Danny R & Paul Gillings
late 2020 : The duo formed out of mutual respect and appreciation of each others music and talents along with the pursuit to write quality music.
After featuring on several of each others recorded tracks and enjoying to creative process, Danny invited Paul to his rehearsal at Cafe Studios to jam out a few numbers and see how it went. Paul initially fancied playing bass in an attempt to 'mix it up a bit' he said, lasting one session before jumping on the harp.
Second rehearsal with Paul on the harp quickly showed the pair that there was something in the tank. Danny had his first live stream session with CentrePinTV 3 weeks from the day.
Danny called the Organiser Paul Osborne to make the neccessary amendments and after only 4 rehearsals as a duo the gig went far better than both expected. The livestream event lead them quickly into new and continued opportunities.
Check out the Featured On Page to see their Journey!
"The Harmonica and Vocal tones, just send you off in a trance."
- Jon , Camden Live Streams
"A lovely kinda Porch Blues feel, just two dudes, smashing out tunes."
- The Little Red Kings PodCast
A Life with the mouth organ.
At the age of 11, Paul heard the harmonica for the very first time whilst sitting round a campfire at a Boy Scout cook-out. The harmonica was being played by his Scoutmaster at the time: Norman Ives. A bunch more of the scouts became interested in the harmonica and pretty soon they had enough for a full harmonica group. Norman Ives met with David Michelsen (AKA Dr Midnight) and between them started 'Harp Start' a free harmonica school for underprivileged children. The kid's harmonica group 'Random Sound' appeared at Glastonbury Festival and appeared on many national and international TV shows including 'Jool's Holland's Happening'. Paul and Random Sound were also invited to appear on Disney's 'Mickey Mouse Club' during a US tour in 1990 to accept a 'Golden Mickey' award for outstanding talent, they also appeared on TNN's 'Nashville Now' and CBS' 'Good Morning America' in New York.
In 1993 Paul won the World Harmonica Championships in the Youth Blues/Rock section. That year Paul received an endorsement from Lee Oskar and became a Lee Oskar Preferred Player, Lee also invited Paul to play 'Why Can't We Be Friends' with the band WAR at the Jazz Cafe in Camden. Paul also appeared on the UK Children's programme 'Blue Peter'. Paul, Norman and David then toured as the harmonica group 'The Midnight Specials'.
In 2016 Paul appeared on BBC's 'The One Show' playing 'House of the Rising Sun' with 'The Harpoon Blues Band'. Paul joined 'The Jamos and Sir Mathew Band' in 2018, an acoustic act that plays at festivals and venues around the east of England.
At the same time Paul also turned back to Songwriting and has been releasing tracks through Soundcloud with more than 90,000 plays to date. Solo tour dates for 2019 included Upton Blues Festival, Folk East and The Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival, Jurnet's Bar in Norwich, The Fisher Theatre Bungay. Paul's solo acoustic album 'You Don't Even Know' was released in 2019 and is on general release through all digital outlets.
The album received a large amount of radio play and got to number 9 in the International Blues Broadcasters Association (IBBA) chart. Paul is also a regular tutor at the annual Harpin' by the Sea event in Brighton and Hove. Paul also joined the Gypsy Folk outfit Zingaro Blue and was featured on their new album 'A Handful of Songs'. Recent session work includes playing on Kev Walford's album 'Americanarama' and Paul Marfleet's album 'On The Edge' on the song 'Grey Skies'.
2020 bought the birth of another solo album: 'Invisible Prison' an Electric Blues album, was released in July to all digital outlets. This self-produced album was recorded at Paul's home in Lowestoft with the guitar, bass, vocals and harmonica all being played by him. Only the drums were left to someone else!
In May 2020 Paul became a endorser for Seydel, the world's oldest harmonica company. 'Invisible Prison' was the IBBA pick of the Month for August and reached number 4 in their chart that month. The track '3 Heads Are Better Than One' from the album was featured on Cerys Mathews' Blues Hour on BBC Radio 2. Invisible Prison also reached number 5 in the Roots Music Report chart.
roots made of music..
As far back as his memory serves, Danny's childhood home always had music on. Be it background radio, Top Of The Pops repeats on BBC2, the latest musical out of London’s west end or his folks "fighting" over the multi-stack to play their individual tastes. Bringing Legends and favourites from the 50s right through into what was the current 90s. Today, Danny continues to work with those ingrained sounds of inspiration.
Looking back on it all, Danny says:
"My Nan really gave me insight to the available music in this here world outside the realm of U.K top 40, across the genre/decade spectrum, from Al Green, Smokey Robinson, 4Tops , The Temptations, James Brown, Little Richard right through to Bob Marley & The Wailers , Peter Tosh , Eddy Grant, The Fugees , Coolio, NAS, Cyprus Hill, Ice Cube, Beastie Boys.. even as heavy underground as Mobb Deep.. a good foundation , a background of real music.
"But most importantly for me, she knew how to feel the music in her soul, as a listener and appreciator. She could connect almost instantly.
"I must've been around 10/11 at the time.. now being older, I appreciate that today more than ever.
Music offers what the listener needs most at that time...theres a music for all moods , knowing what music supports each emotion allows you to know a person better.
"I believe Music to be the well she paled her energy from"
Those Artists and their songs have unknowingly helped our family through thick and thin for decades and will continue to do so..
"They bring back the memories attached to them. If as a songwriter, I can replicate just a slice of that for someone else to pull from.. then happy days, sounds heavy but musics a powerful force"
Since then Danny developed a taste in Rock based, physically played instrument music and was influenced to learn guitar and did so with renowned teacher Kevin Dean.
Auditioning for his first band at 16 which was an American punk/rock Band called "Absinth" who only recorded one song called "Houston we have a drinking problem". That project dissolved rather quickly into a band formed by Danny and Best friend Bass player Jack Savage called 'State the Obvious'. School kids hitting the 'Lowestoft music scene' getting a support slop at the 'Sea Breeze' upstairs venue. (Since shutdown due to bowing ceiling/floor...amongst other things!) A total of 3 gigs played was enough to show Danny and Jack that heavier music was in need.
'Fail in Duty' was the final band established by Danny and Jack spending 4/5 great years of brotherhood, gigging, writing, recording originals and 'living the dream', always with the work hard and play hard mindset. Lifes natural dynamics separated the band in late 2009. They played a farewell New Years Eve gig back where they started at the Carlton pub in Pakefield.
In 2010 Danny formed a duo with Zak Matin, a good friend and former frontman to 'Fail in Duty' which would see him put the electric guitars down and opened the door to the acoustic singer-songwriter approach. Danny learnt as much as he could from his time with Zak in this duo. The pair gigged several times to great success but bills needed paying. By 2011 Zak now had taken a job offshore and Danny had moved away for other work opportunities.
In 2016 Danny moved back to the Lowestoft area and picked the acoustic back up with the idea of being a solo singer-songwriter, just guitar and vocals. The only problem was that he wasn't one for public singing and would clam up instantly if he knew ears were around. Danny contacted his friend Lloyd Lasantri, owner of 'Cafe Studios' in Lowestoft, and arranged to book some rehearsal time. The idea was really just to go down for a coffee and see a familiar face, if any of those where still to be found.
2019 - 3 years of hard graft into the singer-songwriter world and continued learning of guitar/vocal combination. 7 to 8 solo gigs under his belt ranging from charity events, local festivals and beer festivals. Danny landed for the second time, an opening spot at a local A&R Night run by Paul Johnson's Club Uniquity. A great opportunity to hear and meet fellow circuit musicians as well as the opportunity to play.
That night "The James and Sir Mathew Band" were playing later on the bill with Paul Gillings as member of the band. Paul is most prominently know for his world class skill on the Harmonica. After hearing Danny's set Paul introduced himself and offered to record a live E.P to be recorded, for free, at his recently assembled home studio.
Danny's first release as Danny R ; Me You & Eko was recorded by Paul and released on all major music sites via EMU-Bands on 20/12/2020. The release opened doorways to better gigs and contacts and the tracks 'People' and 'Indigo-Child' were featured on a local radio station by Presenter Darren Steger - Lewis on Smart Radio.
Today, Danny now has his own home studio to write and record from, working on multiple projects alongside his fellow musicians.
The most recent being the duo project between Danny and Paul. A new and exciting direction of original music.