WHEN Dan Hannaford isn’t busy playing more than 150 gigs a year, he’s getting praised by music industry big-wigs, such as the guitarist of INXS, and winning development deals with Sony.

How did you win the Sony development deal?

I was part of a workshop where about 300 people were given an opportunity to sing for a bunch of record label scouts. There were lots of amazing voices, but almost everyone was an R&B singer. When I sang some people laughed because my voice had this round country whine, which made me the chalk and them the cheese. Turns out not everybody laughed. The A&R head of Sony gave me a week in Sony’s Sydney studio to record a demo!

How do you keep yourself grounded with all the praise you’ve been getting lately?

I have a two-year-old daughter, changing her nappy keeps things real! It’s nice to have industry folk say nice things, but at the moment it’s the punters who come to the gigs and buy the CDs that keep a roof over my head.

What is the best compliment you’ve received?

My most cherished compliment is people’s attention at a gig. I also know I’ve written a good song when my daughter starts dancing to it.

What’s next after this big block of touring?

I’m a pretty keen fisherman, so I’ll be getting some much-needed time with the ocean. I’ve got a couple of side projects. I’ve just started recording a kids’ bedtime narrative/instrumental album. I will begin recording another EP soon too.

What did you get out of the Sony studio time?
My latest EP, Bootleg. It was tracked live, no tricks, no gimmicks, just my heart on my sleeve and a fire in my bones. It features the usual guitar/stompbox/harp as well as some piano overdubs. I’m so proud to have my name on it.

Dan is playing a whopping number of shows in the area over the coming months. Visit www.danhannaford.com for the full list.

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