Chris Daniels (musician)
|Birth name||Christopher Williams Daniels|
September 30, 1952|
St. Paul, Minnesota
|Genres||Jump blues, funk, R&B, soul|
|Instruments||Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Banjo, Flute, Percussion, Pedal steel guitar|
Chris "Spoons" Daniels (born September 30, 1952) is an American bandleader, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. A member of the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, he is best known for his work with Chris Daniels & the Kings, a band he has led since 1984. He is considered an "icon of Colorado music" and is recognized for his role as a member of Magic Music, frequently described as Colorado's first jam band.
Early life and career
Daniels was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and began playing guitar when he was 10. At seventeen, he moved to the East Coast and performed with several groups, and for a short time played in a band led David Johansen, who later formed The New York Dolls. In 1971, Daniels moved to Colorado, and in 1972 he joined an acoustic jam band, Magic Music, which would come to be regarded as Colorado's first jam band. In addition to songwriting and singing, Daniels played lead guitar, mandolin, and banjo with Magic Music, whose members included Will Luckey, George Cahill, Bill Makepeace, Tim Goodman of Southern Pacific and Navarro/Leftover Salmon bassist Rob Galloway. The group toured extensively in the United States and appeared at the 2nd and 3rd Telluride Bluegrass Festival. The band broke up in 1976.
After receiving his degree, Daniels returned to Colorado and formed Spoons, who in 1981 released the album Definitely Live on Sunshine Records. In 1982, he toured the United States with Russell Smith of the Amazing Rhythm Aces, performing on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. He also founded a late night concert series called "After Hours Jam" at the Sheridan Opera House in Telluride. He served as the bandleader and master of ceremonies for the series, which included performances by Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, Edgar Meyer, Victor Wooten, Henry Paul, Howard Levy, Jonell Mosser, Bill Payne, Al Kooper and others. Daniels met David Bromberg at the After Hours Jam, and they later played together at concerts in Colorado, Chicago, and New York. In 1989, Daniels appeared on Bromberg's album Sideman Serenade.
In 1984, Daniels formed Chris Daniels & The R&B Kings (later shortened to The Kings). Although originally planned as a "Boulder one-nighter," the band has released 14 albums and toured extensively in the United States and completed 21 European tours. Acclaimed for their live performances as well as their records, Chris Daniels & the Kings have performed at prestigious festivals including the Carolina Downhome Blues Festival, Parkpop in the Netherlands and Marktrock in Belgium. They have performed for three US presidents and the former queen of the Netherlands, and have been featured on a variety of American and European television shows. They became the Friday night headliner at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in 1986 and continued in that role through 1991.
In addition to performing their own music—a blend of jump blues, funk, R&B and swing—the Kings served as the back up band for artists including Bromberg, Sam Bush, Was Not Was, Bonnie Raitt, John Cowan, Al Kooper, Francine Reed, The Coasters, Henry Paul, The Platters, The Drifters, Bo Diddley and Percy Sledge.
In 1995, Daniels received a Master of Arts in History/Economic History at the University of Colorado at Boulder. From 1995-2000, he served as the executive director of the Swallow Hill Music Association, an influential roots, folk, and acoustic music school and concert organization. He began teaching in 2002 as an adjunct professor at Arapahoe Community College. Following his tenure at Arapahoe, he joined the faculty of the University of Colorado, Denver. He is an assistant professor in the College of Arts & Media and serves as the area head for the music business program.
Daniels was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in February 2010. He underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant via stem cells from his sister, Dr. Jane Moffet, and returned to recording, teaching and performing that fall. In 2012 he released Better Days, a solo album dedicated to "those who go through hard times." A return to roots music, it appeared on the national Americana charts.
As a songwriter, Daniels has collaborated with artists including Gary Nicholson, Al Kooper, and Bill Payne and his songs have appeared on albums by Hazel Miller and Tom Wasinger, among others. Daniels' music has been featured on the television show Men in Trees and as a commercial singer, he has worked on commercials for companies including McDonald's, Ford Motor Company, and Coors Beer.
Daniels was a co-nominee for a 2013 Grammy Award for Jumpin' Jazz Kids, a children's album he worked on with Al Jarreau, Hubert Laws and Dee Dee Bridgewater. That same year, Daniels was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame, along with Judy Collins, The Serendipity Singers and Bob Lind.
In 2015, Daniels released Funky to the Bone, which was critically acclaimed by international media outlets and blues and soul magazines including Downbeat and Roots Music Report. Daniels teaches full-time and performs more than 100 shows a year.
|1981||Definitely Live||Spoons||Sunshine Records|
|1983||Juggler||Chris Daniels||Next Coast Records|
|1985||Has Anyone Seen My Keys?||Chris Daniels & The R&B Kings||Harmony Records||Bob Burnham|
|1987||When You're Cool||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Moon Voyage Records||Jim Mason|
|1990||That's What I Like About the South||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Redstone Records/Provogue||Al Kooper|
|1992||In Your Face||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Larry Wilkins|
|1994||Is My Love Enough||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Flying Fish Records/Sky Ranch-Virgin Records (Paris)||Chris Daniels/Bill Payne|
|1995||Live Wired||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Flat Canyon||Chris Daniels|
|1997||Louie Louie||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Moon Voyage||Chris Daniels|
|2000||Choice Cuts: The Best of...||Chris Daniels & The Kings||K-Tel Records/Moon Voyage Records||Chris Daniels|
|2003||The Spark||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Moon Voyage Records/Music & Words Records/Buffalo Records||Chris Daniels|
|2005||10||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Moon Voyage Records||Chris Daniels|
|2008||Stealin' the Covers||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Moon Voyage Records||Chris Daniels|
|2010||We'll Meet Again||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Moon Voyage Records/AmbianZ Records||Chris Daniels/Henk Schoomacher|
|2012||Better Days||Chris Daniels (solo album)||Moon Voyage Records||Chris Daniels/Jim Ratts/John McVey|
|2015||Funky to the Bone||Chris Daniels & The Kings||Moon Voyage Records||Chris Daniels/John McVey|
|2017||Blues with Horns, Vol. 1||Chris Daniels & The Kings with Freddi Gowdy||Moon Voyage Records|
- Husted, Bill (April 15, 2010). "Guitar man Chris Daniels teaches music biz". Denver Post. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
- Soloman, John (6 November 2013). "CHRIS DANIELS TALKS ABOUT BEING A MEMBER OF THE COLORADO MUSIC HALL OF FAME'S CLASS OF 2013". Westword. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Currier, Jeff (March 1, 2012). "Are You Ready For Magic Music?". Martha's Vineyard Magazine. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Mescher, Daniel (January 6, 2014). "Chris Daniels at Open Air". cpr.org. Colorado Public Radio. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Kreske, Chris. "Chris Daniels (aggregated content)". thecoloradosound.com. Colorado Sound. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Ruhlmann, William. "Chris Daniels at AllMusic". allmusic.com. All Music Guide. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Keller, Jared (June 7, 2013). "An Oral History of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival". Outside. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Chris Daniels: Inductee". chfhof.org. Colorado Music House of Fame. 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Wenger, Tim (October 28, 2013). "Chris Daniels: Induction into the Hall of Fame". Colorado Music Buzz. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Husted, Bill (October 7, 2011). "Husted: Chris Daniels "hanging in there" in cancer fight". Denver Post. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Men In Trees Music". Tune Find. Tune Find.
- "Chris Daniels Sings Commercials". Via YouTube. May 23, 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- Torch (January 1, 2013). "Chris Daniels is Going to Grammy Awards". Colorado Music Buzz. Retrieved 31 May 2015.
- "Press (aggregated reviews on Chris Daniels website)". Various publishers. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- "College of Arts and Media". University of Colorado. University of Colorado. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
- Fantz, Christy. "Chris Daniels, musician with deep Boulder roots, named executive director of Colorado Music Hall of Fame". Daily Camera. Retrieved 12 February 2018.