Reviews and Venues

"This is a man who sounds comfortable in his own skin. By his own admission an old hippie who takes the values that accompanied that profession and has moderated them as time goes by. Stevens does this with a modicum of humour and happiness with lines like “I still love my darling wife, but now it takes a pill” (Another Sad Country Tale). The opening song Crush Hour Traffic is about a working man getting home through traffic - traffic often miss-referred to as “rush hour” which he felt need a new, more apt descriptor. 

What Stevens does is not particularly new, musically outstanding or littered with contemporary clutter; rather it is a solid, satisfying, rounded take on one person’s life perspective that covers environmental issues (Blair Mountain), how a 60’s radical was reduced to selling cookies (Jerry Rubin);his drinking habits of yore (I Drink Gin) or the way established religious groups spend more time to destroy each other rather than saving souls (When Jesus Sang His Songs For Us).

Stevens has written all the 13 songs on the album which includes a fold out poster with the packaging that has an explanatory note on each of the songs and why they were written. Stevens co-produced the album and had a bunch of musicians around him who round out the songs to give them added depth and texture. The instruments involved include Irish Flute, Pedal Steel, Concertina, Clawhammer banjo, fiddle, accordion, harmonica and guitar, which makes for variety in both overall sound and tempo. Runnin’ The Backroads is roots music that takes on the view, goes for the scenic route with very little thought of ever getting to a big city Music Row. It’s all the better for that."
-Stephen Rapid, Lonesome Highway, July 2, 2017

In the interests of disclosure, I consider Gulfport, Florida-based folksinger Dan Stevens a friend and I’ve listened to his songs on disc and in person many, many times, so please understand I’m not just filling up words when I say that Runnin’ the Backroads is the best collection of Dan’s songs yet. Dan has always been about telling stories, but here the melodies are more immediate; the lyrics tighter, sharper (“Ain’t no need to expand your mind ‘cause there’s nowhere left to go” from Jerry Rubin). Dan sings American folk songs for Americans. Picks: Viagra Con Dios, The Proposal."
Curtis Lynch, The Local (Jul 01, 2017)

"I abhor html and photoshop layers, but it's a great cd. He FINALLY recorded my favorite song. and my new favorite song. And this other song I really really like."
Dan's wife, graphix person and webchick(April 2017)

“Gulfport, Florida based folksinger Dan Stevens has done a lot of traveling in his life and over these thirteen tracks he shares his life's journey with us and brings it all back home. From the island-tinged title track to his Massachusetts roots in Another Small Town Tragedy, Dan's tunes walk us through his life of Adventure. Lis (guitar and vocals) and Lon Williamson (Bass, production) are again part of the mix, with Gabe Valla's guitar and the stirring fiddle of Jason Thomas, who paints several of Dan's songs with a vibrant brush. Picks: Another Small Town Tragedy, Requiem for the Survivors.”
Curtis Lynch, Playgrounds Magazine (Jul 01, 2016)

“Reviews for Deep Blue Mystery from Angels in the Sand “The artist has a narrative voice which commands attention. The instrumentals have a really exotic old school sound.” “Wonderfully smooth acoustic arrangement! Flute has such a sweet presence in this folksy, country song. I love the story that is being told with these lyrics because it is all so real. Great fiddle riff that takes on a catchy, hooky melody of its own. Charming song that stands out above the rest!” “this is a song for everyone to listen to. i have showed it to my family and they all liked it. it sounds like a Luke Bryan or Blake Shelton song and i like that music. this song is good.” “This is actually a really original song. The flute intro leads you peacefully to the main part of the song. The instrumentals are basic but effective, creating a nice contrast with the vocals. The vocals feel just smooth with a warm and protective male voice. A song with potential””
Soundout (Jul 14, 2016)

"I'm Already There" song review from Angels in the Sand CD “Guitar tone has very western country feel while the song has a classical and edgy alternative sound. Vocals remind me of Willie Nelson and Alabama. Great track all around and would recommend this kind of music to any of my friends. I rate this a 10/10 for quality.” “This is a song with a lot personality. The instrumentals are simple, with a classic instruments selection and a country kind rhythm and melody. The vocals sounds really well and they give to the song an old looking style. The lyrics are just gorgeous and inspiring. Very talented artist” “Fresh blend of great sounding instruments! Creative flow with this Spanish-flavored drum beat. The organ is a stand-out in production all its own. I like these raw vocals and the cute personality they have. Chorus is soft with catchy riffs that set this song on fire. Amazing feel in this sweet country tune!”
Soundout (Jul 14, 2016)

"About damned time we finished this cd." 
Dan's wife (May 2016)

"....Dan Stevens' music is an open book. Indeed, after a lifelong endeavor of singing, writing, and performing, it is only recently that he has begun recording. Following up on his 1st album, Rearview Mirrors, released just 2 years ago, he now gives us a glimpse of his Life of Adventure, from Bruised Knees and The Field Sobriety Line Dance (in which he offers a little insight that he says "just might keep you out of jail someday"), to Duck and Cover, and his finale, I Ain't Old, I'm Vintage. Well, that may be true, but his music is all new, and a great audio slide show that offers a journey that "vintage" musicians can relate to, and those just starting out can use as a roadmap to their future. Dan's great story telling style is in full display, and his unique wit and carefree style is a refreshing anecdote to the sometimes confusing world all around. Witness his comment in the CD insert, "Without the travails of life, music could easily start to sound like prime time television.""
- Rick Crandall, Music Tampa Bay (Sep 17, 2012)

"Dan's song, American Dream, is number 19 on the 2011 Music Tampa Bay top 100 list !"
- Music Tampa Bay (Jan 17, 2012)

Both Rearview Mirrors and Last Call are in the process of being ranked for the 2012 Music Tampa Bay 2012 list. - - Music Tampa Bay (January 2013)

" Florida folk singer and songwriter Dan Stevens is back with his second batch of tall tales. Drawing inspiration equally from Mark Twain, Woody Guthrie, Jack Kerouac and John Prine, Dan weaves stories as effortlessly as some people breathe. What makes this a better record than his debut, Rearview Mirrors, is twofold: a thematic quality to the songs accentuated by fiddle, banjo, pedal steel, accordion from Chubby Carrier and autoharp (courtesy of Gove Scrivenor) and a willingness to stand back and let the songs speak for themselves. In addition to the autobiographical tunes, Dan continues his brand of social commentary via the protest song (Local Hero and Duck and Cover) as well as lighter, more humorous tracks (The Field Sobriety Line Dance and I Ain’t Old, I’m Vintage). My Life of Adventure was again produced by Lis and Lon Williamson at Gatorbone Studios."
- Curtis Lynch, Playgrounds Magazine (Oct 20, 2012)

"Stevens is a man full of life, a robust singer who, from the off, sings the title track with the joie de vivre of a pirate sea shanty. His folk songs tell of his travels such as Austin Bound and Kerouac's Dream, of a conscientious objector who continued to meet hard times in Bruised Knees and the summing up a well-lived life in I Ain't Old, I'm Vintage. ...There is a sense of humour and love of the simple truths that these songs evoke. Stevens has a forceful, big voice that suggests there's little Dan Stevens would rather do that write and sing his songs and that, in itself, is it's own reward. In many ways this is old school, something that would appeal to fans of the likes of Tom Paxton. There are no surprises, no barriers pushed here, rather Stevens lays out his observations of his life, his family. Many of the songs are written in the first person and you feel that you have an insight into Stevens' worldview and you certainly get to know his music which is easy to listen to..."
- Stephen Rapid, Lonesome Highway (Sep 23, 2012)

"Dan Stevens, local songwriter extraordinaire, taps into a sensibility crafted by guys like Jerry Reed and Merle Haggard. When Stevens strums and sings, he does so with Reed's articulate sense of humor, but his pieces convey heartache and reflection with the accuracy that Haggard found in songs like "Sing Me Back Home", an ode to an old prison mate who was sentenced to death. In "Buzzard Stew", one of the tracks off his CD entitled, Rearview Mirror, Stevens reminds us about the fragility of life, telling us that one day we might find ourselves "with a pocket full of could haves/And a pile of should have knowns." Heavy, indeed, but he takes us there with the demeanor of an old friend or funny uncle."
- Don O'Cull, The Examiner (Jun 05, 2011)

Gecko Fest 

St. Pete Folk Fest (side stage)
Sunshine State Music Fest
Pine Island Blues Fest

Barberville Fall Jamboree
Sarasota Folk Fest
Southern Music Rising
Florida Folk Fest


Habana Cafe, Gulfport
Ricky T's
Captain Bill's

Sacred Lands
Gulfport Fresh Market
Florida Folk Night
Sweetwater Organic Farm
Boyd Hill Winter Walkabout
Keep Pinellas Beautiful
Flamingo Sports Bar
Treasure Island Fresh Market
Gulfport Art Village Courtyard
Peninsula Inn and Spa
Stone Soup
Whistle Stop
The Farm
The Hideaway
Gulfport Historical Society
Soloman's Castle
Mangia Gourmet
The Ale and the Witch
On the Rocks
Blueberry Patch
Bert's (Pine Island)

history of Dan
Copyright Dan Stevens, 2004-2017...................................................
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