Formerly at
Dan Howell

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Biography - May 2007

I've been playing guitar for somewhere around 28 years.  Mostly I play as a hobby and for relaxation but I've been in a band or two as well.  I don't really try to classify the  music I write as being in one style or another.  I just tend to write and play what I feel at the time.  For the most part the music I write is multi-part instrumental guitar.  I don't consider myself especially fast on the fretboard so I write several simple parts and layer them together.

I used to write songs with Eric Hester, an old friend  in Wisconsin, though we haven't been in touch in years.  I'm not sure how his musical career has worked out but when I wrote with him he had a promising future.  I have three co-writes on one of his nationally released CDs, "Blue Tattoo", and one on a CD he produced with a new band he was forming called "Albert".  I'd put them up here but I'm sure you can go to his site ( and check out "MTM", "Happy Couple", and "TVZ" or go to the band's site ( and check out the other song I wrote.  (I'd tell you what it's called but children and/or other impressionable people might be reading the screen...) 

My main musical influences??  Well..  I don't think I can really pin down a particular influence.  When I was learning to play guitar I played along with albums by any of a number of bands.  I guess the band I played along with most would be KISS.  I also played AC/DC, Twisted Sister, Journey, and quite a few other guitar-based bands from the 70's and 80's.  After a while I switched from playing along with rock bands to playing with more acoustic based artists. 

Just because I listed a bunch of Rock bands up there doesn't mean I don't have an appreciation for any other styles of music.  When I was growing up just about any musical style you can think of could be heard in the house.  Dad listened to "BOTH kinds of music...  Country AND Western" (thank you Blues Brothers for that wonderfully applicable quote).  Mom listened to Classical, Big Band, and Big Production Cheesy (I mean Easy) Listening stuff like Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand.  Somehow I also got what was then considered to be Classic Rock and Oldies such as Elvis, Buddy Holly, The Platters and the like from them too.

My older sister brought old pop Boy Bands like the Jackson 5 and the Osmond Brothers along with some Funk and Soul to the mix.  My brother... Top 40.  My little sister continued with the Funk and Soul but also brought in more R&B and dare I say it??  Disco!!!

Still, as for why I write and play what I do I'll say... long ago a friend of mine asked me to learn and play "Holiday" by The Scorpions.  I guess that, combined with the intro to KISS' "Rock Bottom" and Boston's "Hitch A Ride" started me on the path to multi-layered simple guitar parts to form a more complete song.

Most of the songs I've written have been inspired either by someone I've known or by something that has happened in my life.  I haven't recorded a new song in a few years but I used to say that if you'd significantly affected me in some way you either already had, or eventually would have a song in my repertoire.

Now that my son is getting more into music I've found myself picking up the guitar more often.  Who knows?  Another frustrating day at work (or two) and some free quiet time and I may start laying down tracks again.


I did the artwork for all the CDs I released.  Here are thumbnails of the covers.

ID (1997)

MM (2000)

A Pointless Beauty (2002)


Anymore (Talk To Me)
(2,602 KB .MP3)

Here's the last "big production" song I recorded.  Overall it took around 6 months of recording and three different versions (combinations of instrument voicings) to get to this point.

The song was released in the "Pointless Beauty" collection.

(3,466 KB .MP3)

Here's another song I hope you enjoy.  I wrote it for a good friend of mine in Georgia as a kind of going away gift since the company we were working for was dissolving.

'FDJ' originally meant 'Fantasy du Jour' (an inside joke between the two of us) but it could also be read as "From Dan to Jeanne"

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