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  • Bryon Harris

Dan Wolff - 'Burn'

Review by Matt Wong & Staff

Dan Wolff is a prolific singer-songwriter. With The Muddy Crows, Wolff and the band were twice declared ‘Washington DC’s Best Original Band,’ by The Washington City Paper Readers Poll. Specializing in original compositions, Dan Wolff has released an impressive 5 albums since 2014. His songs explore the adventures and lifestyle of a modern-day musician. Wolff has toured the U.S. and has played 21 shows across Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

“Burn” begins with a sense of anticipation and suspense created by an organ drone. It culminates with rhythm guitar entering the groove, followed by a four beat hi-hat count off which brings the full band in. The track is ever-engaging with tight and creative musicianship. Dan Wolff is on lead vocals. Dan Perriello (drums) and Eric Grabow (bass) provide the rhythm section, while Steve Mead plays keys/organ. Tom O'Donnell shines on lead guitar.

On the first verse, listeners are introduced to Wolff’s vocals, as he presents the melody and lyrics with an enticing attitude. Interspersed between vocal phrases are singing guitar licks that add character to the song’s arrangement. On the second verse, the organ returns to build the song and develop its musical story. Listeners are treated to a burning guitar solo before the song heads into the final verse. The final verse offers contrast as guitar fills lay out for the first half of the verse, leaving a void in the frequency spectrum to allow a more intimate connection to the vocals for listeners.

The lyrics in “Burn” allude to the parable of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” from the Gospel of Luke. Lyrics such as “There’s a devil singing in my ear” and “I can’t find no relief so I keep on burning” echo a feeling of despair, highlighting a history of bad decisions and missed opportunities for redemption. Listeners will be able to connect with these lyrics, as they reflect the current trials our country is going through.

“Burn” by Dan Wolff is the complete package of good songwriting, intelligent arranging, top notch musicianship, and enticing vocals. The lyrics are written from the heart, and conveyed with a simple, yet powerful melody. In addition, they elicit an emotional response from listeners through an arrangement that pushes and pulls musically, which is performed by outstanding musicians who are masters of their craft. With this song, Dan Wolff shows his listeners that he is a multi-faceted artist with a unique sound and tremendous substance.

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