Folk-rock artist Dan McCarthy releases EP
The year 2016 was a busy one for Dan McCarthy.
He works as a dispatcher/driver for Schuster Concrete and as a bus attendant for Washington County Commuter. He also is a husband and father who plays and records music.
The Hagerstown man also just released a new EP, "Dan McCarthy Live at The Cottage." The digital download features seven tracks, including three that were recorded in December at The Cottage Pub and Restaurant in Chambersburg, Pa.
"It was a kind of a rainy, bad-weather night and it was not the biggest crowd, but there is no such thing as too small a crowd," he said. "If you have a handful of folks that are intently listening and really, really enjoying the music, sometimes those are actually your best shows."
One of the new songs on the EP is called "Hobo Camp," which McCarthy wrote after seeing a homeless camp in the area with an American flag flying in front of it.
"It really kind of blew me away that these folks don't have a roof over their heads, but yet they have pride in their country, so that's where the idea for that song came about. It's funny how sometimes little things like that will inspire a song," he said.
In addition to "Homeless Camp" and two other tracks recorded at The Cottage, McCarthy included some outtakes from his home studio.
"I record live. That way, it captures the feel in the moment," he said. "You're not going back and overdubbing, you're capturing the feel and it kind of transmits the feel."
McCarthy's effort is gaining ground across digital platforms.
"It's already live on Amazon, and it should be live on Spotify and Google Play and a lot of the other digital platforms. It's a digital download (with) seven songs that folks can download and enjoy," he said.
McCarthy characterizes his music as folk rock.
"I play a lot of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen. Those three guys ... they're just genius songwriters, as far as the lyrics they're writing (and) the chords behind them," he said. "So, intermixed between originals, I also play a lot of that style of music."
Also last year, McCarthy had a video produced of "Ladybug Point," a single that started out 17 years ago as a poem written for his wife.
"I turned it into a song three years ago, and now it's a high-definition video, so I'm really excited about that," he said. "I kind of have a lot of different things going on, all at the same time, and I'm not sure what direction I'm headed, but it all looks promising, it's all positive and I have some good shows lined up."
McCarthy said he plays drums in addition to acoustic guitar and singing lead vocals.
"I'm operating a bass drum and a foot tambourine all at the same time. So I've become literally a one-man band, which is really kind of neat," he said.
After doing 15 to 20 shows in 2015, McCarthy said his "part-time gig" really picked up last year.
"I (did) 40 shows and (drove) almost 2,000 miles to get to these shows. It's kind of stunning when you add up all these figures. So it's definitely growing, which I'm really, really happy about," he said.
McCarthy said he plays a lot in southern Pennsylvania and at Leitersburg Tavern, where he has a show at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28.
"It's been a wonderful place for me to play," he said.
In addition, McCarthy will play at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Hauser Estate Winery Store, 19 Lincoln Square in Gettysburg, Pa. The show is part of the three-day Gettysburg Rocks Festival, which benefits Four Diamonds, an organization whose mission is to conquer childhood cancer.
"It's a really good cause," he said.
McCarthy said he enjoys playing at smaller venues and is open to new opportunities to share his music in public places, as well as private parties and other events.
"I'm interested in finding more intimate places to play and reaching more people, and I'm just really excited to share my music and make it easy for people to find me," he said.
Locally, McCarthy has booked some dates through December at Leitersburg Tavern and Maloo's at Park Circle in Hagerstown.
To learn more
Solo acoustic folk rock artist Dan McCarthy will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, at Leitersburg Tavern, 21400 Leiter St., Hagerstown.
More information about McCarthy, including show dates and links to his new EP, "Dan McCarthy Live at The Cottage," is available at DanMcCarthyMusic.com; DanMcCarthySoloAcoustic.com; and on his Facebook page.
For information about booking McCarthy for public or private shows, call 240-520-9078 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.