Dan Navarro played at Jammin Java in Vienna Virginia last Sunday evening to a spellbound focused crowd. It was Mother’s Day during what we all collectively hope are the waning days of the coronavirus pandemic. The show seemed to have cropped up at short notice, at least to this subscriber of Jammin Java’s events emails. Dan has been posting on social media that he’s been on a “Nomad Dan” tour in his van with a cool sign that says “Live Music Delivered,” and some dates seem to be firming up on the fly, as we watch things return to any semblance of normalcy they can, in fits and starts. So look for tour dates near you, here: https://www.facebook.com/dannavarromusic
If you aren’t familiar with Dan Navarro, you should check him out. A career folk musician and songwriter, he’s written songs for Pat Benatar (“We Belong”), the Bangles, and sung on albums with Julio Iglesias and Neil Young, and a lot more in addition to his solo career and that in the duo Lowen & Navarro. If you don’t think you’re familiar with his music, you might be surprised to find yourself singing along with him during his show. He just might be that guy you’ve known but didn’t know it. But this limited-ticket crowd knew didn’t need an introduction, they knew exactly who they were there to see.
At this time, there’s a ubiquitous, palpable sense of jubilation in the air just to be “out.” Fans could be heard saying they hadn’t seen live music in over a year, an essentially national, and indeed global, sentiment. Bartenders and “the soundman” Daniel Schwartz were grinning, you could see it in their eyes. Although everyone was masked, people eagerly raised their hands in unison and solidarity when Dan Navarro said from stage that he had been twice vaccinated, before dissolving in laughter as he added “and once for rabies.”
Dan has a really devoted set of fans who’ve formed the Facebook group “DanFam” and several members were obviously in attendance. He played songs from his popular albums with Eric Lowen (made before he passed away), and some from his own recent release Shed My Skin, his first solo album. In a more lighthearted moment, he switched roles and sung two songs in Spanish.
He said from stage that he will be out on tour until the end of June, then will be back home in California and in the studio recording his second solo album for the next two months before he heads back out on the road August 20th for 2 to 3 more months. The announcement of the studio album was met with “Oooo”s by the distanced crowd, and he played three thoughtful songs from the album. He also gave a nod to the way livestreams had seen him through the pandemic, as they have so many of us. He said he had played 250 livestreams on Facebook this past year. The crowd gasped audibly, although many of them had watched most of those.
There was an air of jubilation and openness from the audience from start to finish. Dan can play songs that cut you off at the knees and cause you to cry involuntarily, but in the midst of that effect, his fans adore him in a very joyful, playful way. The entire show was full of affection and genuine human connection, lovely songs and beautiful playing.
All Is Quiet
Cold Outside (mashed up with Our Love Is Here To Stay)
Come Around (January’s Child)
Come and Find Me
Shed My Skin
I Don’t Believe In Yesterday
Sabor a Mi
Let Her Ride
Walking on a Wire
We Belong (to Hope)