WHY I'M SO PASSIONATE ABOUT INDEPENDENT MUSIC: A LOVE LETTER TO
CHRIS DANIELS & THE KINGS

In May of 2016, I didn't really know what "indie music" was. To be honest, I thought it was some kind of weird alternative rock genre. It took a loveable, crazy internet DJ to teach me what indie music really is and help ignite a fire that started inside me 33 years ago.
My love affair with indie music started exactly 33 years ago today (November 3, 1984), when I saw Chris Daniels perform for the first time at the renowned Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen, CO. I fell instantly in love with the man & his music. 

The discography of Chris Daniels & The Kings helped write the soundtrack for the next 30 years of my life. A New York man living in Colorado ended up stealing this Colorado-girl's heart & whisked me away back east to marry. My send-off was a massive party held at the Little Bear featuring Chris & The Kings, where I climbed up on stage during " Testify " and as Chris dropped to his knees to serenade me, I "testified" by whipping off my shirt & throwing my bra in the rafters where it still hangs today. Back then, that was the only way to get a Little Bear t-shirt, but now you can purchase them in the gift shop. I, personally, think the old way is much more fun!
​Although miles separated us & the internet hadn't been invented yet, I kept track of Chris through my Colorado friends & family. I was miserable in western New York, not just because of being homesick, but compared to Colorado with its 300 sunny days a year, New York seems like one long, dark and dreary day. My sister Cindy, who was at that very first Chris Daniels' appearance in 1984 with me, felt bad about my lack of sunshine and mailed me the 1987 release When You're Cool on cassette. I remember the day I got it in the mail, it was the usual dark and rainy day, but I put on my sunglasses, blasted that song, danced around the house and smiled for the first time in a long time. "You can shuffle right through that rainstorm, dontcha pay it no nevermind. It's got a lot to do with your attitude and leaving your blues behind. When you're cool, the sun shines all the time." ​​
To purchase the album When You're Cool (available on vinyl!!!), click here:  https:// www.amazon.com/When-Youre-Chris-Daniels-Kings/dp/B002VBCOSC

Chris Daniels & The Kings performing "When You're Cool" on the TV show Nashville Now in 1988. 

Mid-nineties came, along with a brutal divorce, right around the time Is My Love Enough was released. The title track was put on repeat for months going through that break-up. I could so clearly identify with that song because it was the question I seemed to be asking every day. "With all these good intentions, there ain't no guarantee. You can talk yourself right out of love and turn your back on me. Is my love enough?"

To purchase the album Choice Cuts: The Best of Chris Daniels & The Kings, click here:  https://www.amazon.com/Choice-Cuts-Chris-Daniels-Kings/dp/B000S5976U
The next several years were a blur to me. I lost touch with my Colorado friends and ultimately completely lost touch with me. I was numbly, stumbling through life, as if blindfolded in a maze when a brutal shock jolted me out of my stupor. I lost a friend and soulmate to cancer the day after 9/11. I emerged, after several months of desperate grieving, a completely different person. I know now, every day of my life is precious - a true gift. Music weaved it's way through that metamorphosis of mine and Chris Daniels was a consistent thread through it all. 

In early 2010, around the same time I was diagnosed with Lupus, Chris was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. I remember thinking, Lupus is nothing compared to what Chris is going through. I kept track of Chris' progress through articles and interviews and prayed for him every day. I still do. His strength and unwavering spirit is, and continues to be, an inspiration to me.


When the album Chris wrote from his hospital bed, Better Days was released, I couldn't get enough. Every single song on that album spoke to me in a way no other album, by any other artist, ever did and the live Telluride tracks are a delightful bonus. Of the 15 studio albums Chris Dandiels &The Kings have releaased, Better Days is still my personal favorite and will always hold a special place in my heart.

And for the last seven years, the song "
Better Days " has been on my daily playlist and it is going to remain there for the forseeable future. "Sure as the snow flies, you're gonna dry your eyes. Wintertime will take you, it might shape and remake you. It's gonna be a whole lot better when spring arrives."

Chris Daniels performing "Better Days" on NCRV Music Matters in 2013.

To purchase the album Better Days by Chris Daniels, click on the image above.

On November 8, 2013 while Chris Daniels was being inducted along side Judy Collins into the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame, I paid tribute to Chris by spending the day playing the nine albums of his I owned, in their entirety. It was my way of celebrating this amazing man & his honored accomplishment. It's no wonder why this guy is in the Colorado Music Hall Of Fame, his musical legacy over these past three decades is remarkable.
Fast forward to that crazy, loveable DJ (Rick Landstrom) I mentioned in the beginning of this love letter. Last year, I joined forces with Rick and the best crew in internet radio to make Music Mafia Radio a trail-blazer in this independent music revolution. When Rick asked me to recruit the best independent artists I could find for his new station, Chris Daniels was the first person I reached out to. Of course, Chris didn't hesitate to submit tracks and #MusicMafiaRadio listeners have been jamming to CD&TK ever since. Every local band in every city around the world has fans like me, who love the music and have a personal story for every song. Those local bands and artists -that's where the real passion is and where the true talent lies and I'm proud to work for a radio station that's doing everything in it's power to help bring that amazing local music to the masses.
For more info on #MusicMafiaRadio, click
the logo to the left!
It's funny how some things in your life come full circle. I'm back in Colorado for the time being and will be planning a trip to Denver to see Chris in the near future. In the meantime Blues With Horns, the amazing newly released record just became the band's first #1 record in 33 years and is also in the first round of the Grammys, nominated for Best Traditional Blues Album in American Roots category!! You can bet Chris & I will have a lot to talk about when we finally meet again, so stay tuned!!

"Sweet Memphis" an original tune off their new album Blues With Horns.

To purchase the #1 album Blues With Horns by Chris Daniels & The Kings with Freddi Gowdy, click on the image above.

MEET THE BAND

Chris Daniels - rhythm guitar, vocals
Freddi Gowdy - vocals
Colin “Bones” Jones - lead guitar
Randy Amen - drums, vocals
Kevin “Bro” Lege - bass, vocals
Darryl “Doody” Abrahamson - trumpet, vocals
Jim Waddell - alto, tenor sax, flute, vocals

www.chrisdaniels.com

MORE FROM CHRIS DANIELS & THE KINGS

"Fried Food/Hard Liquor" another great tune off the new album Blues With Horns.

Here's a fun #IndieArtistsRule #FandomVideo for "Get Up Off The Funk" off the new #1 album Blues With Horns!

Whenever I need to put a smile on my face, I watch Chris & Freddi's Open Air performance of "Joy" off the ​ Funky To The Bone album released in 2015.