I've been keeping this news on the down low but I feel now is the time to announce that I'll be releasing a new album in the not too distant future. I don't have an exact date just yet but I'm shooting for mid-February. The mixing process is completed so all that's left is the mastering & uploading for distribution. This album is a bit of a departure as it consists of 10 instrumental tracks. There are no vocals, no other musicians & no outside producer. I wanted to challenge myself to see if I had the chops to produce an album completely on my own from my home. I feel good enough about the end result to release it into the wild so I feel like my mission was accomplished. A quick (& admittedly hasty) promo video is below. Stay tuned for further updates!
Press release below video.
In February 2023, Dan McCoy released the beautifully crafted Snapshots EP. He followed that up a few months later with the acoustic, rootsy single Sittin’ on a Bench. In a surprise move, early 2024 finds the northeast Ohio native ready to release his 13th album/EP entitled Instrumentals. The release is a collection of 10 instrumental pieces McCoy has compiled over the past few years. “There have been song ideas I started forming but never found proper lyrics for them. As placeholders for lyrics, I’ll sometimes either sing gibberish or create guitar solos.”, says the Standing 8s front man. He continues, “In the case of most of these songs, I left them as they were because I felt they sounded pretty cool as instrumental pieces.”
Dan went on to tell the story behind the album. “Growing up in the 80s & 90s I was exposed to a lot of television & movies. There are so many great theme songs from both mediums going back to classic 50s sitcoms, 60s Bond movies right through the 70s, 80s & some 90s shows and films. They were more than just 60 seconds of filler at the top of each program. If you give a good listen, you’ll hear some incredible musicianship happening. Shows like Taxi, Barney Miller, Sanford & Son, Cheers, Hill Street Blues, Night Court and even the Fat Albert theme had some real depth. They weren’t just banged out on a synthesizer & drum machine. There were real composers & players on those songs giving true soul to the each one. Several were so popular that they were almost like characters themselves. I’m also a big fan of 60s & 70s funk music. Not disco but Sly & the Family Stone type funk. I have a few compilations of regional bands from that era that contain some of the most low-down grooves one has ever heard. In addition to all that, I have an affinity for lounge-type jazz, like what you might hear as “bumper music” (the music heard when B-roll footage is shown between scenes) on Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee show. I used to watch the tv show Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe & loved those little stingers and bumpers of slide guitar, etc. between the scenes.”
“One last influential component to this project was the work of one of my all-time favorite guitarists, the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan. His guitar playing is obviously well known & when his name is spoken most people will gravitate towards his more popular songs like Pride & Joy, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, The House is Rockin’ and his take on Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile (Slight Return). The stuff that’s really moved me, though, has been his instrumental work. Songs like Stang’s Swang, Chitlins Con Carne, Gone Home, Travis Walk, Lenny…I could go on and on. I think I’m drawn to those songs more because the formula was different. It wasn’t “sing, solo, sing, solo, sing, solo.” There was a bit more sophistication to the works that didn’t have any lyrics. I feel like those songs get overlooked when his catalog is talked about. I will NEVER be on the level of SRV nor will I ever be considered any kind of guitar virtuoso. I may never sound like any of my guitar heroes. That doesn’t mean I’m not any less influenced by their work. It just presents itself in a different way.”
McCoy took all the above & mixed it into a bluesy stew with light seasonings of jazz & a couple splashes of funk. The outcome is a 34-minute gumbo perfect for late night driving, background music while working or cleaning the house or even just hanging by the fire pit ingesting a small number of edibles. “I have no intention of playing this album or any of the songs live but I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple end up in a Standing 8s set.”
Dan is shooting for a mid-February release.