues, Bach and back again, Dan's own
music failed to develop. And then, one late night laying awake in a fleabag
motel, Dan saw the light. It turned out to the flickering neon sign from
"Murph's Café" next door. As fate would have it, the very next day as Dan was
dining at that same café, savoring the only item on the menu he could afford; a
small order of chili-cheese fries. His eyes were drawn to the Elvis portraits in
black velvet, and just below, a small smeared blackboard with the lunch special,
"Murph's Bologna Burger". At that moment inspiration struck and would have
knocked Dan's socks off, had he been wearing any. The central question was
clear....why top your burger with bologna and not chili? It was time to play
real music, music that tops off the meaty taste of life like chili on a flame
grilled hamburger still dripping with the satisfying essence of fullness. It was
from this point the distinct and varied music he called "New Appalachian" began
to come forth. (As along as he stayed away from the fifth).
Over the years Dan has performed/recorded with Phil Keaggy (Grammy nominee and
Dove award winner), Robin Kessinger (1985 National Flatpicking Champion), Nedra
Talley Ross (Ronettes), Phil Madeira (Nashville songwriter, recording artist)
Lance DeMers (Hannah's Prayer), John Fischer, Jenny Allinder, Ted Sandquist and

Dan’s first solo CD, INTO THE FLOW, received glowing reviews and was a "Viewer’s
Choice" award winner on Kweevak.com. His second CD, I THINK OF HOME, built on
this musical vision, expanding the range of expression for Appalachian music.
The songs received recognition in several songwriting competitions, including an
Honorable Mention in the Billboard song contest.

Dan's third CD, WAYFARING STRANGER (2006) placed third in Kweevak's Listener's
Choice Awards. One tune, "Big Gene", won Honorable Mention in the SONG OF THE
MONTH contest. The CD was a showcase for his songwriting abilities. Traditional
storytelling is mixed with a measured touch of contemporary sounds. Dan's
often-praised guitar skills shine brightly in these arrangements.

BACK TO MORGANTOWN (2008), is all acoustic. It features
his bone-janglin', brain twistin', finger-picking guitar. Original tunes by Dan
plus a few traditional favorites: "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" is meted out
on Dan's old acoustic guitar and the music ends with the old Scottish song,
"Annie Laurie" presented in a simple arrangement with guitar, vocal and cello.



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