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Indie Musician Drew Danburry

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I love when musicians throw in a tuba solo or use violins to accompany a guitar.

Indie singer-songwriter Drew Danburry isn’t afraid to experiment with sounds on his new CD Besides: Are We Just Playing Around out Here or Do We Mean What We Say? Besides for short.

On one of his songs he makes a squishy noise with his teeth (I asked him how he made the sound) and that squishy little noise makes the song all the more interesting. His sound is honest and his voice is “imperfect,” yet soothing and real.

Some of his lyrics: “just because I think people are hypocrites doesn’t mean I can’t be kind.”

“I wish I could write these feelings in some poetic words but all I can say is it hurts.”

“But the way all the trees sway was way too clever to be a mistake.”

During my recent trip to Las Vegas, I got see Drew perform at the Balcony Lights record store on Maryland Parkway. Drew says he tries to avoid bars, preferring to play at alternative venues such as skateboard parks and even parking lots. It was just Drew and his guitar, his friend Paul on drums and the fans, who were packed in against CDs and album racks.

Before the show, I sat down with him on a curb at the back of Wendy’s to chat about music, creativity, life. Drew was born and raised in Huntington Beach, Calif. but now lives in Utah.

One thing you’ll notice straight away about Drew is that he’s TALL and he has the guts to wear a pink fanny pack — he’s trying to set a new trend in fashion. His friends call him a “Tree on Wheels” when he’s skateboarding.

“Tree On Wheels” also is the title of one of my favorite songs off his second CD. The first is Drew Danburry: An Introduction to Sex Rock.

After you get talking to Drew, you’ll find that he is unusually friendly and kind. That’s reflected in his music, which is genuine and upbeat. But there’s a balance, some songs are sweet and somber such as “Rainbow Days Come After Rain and Both Make Life a Little Less Pain.” (yes, all of his song titles are loooooong).

I love the Besides CD to pieces. It’s one of my top five right now, up there with John Frusciante’s Curtains and The Will To Death, The Bicycle Thief’s You Come and Go Like a Pop Song and Razorlight’s Up all Night. (stay tuned for that review!).

A lot of people who came out to Drew’s show in Vegas obviously loved his music as well. He has a pretty good fan base and said he always has a couch to sleep on while on tour. Drew also draws an unusual number of skateboarders to his show. That’s probably because he’s an avid skateboarder.

Drew’s alter ego, Drew Barlow, is a filmmaker and his film “Skateboarding is not Tony Hawk pro skater 3 or the X-games or….” (even his film titles are long) has been playing at film festivals around the country, even here at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

But music is where his heart is and this summer he’s on tour so if you get a chance you should check him out. Bring him a Gatorade if it’s hot or if it’s not. Make sure you say hi. He’ll talk to you. He’s nice :-)

Check to see if he’s on his way to your town here.
A version of this story appears in the blogzine, OCHairball

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  • Aubrey Nell

    I saw Drew walking across my college campus and thought he was the oddest/most intreging person I had ever seen. Having mostly forgotten about this tall man, I went to a show in my dorm lobby that evening, only to see him, on the stage. His stage presence capivated, and entertained me so much. I had never had that much fun at a show. I bought a CD and a shirt, right there, knowing that it would give me an overdraft in my account. It didn’t even phase me.
    I then listened to his beautifully sarcastic and deep lyrics and fell in love with that music. he is still my favorite indie-kid, two years. later.
    i love that drew, pink fanny pack and all!