Dan is a Seattle-area acoustic finger style guitarist who performs a blend of contemporary and traditional Irish/American tunes (primarily in DADGAD tuning). He was selected as â€œNorthwest Folk Artist of the Monthâ€ on Seattleâ€™s KBCS radio in 2004.
Dan's CD "Waiting For Inspiration" was select among 11 other local artists to debut the the City of Seattle's "OnHold" music program -- a partnership with Seattle musicians and composers, the Mayor's Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs and the Department of Information Technology.
Dan performs annually at the Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle, WA.
"Carollo is a wonderful guitarist whose style incorporates the techniques developed by many of today's finest folk and new age players while at the same time hewing to traditional fingerpicking and Celtic and American sources. "The name Celtograss describes Dan's eclectic blend of Celtic, old-time American, gospel, bluegrass and original folk music," Dan writes.
You may find him in various local venues, either solo or playing with bandmates as Celtograss. Especially strong is the fiddle work of Ted Yuen, whose mastery of tone shines clearly in a superb reading of Jay Ungar's "Ashokan Farewell", The repertoire here includes traditional reels and jigs, sweet contemporary compositions, and Yuen and Carollo originals, which always have a spiritual foundation. For example, the second song, "St. Peter's Hot Rod," weaves together Windham Hill-like spaciousness with witty uptempo work. It is Carollo's delicately-complex solo version of "Amazing Grace", though, that wins my allegiance. The CD's one vocal, "Nothing I Desire," doesn't quite fit in this set, but it makes Carollo's Christian underpinnings very clear. The following song, "Instrument of Peace," with its catchy djembe (played by Travis Coster) and guitar and mandolin rhythms (both played by Carollo), is the second highlight track -- though all the music on the CD is uniformly catchy, moving, impeccably produced, and spirit-lifting. There are even a few guitar runs that make this listener shout for joy."
--Bill Fisher. Victory Music Review , August 2004 (Accoustic Music Magazine)
"From the opening set of traditional tunes, you know this is happy relaxing-with-friends-listening music. Well crafted, unhurried, a smooth double-cappuccino atmosphere settles upon the listener (check out Dan's web site for sources of Dan's inspiration). The intimate sound quality adds to the friendly feeling that the players are in your own living room.
Tasteful arrangements of old favorites are evenly interspersed with original compositions in traditional style. Acoustic finger-style guitar (Dan Carollo) and fiddle (Ted Yuen), the predominant instruments are expertly played and well balanced in their interchanging roles as lead and backup. Mandolin, bodhran, bass, keyboards, and djembe fill out the tunes.
In the well-known category, particularly agreeable is the instrumental version of "Down in the Valley to Pray," one of several reflective pieces, including "Ashokan Farewell" (two versions) and "Amazing Grace", sensitively interpreted with lovely chord choices. A truly joyful rendition of "Soldier's Joy" leads into a rousing "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," with a creative bodhran ending. Sunshine infuses "John Ryan's Polka" as well.
The most successful of the original compositions are "Thinking Time", "Waking Up / Voice of the Irish" by Dan Carollo and "New Wine Reel" by Ted Yuen, reminiscent of John Doan's compositions. These tunes epitomize his "Celtograss" style, inspired by Irish Celtic and American Bluegrass music.
The weakest tracks are the vocal number, "Nothing I Desire," more in a pop style, not matching the rest of the recording, and "Instrument of Peace," which both lack melodic direction.
Appropriate cover photo of the artist leaning against a weathered old barn, his guitar at his side, suggests the pleasant down-home feeling this album conveys. There are no liner notes; rather one is directed to the website for stories behind the songs.
Listening to Waiting for Inspiration puts one in an untroubled, reflective mood, ready for personal inspiration"
--Heather Beckmeyer for CelticChristianTunes.com
Check out the artist's website:
1. Gander In the Pratie Hole Set
2. St. Peter's Hot Rod
3. Ashokan Farewell
4. Denis Murphy / John Ryan's Polkas
5. Amazing Grace
6. Nothing I Desire
7. Instrument of Peace
8. Down In the Valley To Pray
9. Soldier's Joy / The Wind That Shakes the Barley
10. Thinking Time
11. Waking Up / Voice of The Irish
12. New Wine Reel
13. Ashokan Farewell (reprise)