Hallowed Ground

by By D. Otoni
When Daryl Hance parked his lumber yard hat (which he always wears while playing with Mofro) and answered the call of the solo front man, he had years of stage time with long-time friend JJ Grey and the band Mofro under his belt.
EU’s been keen on this home-grown talent starting with the early days at Jack Rabbits to Plugged-In with the JSO and the Blackwater Sol Revue. Daryl, naturally quiet, would sit on stage with his lap-Strat tuned to D and play a haunting slide guitar that was a just as much of the unique sound and appeal of Mofro as are JJ’s swamp porch ballads. Twelve road-years and four albums with JJ has certainly given Daryl a kaleidoscopic experience.
Daryl has definitely paid the spotlight dues and he’s no stranger to hard work. He first met JJ while the two were working together in 1986 at a heating & a/c shop in Riverside and his first guitar, a black Fender Squire Strat was purchased with an IRS refund check.
The solo project is a big change from anything Hance has done before. The shows he’s played thus far have been his first experiences singing for people outside of his garage in Macclenny, and the gigs have been of a different sort than the large club and festival sets he’s become accustomed to playing with JJ Grey and Mofro. “I’m really looking forward to the show at Mojo’s this month, hometown friends and all,” Daryl explained.
Hance’s first album, Hallowed Ground is making the circuit of independent and college radio stations. “Radio is springing back up,” he remarked in a recent interview. “With iTunes on board, its a whole new game. When Mofro started there was no internet, now with all the social networks and tools nowadays we would have killed for 10 years ago.”
Hallowed Ground is a definite departure from the Mofro sound, but retains much of that smooth slide sound that transitions musical interplay with the other instruments. Consisting of thirteen original positive-charged Hance compositions, Hallowed Ground was recorded in St. Augustine at Jim Devito’s Retrophonics Studio. This album has a smoky blues guitar sound on several track along with a solid rock groove on ‘All I Want.’ ‘A Breath Away’ is a melodic acoustic of a vintage Washburn guitar and the end result is hypnotic. ‘The Devil’ cut is one they had some fun with, and it’s contagious. You can listen to tracks and download the CD at Amazon, iTunes and cdbaby.