Why He’s Top 40: He’s a strong promoter and supporter of local musicians, while also a successful musician who donates his time, money and resources to various local charities.
Guilty Pleasure: Fantasy shows like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings, and lame ’90s hip-hop.
What happens to a nationally recognized, award-winning rock star, who’s toured with bands like Bon Jovi, Metric and Billy Talent, when he settles down in the suburbs, gets married and now has a daughter?
“Well, we tour less,” laughs Dan Davidson, guitarist and vocalist for Tupelo Honey, arguably the most prolific rock band to come out of St. Albert. “But I’ve found other creative ways to keep the momentum rolling.”
He began co-writing with other artists, which led to production, management and eventually manifested in Hands Up! Music and Hands Up! Records, the production company and independent label, respectively, he started with Ari Mastoras, a former classmate from MacEwan University’s music program.
The two have worked on top 40 hits, including Bryan Finlay’s “Tonight is Alright” and “Good Times,” along with promotional material, like a song for the 2015 Pan American Games. But lately, says Davidson, his focus has been on mentoring local artists.
“[Our first signed client] just had no idea what to do. And I’ve found that that’s such a problem for young artists – tons of talent, just no direction. So we’re trying to fill in the gaps there, connect the dots for these people. Because I’ve been there. And it sucks,” laughs Davidson.
Over the past two years, Davidson obtained $254,000 for local bands from sources like Alberta Music, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Foundation Assisting Canadian Talent on Recordings, drawing from his years of experience writing grant proposals for Tupelo Honey.
Davidson gives back to the community wherever and however he can, volunteering his time at Parkinson’s research fundraisers, playing yearly benefit concerts for cancer research and promoting pet adoption for the Edmonton Humane Society.
“You learn a lot from people you respect. I know I do, and I hope I can fill that role for other people.”