Daniel Boling has been called “a thinking man’s singer/songwriter.” While most of his songs and stories are simply about relationships — with his wife, children, parents and life itself – there is nothing that sounds simple about them. Boling, said one reviewer, is “one of those characters who can keep you glued to his telling about a whole day in his life without your getting bored at all.”
The award-winning singer/songwriter will be in concert at Fiddlers Crossing on Friday, October 28, at 7 pm, to tell the audience about his day. This will be his second visit to Tehachapi. In 2009, he performed at the former Mama Hillybeans coffee house.
Unlike most touring musicians, Boling didn’t go on the road until he was 50, when most start thinking of settling down in one place. “This was my plan starting a long time back,” he says, “and I set my sights on making the transition as early as possible, once the kids were raised and we could afford a steep drop in income!” Meanwhile, he worked his music in around his day job as a Ranger in several National Parks, and then as a Criminal Investigator for the US Bureau of Land Management in seven different states. He somehow managed to find time to record six CDs.
Boling’s songs range from heart-wrenching to hilarious. They are honest, but never sappy, often with a philosophical edge. He is an engaging performer, with a lovely tenor voice, a deft fingerpicking guitar style, and a sometimes wicked sense of humor. Many of his songs are about people grappling with the universal themes of aging, lifelong love, loss, and joys and challenges of everyday life.
Growing up in a traveling Air Force family, Boling spent much of his childhood in Okinawa, Japan. Music was a big part of his family life. “We sang around our house as far back as I can remember,” he said. His mother was an amateur folksinger who played the autoharp. His second cousin is Appalachian folk icon, Jean Ritchie, who is largely responsible for the popularity of the mountain dulcimer.
When he was around ten-years-old, he found his mother’s guitar in the attic. She was a high school teacher at the time and paid one of her students $5 to stay after school and teach her son some chords. That was Boling’s first and last official guitar lesson, he says. Throughout his high school and college years, he sang in school and church choirs, performed a little in clubs and coffee houses, and began writing songs. Of his first songs, he says, “None have survived – I’m sure they were pretty awful.”
Boling finally hit his stride as a songwriter in the 1990s, and started winning awards. He took first place in the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in 2007. In 2014, he won the prestigious Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk songwriter contest, and has taken home trophies from many others.
When he is not traveling around with his wife in their van and telling audiences from coast-to-coast and in Europe about his day through his songs, Boling keeps a home base with his family in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
For videos and samples, go to danielboling.com and fiddlerscrossing.com.
Fiddlers Crossing is at 206 East F Street at Robinson Street, in Downtown Tehachapi. Tickets may be purchased next door at Mountain Music, at Tehachapi Treasure Trove, Tehachapi Furniture in Old Town, and Lucky’s Barbershop, or online through Fiddlerscrossing.com. Tickets to the concert are $20, and as always, coffee and goodies are included. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. sharp.
“… one of the most talented songwriters on the circuit!”
– Kelly & Donna / Still on the Hill
“A creative, entertaining singer-songwriter who can stand up to the best in the business. His songs have clever, insightful lyrics and lovely melodies – something I find missing in a lot of singer-songwriters’ music. His live show is entertaining from beginning to end, with songs ranging from serious to totally hilarious. I recommend him highly!”
– Linda Bolton / Booking Agent for David Mallett