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Connecting on the Green

Artist Profile

Joe Daniel will perform at Acoustic on the Green at the Leesburg Town Green, 25 West Market St., Leesburg, Saturday, June 30, from 7-9 p.m. Free. Visit www.acousticonthegreen.com or call 703-737-7084.

Introduce yourself:

Joe Daniel, born and raised in Leesburg, 27 years old.

How did you get your start in music?

I started playing music when I was about 4 years old on the piano and started picking up songs by ear and picking up melodies from the radio here and there.

How long have you been performing for?

I have been performing for about 10 years in clubs but also played in bands in high school.

What is it you love about performing?

I love performing because it gives me the opportunity to reach out to people and connect with them the way that other music has connected with me, and when that happens, there is an undefined energy in the air that cannot be compared to anything else I've ever experienced.

What is your best memory when it comes to music?

Best memories: A lady's whole head caught on fire while we were playing and she didn't even know it, it was amazing — no one was hurt, she had so much hair that it looked like she just got it trimmed, other than all the smoke rising off of it — but the best memories come from when you're just playing for fun around the bonfire and your music is setting the mood and the energy for everything around you.

What is your favorite place to play?

My favorite place to play isn't necessarily a place but just outside. You can be playing in the best venue in the world but if there isn't any people there to listen or the response isn't as energetic as you're used to, than it doesn't matter where you are. Playing for the music and yourself is the best place to be.

Best compliment about a performance?

People have told me that that's the best show they've ever seen or we're the best band they've ever seen live, but the best is when they say that when they heard me, they thought I was black, and that's definitely a pretty good compliment. You've gotta have some soul.

What is your favorite piece of music?

My favorite music is anything by the Beatles because it doesn't matter what's going on in my life, they always put a smile on my face and make me feel that much better, which is also the reason why I play music, that is a power that I have always wanted to possess.

Who would you love to play with? Why?

I would love to play with anyone in my family. My brothers or my daughters especially because I think it's gotta be really cool to be able to make good music and still feel that sense of pride at the same time and be that close to who you're playing with. I've seen it happen with other people before and there must be nothing like it.

Biggest Musical influences?

My biggest influences are the Beatles, Van Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Dave Matthews, I also listen to a lot of hip-hop and rock with that kind of influence —hip-hop — so I always try to apply a sense of soul and groove to what I'm playing. I'll listen to absolutely anything though and get something out of it.

Where have you toured?

I haven't toured too much, I've been down as far as South Carolina and up to New York City, but when I finish my next compact disc this year there will be more touring to spread the word.

What do you like about playing acoustically?

I like playing acoustically because it's definitely more intimate and can be more dynamic. Sometimes it's also easier to express your feelings when you can whisper it rather than yell it so to speak. People tend to listen a little closer.

Anything special about the upcoming show?

Pete Thomas is on the lead guitar, he and I made our first album together and he wrote some of the songs with me. He's an amazing guitarist also from the Leesburg area and Mike Jewell is playing percussion and singing with me. He's from the band Ghengis Angus and Less Travelled [sic]. We're going to be doing some of the originals off of the new album coming out as "Joe Daniel" and we're all very excited to play in this intimate setting in front of many of our family and friends.

Future plans:

My future plans are to never stop playing as long as I can, so don't plan on me quitting anytime soon.