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MP3 Dan Gilliam - Farm Cafe

A one-man acoustic garage band playing to hear the sound of his own music and to bathe in the beauty and joy of Creation. Pure Prairie League, The Oak Ridge Boys and Pam Tillis all listened to these songs and considered recording them. Their loss...

10 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, FOLK: Folk Pop

Dan Gilliam Bio

I was born on "the day the music died" Feb. 3, 1959. Buddy Holly''s plane crashed in the wee hours of the same morning my mom gave birth to me. Because of my connection to this fateful day, I have always considered my music style to be a reincarnated mix of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Sometime around 1969 I fell in love with the music I was hearing through the earplug of my transistor radio. The songs of The Doors, Neil Young, Chicago and America gave me words for some of the unknown things I was feeling. At age 13, I picked up the guitar and discovered an avenue for self-expression in writing and singing my own songs. Artistic endeavors were my private ambitions. When my parents divorced in 1973, I would rely heavily on these diversions to help me survive the trauma of watching my world blow apart.

In 1982, I began what would become a short-lived, though fruitful youth ministry in Cincinnati. With the help of many friends and co-workers, I saw God touch hundreds of young lives with His love and power. He did this in spite of my weaknesses, for I was forced to resign four years later due to an addiction to tranquilizers. Four treatment centers, three counselors, two more attempts at ministry and one divorce later (not to mention large amounts of cocaine and whiskey), I found myself willing to go to any lengths to stay sober. By the grace of God and the 12-step fellowship I regularly attend, I have been sober since August 22, 1989, a true gift.

Over my 45 years of travels and travails, I have written and recorded 8 albums of original music to document my life journey. In 1986, after my brief career as a professional pastor I recorded my self-titled debut album, "Dan Gilliam" and sold about 100 copies to friends and family. The circulation of this cassette helped to open local doors for me in Cincinnati and other Midwestern towns to perform my songs for drug prevention school assemblies. This led to the writing and recording of my second cassette album, "A Good Used Brain is Hard to Find"(1988) containing songs I performed for school audiences in 40 states. Assisted and inspired by my bar-based cover band "Pacer", I recorded "Storms and Love" in 1991, a collection of folk-rock love songs. In 1993, after snooping around the alleyways and back doors of contemporary Christian music, I wrote and recorded "Shake the Walls" which led to many performances at churches and Christian coffee houses. In the ensuing years, I have found myself sharing the stage with many well known Christian artists such as Servant, Rich Mullins, Big Tent Revival, Jennifer Knapp, The Newsboys, Audio Adrenaline, All Star United, Bleach, Sonic Flood, The 77s and Richard Swift. For the most part, however, I have performed my music and told my stories in relative obscurity.

"Farm Café", my bare bones 1995 recording was the beginning of me finding my true voice as a singer and songwriter. I sold over 500 copies of this album from the trunk of my car the first year and made a conscious decision that whether of not the world wanted another performing artist I was going to be one. In 1997, shortly after wedding my wife, Lynn, I traveled to New Haven, In. to record "The Color of God" at Monastic Chambers studio with Jon Gillespie and a few talented musician friends. Selling out my first 1,000 copies of this cd in less than a year allowed me to put aside the cash for my 1999 record "I Am Not Like God". Probably, my best sounding record to date, I was fortunate to have been helped by California-based guitar aficionado, Rich Nibbe, and cutting edge worship leader and songwriter, Chris Lizotte. In 2001, while living in Cottage Grove, Oregon, best known for being the town where Animal House was filmed, I recorded my most recent record, "Simple God Songs". This album represented a return to my spare, folk-oriented style of writing and performing. As of today, none of these albums have been released on any record label and remain largely undiscovered and undocumented by the music industry at large. I cannot say that I have been tortured or even bothered by this lack of commercial success for I believe that God, as I understand God, has a higher calling on my life that supercedes any accomplishment or failings that I may have as an artist or musician. After all, it is only by the grace of God that I have a story to tell, a song to sing and a picture to paint. I still think my best ones are yet to come.

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