70'S SONS: THE STORY
Songwriter/founder brothers, Dan and Jason were born in a small midwestern town. Sons of singer/musician parents, their home was filled with music from the day they were born. Their mother was a country music pianist/songwriter from Tennessee. Their father was a blues guitarist/blues harp player from Southern Illinois.
Rural life did not offer many diversions other than imagination and music. Jason began playing piano early on, and Dan soon followed on guitar. Although the piano offered Jason little more than an interesting hobby, Dan soon discovered his love for the guitar would develop into a passion to write songs and play loud and fast.
Many guitar legends of the 70’s would influence his playing and can be heard in the songs he now creates. Jimmy Page had a particularly profound impact as Dan would later discover. Jason realized early in life he liked to sing. Country music had no appeal however he did love to sing the songs of Elvis. Although Elvis was the first influence, a new music style was soon to be discovered in an unlikely way.
He had an older cousin who was a fan of classic rock and owned many albums. One day, out of curiosity, Jason began to play them one at a time. The first rock song to influence Jason was ‘The Long Run’ by the Eagles. He played it over and over, mesmerized by the feel and vibe of the music. Following hot on the heels of The Eagles, there was one singer Jason would soon discover would be the inspiration to sing rock music. The band was called Foreigner. The song was ‘Hot Blooded’. The smooth soulful power of Lou Gramm would be the spark that set Jason on a road to be a front man for a rock band.
The brothers would continue to follow their passion for rock but it wasn’t until Jason left for college that things started to change. When he returned home, Dan who had just turned 16 had progressed his guitar playing well beyond his age. He was already able to emulate great guitarists and had begun to write some songs. It was then they decided to try their hand at writing songs for a rock band. Over the next 2 years they experimented with local musicians but just couldn’t get the right chemistry. They knew they needed to go to a city that was a hub for rock music. They chose Tampa, FL.
They packed up all they owned and drove the 22 hours to Tampa. They had no place to stay, but had a small savings to rent an apartment. For a few months they practiced, wrote songs and went to every rock club and show they could. They found one club that they wanted to get their first gig. It was called the ‘Rock-It Club’. Its address, South and Mabry. They looked for local musicians to join them in a band but before they could realize the dream, their luck ran out, like all their money and they had to return to Illinois, broke and defeated.
Soon the global music scene began to change and the dream the brothers had, all but faded. They each settled down and married. They had children. They lived normal and mundane lives. But they could never let go of the music dream. They had buried the passion to write music but it never died. One day, almost 30 years later, Jason began to wonder. What if. What if they could still make music that was good. Dan was not so confident, but to shut Jason up, he began to humor him with song melodies and ideas.
In 1994, they had ventured into the studio and recorded what was to be the last recording. The CDs then gathered dust in a box in a closet for decades. One day, Jason was looking for any opportunity to awaken the music in them. He saw an ad for a free music review by Eugene Foley, of Foley Entertainment, whom the brothers would later discover was a highly successful music entity. Jason figured there was nothing to lose so he sent a few songs. To his shock, Gene was impressed and encouraged the brothers to return to writing and gave them confidence that they had talent. He even offered to run song selling campaigns to help the brothers find some success. What none of them realized was that the music was not only still deep inside them but time and life experience had improved the songwriting greatly.
Dan, the main songwriter, was suddenly overwhelmed with so many song ideas it was unreal. The brothers had idolized Led Zeppelin, so they began to try and emulate their style. That began to evolve into other 70’s legends influence. Soon, Dan was digging deep inside him and creating echoes of Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Foreigner, Styx and even the great story telling legendary band, America. The music began to take over and they were having the time of their lives. But the production level was subpar, at best. They needed help.
Iain Thomas, a musician and sound engineer from Scotland, had an ad on an internet-based freelancer site for mixing and mastering. Dan reached out to him and there was an immediate kindred connection. Not only did he like the music, he, himself had been an aspiring guitarist, that had lost a dream of his own. An indie rock band he was part of had scored a signing meeting with EMI in the early ’90’s and the day before they were due to travel to London and sign, the drummer decided University should be his route and the band, devastatingly fell apart. He understood the quest of Jason and Dan for a second chance. Iain began to mix the songs but offered much more. He began to offer ideas for orchestration and arranging.
The brothers were thrilled to have any help he could offer and were genuinely impressed with Iain’s creativity. He was able to take the songs to another level. He was able to repair song ideas. On top of that, a friendship was immediate. The obvious next step was to make him a full time partner. He accepted and 70’s Sons was born.
The album started out as a simple milestone for the band. At their age, it seemed appropriate to have that one achievement of the passion they all shared. But they would soon discover the album was going to be more than that. It became an awakening of a dream that was thought to be lost. Now that the album is released, it only serves to pave the way for more music that has already began to take shape. They have enough songs for a second and maybe a third album. Music is what they live for.
70's Sons are proof that it is never too late to find your dream.