Welcome to the World and Music of Dan Roark

Welcome to the world and music of Dan Roark. I have lived here for a while now and it's not a bad place to live, really. Although on some level, it's probably just as well you're only visiting. But hang around as long as you like.

Here you can listen to my songs - and buy them if you wish - read my thoughts in posts on my blog, see my pictures, and find out when and where I am playing. 

You can also hear live versions of my songs on Reverbnation, as well as see videos of live performances. You can also see my videos on, and subscribe to, my YouTube channel

 

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Rob Case’s PDP Virtual Open Mic… 

Monday night was my first night to host the Rob Case’s PDP Virtual Open Mic from start to finish. I have taken over hosting several times when Rob could not continue hosting. I was also guest host quite a few times since early in Mr. Troll’s reign as host of the open mic at Poor David’s Pub. But that was live and I didn’t have to completely control the show and deal with Zoom.

That being said, I want to thank everyone on the list above for playing a good song selection during their sets. They provided the show’s rhythm. I began the show with three songs from my new cd, The L.A. Sessions. Most of the performers on the show have music online with a quick search on the streaming outlets.

You can see the show in its entirety here. Then check back with us next Monday (and every Monday except the last Monday of the month) for another good show. It’s always a good time and besides, what else are you doing on Monday?

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

Lingering Memories of Mom 

Mom used to always buy certain candies to put in the candy dishes on the coffee table and the fireplace, just like her mother. In fact, one of the candy dishes was from Grandmother’s house – minus the glass insert. I would get candies from that dish when we would visit Grandmother Kelley in Iowa when I was growing up. It was one of the first things I checked out when we arrived at the duplex with Grandmother on one side and my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins on the other. The dish was always full.

I would specifically look for the spearmint leaves when I/we would visit Mom and Dad’s house, usually in the candy dish on the fireplace. When Mom noticed that I kept going straight to them, she began to put some in the bowl and some in a plastic bag for me when she bought a new bag. She would give them to me when I took them food or when I was headed out on the road for a tour.

In the past few months, Mom’s faculties began to slowly go. Her hearing and her arthritis kept getting worse. I was sitting with her while Dad ran a couple of errands. This was before Dad found a nurse and physical therapist to come to their house.

Mom would seem to fall asleep in the middle of a sentence or thought. I would look at my phone or read the paper on the kitchen table. At some point, she would wake up and continue the thought. That pattern continued for a while. Then she backed her chair away from the table.

She told me to look in the cabinet. I found a bag of the spearmint leaves. I turned to ask her if that was what she was talking about. She had the grin of a little girl as she nodded.

A week or two later while Dad ran errands, Mom and I were again sitting at the kitchen table. Dad had bought candy and I was helping her fill the candy dishes. Certain candies went in certain dishes. Bridge mix in one, Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups in another, and of course the spearmint leaves. After I filled the candy dish with the leaves, Mom told me to take the rest of the bag. That is the bag in the picture.

I ate them rather slowly, but this was the last one. It’s not such a big thing, and I can get more spearmint leaves. But it feels kinda weird to finish the last one in the last bag she gave me.

There will always be little things that remind me that I miss my mom.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

The Tiny Pecan Saga 

A tiny pecan on a small gas station fork.

I was up in Oklahoma Sunday and into Monday visiting my cousin, Tom, in Ponca City. I stopped at JT’s gas station – although it was more like a smaller travel center – for some beer. I was walking toward the cashier with my six pack when I spotted a display with slices of pie. I thought about the lemon meringue, but I still chose the pecan.

I checked into the hotel and unpacked what little I had. I grabbed a beer, turned on the tv, and started eating the remains of lunch. In between bites of mini hamburgers, I had a bite or two of pie. It’s a sweet and salty thing.

I began to notice how tiny the pecans were. And they were all consistently perfectly shelled. Which made me wonder a number of things. Where did they grow these tiny pecans? And who has to shell the damn things? Is shelling them the “shit shift”?

Then the person in charge of pies had to place all of the damn things on each pie. How many tiny pecans does it take for each pie? Just eye-balling it, the slice had between 50 and 75 pecans. With six slices per pie, you do the math. A lot of freaking tiny pecans.

I get the point of the end result, I think. You are sure to get a pecan in each bite, regardless of the size of the bite. Which is awful sweet of them (forgive the pun), but I don’t mind taking bigger bites to get a whole “regular size” pecan. It also seems like it takes a tremendous amount of extra work to use the tiny pecans.

Was it a good piece of pie? It was great for coming from the same place I can get gas – although there are some “gourmet gas stations.” Would I have another piece when I’m up there next? Absolutely, if I didn’t decide to try the lemon meringue.

But what I still want to know, and want to know most of all out of all the questions I raised, is where do they grow the damn tiny pecans? Do they grow on little trees?

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Paypal.me/danroark

Rob Case PDP Open Mic / The L.A. Sessions 

Photo by Allen Larson

If you weren’t at Poor David’s Pub this past Monday for the second regular live Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub since early 2020. Not only were some of the regulars of the earlier open mic and the virtual open mic signed up to play, but we had walk-ins. Which was a pleasant surprise and a good sign.

Host Rob Case opened the show – as hosts are wont to do – and played a few songs to start us off. He played his song, Bayou City, which is about Houston and is one of my favorite songs of Rob’s. Although there are a few. Several of us regulars sing a part in the chorus. Rob had a friend that would sing the part at one time, but things change. We usually don’t sing the part on the virtual open mic, due to bandwidth and related issues. The point being that it took me until the third chorus to actually sing it to my satisfaction. Mainly because I had driven back from Oklahoma in the afternoon and hadn’t had more than twenty minutes to warm up. But Rob carried on, undaunted.

Gary White followed Rob. Gary has known Rob and his brother Lewis for a number of years. He took lessons from Lewis at the brothers’ shop, Fiddle and Bow Music. Which – incidentally – is a sponsor of the open mic. Gary, is, however, a newcomer to the open mic.

A quiet, assuming young man who goes by Vudu Childe came up next. His songs were intriguing and his voice ebbed and flowed with seeming grace. Check out his new single on all the regular online outlets. The inimitable Roy Howell was next. He was followed by Lovemore Phiri, who sang/rapped to the beats on his phone.

I followed Lovemore and my set included Chocolate Eclairs and Apple Fritters which is on my new cd, The L. A. Sessions. On all streaming services and at DanRoark.com.

John Mason was next, followed by Steve Troum, and then Allen Larson, all three regulars.

Next week it’s back to the virtual open mic. Due to the Case’s having a family event, I will be hosting the virtual open mic this coming Monday, the 6th. If you would like to play, email Lynda Case at Case16386@aol.com. If you want to join us to just watch and listen, it will also be live on my Facebook page. It’s usually at Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub as well and may be Monday if Lynda has time. I’ll be playing three songs off of my new cd. See you Monday.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Paypal.me/danroark

Driving While Distracted, Pt. 2 

On another one of my excursions to Colorado and back, I had a chance to take these pictures in west Texas. There were few vehicles on the road and I had time to slow down. In the first picture, the windmills were actually moving, but the picture doesn’t show movement. In the second picture, the lone windmill is how you see it, with no motion. But it was part of the larger wind farm with all others moving.

I was thinking while I was driving – as I am wont to do. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. I was just able to get pictures. But I don’t understand why one or two windmills were not working.

Did they get the day off? Do they rotate they days off between windmills?

Did a windmill call in sick, but the “doctor” was busy? Did it fall asleep on the job, but no one had come to wake it up?

I’m being facetious, but the questions are valid. Don’t they have crews that would fix a still windmill? If it was a computer issue, the windmill would probably never have stopped in the first place.

On the other hand, would I want to go up inside the windmill and fix something at the top?

No way in hell!

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Paypal.me/danroark

Let The Rain Wash It All Away 

The picture followed a flash of lightning, which I missed. Unfortunately, the thunder, which could be a signal to the photographer that lightning is coming, actually followed the lightning. Truth be told, I was just trying to get a picture of rain at night. The lightning flashed so fast I almost missed it entirely.

It had been raining lightly on and off all day. Naturally, the humidity sucked. But about 9 p.m., give or take, the sky opened up. That doesn’t bode well for letting the dogs out and having to wipe off their paws when they come in. But we need the freaking rain. As it turned out, I needed the rain a little more than I thought.

My mom passed away early Easter morning. The family graveside service was that Friday. The memorial service at their church was a week and a half later due to scheduling issues with the church. In between the two services and ongoing, I’ve been helping Dad make arrangements to move out of the house into a retirement community. As an only child – since my brother was killed in 1987 – it falls on me to inherit the family things and coordinate with our children as to what they want or need that Dad isn’t taking with him.

Around the time Mom passed away, I released a new album, the L.A. Sessions. Naturally, promotion took a back seat. And I haven’t posted even though the ideas don’t stop coming. It’s all been a little more overwhelming than I thought it would be. I came up with a line for a song while I was sitting at my desk in the dark after Dad called me when she died. That kind of personal song is one of the hardest to write. You have to reduce all the memories you want to include to a line or two. And keep the syrup from oozing off the page. Not to mention I’ve been seeing my life flash before me on a nearly daily basis.

But tonight, when the rain became hard and steady, I felt a sort of calm. The calm I imagine the ground feels after being parched for weeks. Which is when I went out to take the picture. The picture, as they often are, is more on point than intended even with the supposed flaws. Then I wrote this post with more enthusiasm than before Mom passed away.

I let the rain wash it all away.

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Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

Paypal.me/danroark

The L.A. Sessions 

Dan Roark, Lou Castro, Ryan Brown

My new cd, The L.A. Sessions, will be available in all of the usual places on April 1st, including my website. It will contain the re-mastered songs from my Hello Out There album, with other songs from the recording sessions in L.A. All songs were nicely recorded and mastered by my son, Conner Roark. Lou Castro, noted L.A. session bassist, and Ryan Brown, drummer for Dweezil Zappa, joined me for the sessions.

If you are in the Dallas area, I’ll be at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival on Sunday, April 3rd at 5:30 p.m. at the Dallas Songwriters Association stage at Trunk and Commerce. I’d love to see you and I’ll have cds available.

Of course, you can always hear me Monday nights on Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub Facebook page. The show runs from 7-10 p.m. and includes a number of singer-songwriters playing their songs. David Card – Poor David his own self, comes on about 8 p.m. to highlight the coming shows at Poor David’s Pub. Or we’ll be in person at PDP on the last Monday of the month.

I’m headed to Colorado for a few shows after the Arts Festival. I’ll keep you up on upcoming shows. In the meantime, enjoy the music!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

PDP Showcase, Virtual/Live Open Mic 

If you weren’t at Poor David’s Pub last Friday night, you missed a dynamite show. Every songwriter brought the best they had. Fortunately for you, you can watch/hear a number of those songwriters tonight beginning at 7 p.m. on Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub page.

You’ll also be treated to special guests, Sara Hickman, Betty Soo, and Michael Fracasso. It’s the final of the four virtual open mics during Poor David’s Pub’s 45th birthday month. Making it especially fitting that Sara is on this particular show. David Card, Poor David himself, and Sara Hickman have had a close relationship throughout the years. She has played at PDP countless times. Be sure to tune in with your favorite beverage and snacks – then sit back and enjoy the music. You will not be disappointed.

As if that wasn’t enough, the last Monday open mic will start back up – live and in color! – at Poor David’s Pub on April 25th.

So mark your calendar for the 25th, and we’ll “see” you tonght! And take the time to make a donation that benefits both Poor David’s Pub, and Kerrville Festival. [paypal – David@poordavidspub.com, Venmo – David-Card-12]

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

Wine Tasting Fundraiser Benefitting New Hope 

New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy

The Wine Tasting Fundraiser for New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy hosted by Lindsay Meyer and Optima Fitness is this Saturday, March 26th at 917 N. Mill St., Lewisville, Tx 75057. There is a suggested $30 donation to participate in the tasting. More information below.

New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy is a non-profit providing therapeutic riding for people with disabilities. It is also often therapeutic for the horses as well. On a different level, it’s therapeutic for the volunteers, too.

Visit the website for an expanded explanation of the benefits of therapeutic riding. But since this is a fundraiser I thought I would show you that New Hope is so much more than simply therapeutic riding. The staff and volunteers are kind caring people who treat the riders like family. After a period of time, in a sense they are family. [Full disclosure: I have been married to Cyndy, one of the volunteers, for thirty years.]

I was able to attend the Chisholm Challenge, one of the first events in the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. Riders with special needs from several non-profit therapy centers such as New Hope gather to compete. In the trail competition, which I observed, one volunteer leads the horse and another volunteer walks alongside. A few of the riders who are older or less challenged ride with no assistance – except from the horse. The course is a fairly basic course, but it still requires the rider to have control over the horse.

There are other events at the Chisholm Challenge, but this is about the riders and volunteers/staff at New Hope. As I watched the walkers and the riders I was fascinated by the interaction between rider and horse, and walker with both rider and horse. The look on the riders’ faces of concentration and then absolute joy as they made the final turn and saw the beaming faces of their families in the stands and felt a sense of accomplishment. The look also of concentration on the looks of the walkers and then their look of joy for the rider’s accomplishment.

There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes. Matching the right horse to the rider. The staff and volunteers put in many hours preparing trails conducive to riders with special needs, keeping up the grounds and stables. Then more hours patiently working with occasionally stubborn horses or mules. Then yet more hours patiently walking along with the riders.

New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy is a first class facility with a first class staff and volunteers. If you have someone in your family, or if there is someone you know, with special needs who needs the therapy that riding horses provides, New Hope is the place that will treat them with patience and care, as well as pairing them with the horse that will the provide the best therapy for them.

The level of care that New Hope provides comes with a cost. The cost of a separate fenced area with seating for the parents and families of the riders. The constant feeding and care for the horses. The upkeep of the grounds. Which is where the fundraiser comes in. You can donate even if you aren’t interested in the wine tasting.

For a $30 suggested donation,
https://newhope.harnessapp.com/wv2/donate…

You will have the option at checkout to make a ‘one-time’, ‘monthly’ or ‘keep-the-change’ donation.
join us for a fun night of:

-Sampling 10-12 different wines, taught and served by Wines With An Appeal instructors and servers.
-Yummy treats
-Great company

Your entry fee will be used to care for our very special therapy horses.

Wine available for purchase after the tasting.
New Hope is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

PDP Virtual Open Mic Songwriters Showcase 

Rob Case’s Open Mic – Poor David’s Pub is back live with a Songwriters Showcase this Friday from 7-11p.m. as part of Poor David’s Pub’s 45th birthday month. A veritable smorgasbord of songwriters providing one of the most entertaining live shows you have seen in quite some time – especially when you consider that live music just recently started back up. For all that music, the $10 admission is actually cheap. Seriously folks, it’s going to be a hell of a night!

The virtual open mic is a fundraiser for Poor David’s Pub and Kerrville Folk Festival to help them through hopefully the final bumps in this long road back from Covid. [paypal – David@poordavidspub.com, Venmo – David-Card-12]

Come out Friday, tune in on Mondays, and just sit back and enjoy yourself. We’ll do all the work and bring you the music. See you there!

Keep writing the songs that are in your heart.

Peace be with you.

paypal.me/danroark

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Previous events

Dan will play songs from his new album, Southern Plains Revisited, his previous work, and songs of John Prine from 7 - 8:30 p.m. Up to 30 people may attend the show live - adhering to social distancing and wearing masks when not at your seats, and donating to the cause. If you would like to attend the show in person, contact David Card at david@poordavidspub.com to make arrangements. Tickets for the livestream are $10 and include the link and a download of Dan's Southern Plains Revisited album when it is available. A major portion of the proceeds goes to Poor David's Pub to help keep the doors open. When the pandemic has finally subsided, songwriters and performers would like to still have places to play.

Dan Roark Livestream at Herd Wear Store

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Herd Wear Store, 2000 US Highway 287, Clarendon, Tx 79226

Dan will play songs and tell stories from noon to 12:45 at Herd Wear Retail Store in Goodnight, Tx. Tickets are $.50 but contain the livestream link. Herd Wear has all things bison and more. They have many unique and special items. The bison ribs, burgers, summer sausage and brats are a little pricey, but oh, so delicious - worth the money. Cecil and Darlene will work with you on whatever you need. You can even schedule a virtual shopping experience.

Dan Roark at Starving Artist Festival

http://www.starvingartistfestival.com

StarvingArtistFestival.com 12 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. ALL DONATIONS BENEFIT FEEDING AMERICA! 12 - Introduction 12:10 - Zach Benson 1:00 - LEX (E should be reversed) 1:35 - Matthew Mozingo 2:25 - Bad Ties 3:10 - Torture and The Desert Spiders 3:45 - LEIF 4:20 - Andrew Magruder 5:10 - OneManJamz 5:45 - Sarah Zotian 6:20 - Tyler Schafer 7:10 - Dan Roark 7:45 - Max Stratyner 8:20 - Brian Sauerwald 8:55 - Ian Logan