The word “legend” is loaded with meaning – especially when one thinks of Blues-legends. It conjures up images of seasoned older players that have been touched with a rare gift, and whose talent has been salted through the onslaught of years in the music business..
To achieve legend-status as a Blues-musician at the age of 30 is almost unheard of. Enter Dan Patlansky – an artist who shares the muse that touched Hendrix, Zeppelin and Stevie Ray Vaughan. What Dan Patlansky can do with a six-string Fender Stratocaster at the age of 30, most critically acclaimed guitarists will never quite achieve in a lifetime.
Dan Patlansky is a conglomerate of charisma, charm and musical genius – and all of this comes wrapped up in an unassuming, startlingly attractive package that bespeaks his Judeo-Spanish heritage. And yet, he doesn’t seem to realise the extent of his extremely tactile appeal – both on stage and in person. Humility suits him well and is as much an extension of his being as his Fender. There are no airs and graces here – just sincerity and an incredible musical talent.
In only a little over a decade on the music scene, Dan Patlansky has become one of the busiest and most respected blues artists to ever come out of South Africa. His music can best be described as vacillating between slick, soulful blues and the renegade psychedelic angst and raw emotion of Hendrix or Zeppelin – fire encased in ice…if you will.
After his debut, “Standing at the Station”, an independent album that amazed critics and garnered Dan a reputation as a Blues-phenomenon and his subsequent “Readers Choice” vote as “Best Blues Guitarist in Southern Africa” – Dan released a second album, “True Blues” which was produced and released by EMI on the famed “Blue Note label” in 2004. Dan is one of the only South Africans to ever achieve “Blue Note” status. And the accolades kept on coming.
In 2006 Fender Guitars recognised Dan’s fiery playing and offered him an endorsement deal to promote Fender Guitars and amps. Dan is one of only six Fender endorsed guitarists in South Africa.
In February 2005 and again in July 2006, Selwyn Miller, New Orleans based manager of David Gates and Bread, Randy Crawford, and Petula Clark amongst others, brought Dan to New Orleans to showcase this amazing talent. In his time living in the city of the Blues, Patlansky performed at legendary venues such as Maple Leaf, Rock & Bowl and Checkpoint Charlie with many Blues giants such as Henry Gray (Howlin’ Wolf’s Pianist), Snooks Eaglin, The Batiste Famil and Rockin Dopsie Jr.
Whilst abroad, Dan performed live on both television and WWOZ radio. What this South African boy achieved in a few months, and the following he built up, many thought would have taken years.
Touring was cut short due to Hurricane Katrina and he was deprived of the opportunity to play with legendary and world renowned slide guitarist, Sonny Landreth. During the evacuation of New Orleans, Dan was separated from “The Red,” probably his most prized possession. She is the 50 year-old Fender Stratocaster that Dan used to compose and play his music on. He had to leave her in New Orleans and he thought Katrina took her along with the greater part of the French Quarter…but fate stepped in. The American band that played with Dan in New Orleans were scheduled to play with him in South Africa a year later… when he met them at the airport, they were carrying “The Red”. It seems that the muse has not only touched Dan with an extraordinary gift, but she is looking out for him as well.