by Jaz Bowens
That Music Magazine recently shined their light on the Lehigh Valley and interviewed one of their beloved regional acts; The Dana Gaynor Band. A transplant originally from New York, Dana Gaynor has bought a love for music, community, and authenticity with her as she continues to create music no matter where in the world she is.
Before Dana became Dana in The Dana Gaynor Band she was a little girl from New York who was introduced to music at a young age. “To be honest, I took clarinet in school and hated it,” she laughs. “It was terrible. So one day there was a promotion for a new music school down the block from me. A hundred guitar players walked up and down the block going house to house asking people to sign up.”
As you can imagine, from that point on the rest is history. Once she picked up the guitar she never put it down. Her brothers played guitar too and like good big bros, they allowed her to play with them in the basement and even taught her a cord or two. As she became older her life became more involved and surrounded by music than ever before.
“Later, I met up with these rock stars and they’re like ‘you’re cute, you’re cool, come play with us’,” Gaynor says. “When they were in town I’d play with them then they’d take me with them. They took me to California. It was very low key (rhythm guitar stuff at first), but I continued to learn more touring around with them.”
After touring with various artist she branched out and started playing clubs and other venues on her own, within her own bands. Fast forward to 2004, when Gaynor settled in the Allentown area. It wasn’t long before she was back at it getting together a band in a new city she now calls home. She wanted to put together a solo review. She met Frank Zelasney (drums), and as she became known in the area she met Tony Mancino (bass). From there they decided to make a side band. Since each member of the growing band were already committed to other bands or gigs, they used time in-between to work on their band. Around 2014 when schedules cleared up they decided to take The Dana Gaynor Band on the road. During that time gained another band member, Michael (Pozz) Pozzebon on the keyboard. At that point the band was complete.
All of the musicians, highly successful in their own right, meshed well together and believe music is Jam-based so each person gets their time for a solo. In the last two years there has been two albums. “Power to The People is the second of the two and considerably better qualitatively than the first,” Gaynor says.
Power to The People continues to get rave review since its release in November 16, 2015. Songs from the album can be heard on various radio stations, websites, and iTunes where the album can be purchased as well. For those who might have never heard of The Dana Gaynor Band, Gaynor herself can sum up what sound you can expect from them before you’re first listen. “I’d say we’re a blend between rock and blues,” she confesses. “A lot of the starts that I hung out with were Grateful Dead, Circle of Friends, and psychedelic jam bands from San Francisco, yet at the same time I also played with a lot of blues players. My guitar sound is derivative of blues/rocks. Pretty much a synthesis of psychedelic blues rock with a little country and rock.”
Overall, she considers them to be an eclectic jam band.
Power to The People is an album filled with political opinions that promotes the power being with the people. “If you’re looking for a band without politics in the songs then this is the wrong band,” Gaynor says. “We’re an honest band for that reason. We each have our own options.” The album isn’t all too serious though. You’ll find yourself dancing and tapping your feet or even laughing as one of the songs was co-written by a comedian.
If you’re intrigued and in the Harrisburg area tonight , check them out. “Harrisburg is a cool thing. We are invited to play a midnight performance for the Millennium Music Conference and Showcase,” she says. “The music industry meets artist. A great place for networking. On the 5th of March in Allentown we’re playing the Jetport across from the airport. We’ll have a two-show concert that night. Each show will be about an hour and provided great opportunities to hear the band.”