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Monday, 16 August 2010 10:25

Discovery: Dan Mangan revisits the road song + Video

Discovery: Dan Mangan revisits the road song myspace.com/danmangan
Written by Roy Kasten
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Vancouver-based singer-songwriter Dan Mangan has been catching a bit of bloggy buzz lately, but no need to count that against him. All of 27, he's been recording since 2003, and just found a US release for Nice, Nice, Very Nice on the Arts & Crafts label this past week.

"Road Regrets," the first track on that album, takes the archetype of the rock & roll road song, and manages to rise above cliché, largely owing to the shifting tempos cutting against the otherwise foot-to-the-floor acoustic guitar rhythm and the nauseating feeling that we've covered this landscape before. Mangan knows whereof Dylan sang: He's "waiting to find out what price you have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice," but he won't wait for long.

The price may just be a good song, and this one starts out tensely: "We'll drive until the gas is gone, walk until our feet are torn, crawl until we feed the soil. Film the whole thing." By the 3 minute mark, the song is traveling at fanatical speeds, the organ is pealing like the siren of an approaching ambulance and the singer is howling at his memories and whatever put him on the road "that takes you back to where you came" in the first place.

Mangan will be opening for the Wooden Birds at the Old Rock House on Sunday, August 22, 2010.

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