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Since 2000, Jeff has played venues such as The Barn at Wolf Trap in VA, Club Passim in Boston, MA, New York City’s 54 Below, City Winery in Chicago, New York and Nashville, Austin’s Cactus Cafe, the Ram’s Head Tavern in Annapolis, MD, Mucky Duck’s in Houston, The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI, Chicago’s Old School of Folk Music, Chicago’s S.P.A.C.E., Seattle’s Third Door, Alaska’s Blue Loon in Fairbanks and Latitude 62 in Talkeetna, AK, as well as numerous opera houses and PACs throughout the country. He has toured both coasts with his son’s band, the Ben Daniels Band, and has shared the stage with Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Joe Ely, Guy Clark, Keb Mo’, and Bruce Hornsby. He performed at David Bromberg’s 70th Birthday Bash at NYC’s Town Hall and he has studied under Stefan Grossman. In 2012, the Martin Guitar Company began selling the OM Jeff Daniels Custom Artist Edition Guitar. He also narrated the award winning documentary, “The Ballad Of The Dreadnought.”
“When I moved to New York City to chase acting as a career, what I didn’t plan on was being influenced by all the playwrights I would work with Off- Broadway. In particular, Lanford Wilson - who would later go on to win a Pulitzer Prize for his play TALLEY’S FOLLY - taught me so much about the writing process; the love/hate relationship one has with such a solitary pursuit, the endless rewriting, the search and struggle to find a way to say it better. In Hollywood, the joke is ask any actor what he really wants to do and he’ll say, “Direct.” All I wanted to do was write. So I did. Forty years later, I still am.
SIMPLE TRUTHS, with Brian Vander Ark, is the eighth recording of Jeff Daniels’ music and is available under in independent label Boomadeeboom Records.
The Ben Daniels Band
When Ben Daniels decided he was going to be a musician, it was more than a career choice. A natural poet, this young songwriter went to school on Bob Dylan, Robert Johnson, and Jack White, among others. His lyrics speak directly to a younger generation that hears, sees, and thinks about the very things he’s writing. From their opening song to the finale of their set, the Ben Daniels Band cuts through with their originality, musicianship, and a sound that spans Americana, Blues, Jazz, and Rock.
Throughout years of touring, BDB has played notable venues in Michigan such as the The Ark, The Blind Pig, and the Magic Bag, and have toured to New York City, Washington D.C., and Nashville . As a solo artist, Ben has stepped on the stage in Austin, TX at the Cactus Cafe, as well as The Barns at Wolf Trap. The son of actor Jeff Daniels, he has quietly monitored what it takes to live life as an artist. Beyond a passed down talent, the Ben Daniels Band believes in hard work, perseverance, and creatively challenging themselves and their audience.
With Tommy Reifel on bass, George Merkel on guitar, Wesley Fritzemeier on drums and mandolin, and singer/songwriter Amanda Daniels on vocals, BDB’s live show never fails to take over the venue. Their songs become anthems with arrangements that pull people inside their sound. With five CDs under their belts – Coming From The C, Checkin’ In To The Michigan Inn, Can’t You See, The Mountain Home EP, the dual album & movie release Old Gold and their most recent release, Roll – the Ben Daniels Band has grown to be a formidable group that sounds pleasantly familiar, yet unforgettably unique.