Breckenridge band performs Friday at The Lariat
Kevin Danzig was raised in a musical family in Southern California. His father was a lounge singer in the Los Angeles area for many years and released a record of original songs when Danzig was growing up. His uncle was also a singer-songwriter and had a country hit in 1973, and his grandfather bought him his first guitar.
As a youngster, Danzig was inspired by Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. Danzig said other early influences came from his father’s and uncle’s “extensive record collections,” where he discovered The Beatles, the band he credits as his most significant musical influence. By the age of 11 Danzig had already sung in the studio for an album put out K-TEL Records, and in 1978, Gong Show host Chuck Barris told him, “Kid, you’re too good for this show!”
Danzig officially began his music career after moving to Houston, Texas, where he “got involved with Texas singer-songwriters” like Shake Russell and Dana Cooper. He recorded his first album, which was actually a cassette tape, in 1983 in Houston. In the ensuing decades Danzig has shared the stage with John Mayer, Shawn Mullins, Dar Williams, Leon Russell, Edgar Winter, David Wilcox, Ellis Paul, Martin Sexton, Edwin McCain, Bill Staines, Leo Kottke, John Hammond, Chuck Pyle, Trout Fishing in America, The Bangles, Blame Sally, The Radiators, Mary Gauthier and many others.
As a songwriter, Danzig said his inspiration comes “from all different kinds of places. I tend not to follow the typical formula, the Nashville approach. I admire musicians like Peter Gabriel, Sting and especially Joni Mitchell, whose songs paint a picture.”
Danzig’s track record suggests the Breckenridge resident is doing something right, as many of the songs from his nine albums have garnered awards and earned plenty of air time on rock, folk, Americana, inspirational and easy listening radio stations. In May, Danzig was a finalist in the InspireSong Contest, and in 2016, Danzig won first place in the Akademia Awards Folk/Singer Songwriter category for his single, “My Chauffeur.” Danzig also has five Billboard Magazine awards to his credit. He has three songs on the soundtrack of the cult classic movie Soultaker, and his song “Hey Dean!” was featured on National Public Radio’s “Car Talk.”
Many locals will be familiar with Danzig from his performances with Faith Crawford, who recently moved to Ohio to be closer to family. Since then, Danzig said, he formed the Buzz Drivers “as an outlet for my original music. … The other musicians are all seasoned veterans. They can follow along on requests; they’re all really great players. In fact, Brother Robb (Lariat sound man) has worked with all of them.”
Even though Buzz Drivers is a relatively new band, Danzig and company are already preparing to tour Europe ‒ England, Scotland and Germany. On the return trip, Danzig said they will perform in the Southeastern states, where he already has a following.
While Danzig has played many times in Buena Vista, the Friday performance will be the first time he has performed here with the Buzz Drivers. “I like playing there,” he said. “BV’s a great town. The people are all real friendly. Court heard me and Faith playing and invited us to come play at The Lariat. Court and Robbie have been really nice. I love playing at The Lariat.”
For a taste of Danzig’s music, visit KevinDanzig.com.