BEST BETS: Guitarist Black starts ‘Adventure’ in Dover

Guitarist Danny Black will kick off a nationwide tour at Dover’s Maple Dale Country Club Monday night as he plays music from his “Adventure Soundtrack” album. (Submitted photo)

Danny Black is striking out on his own, starting with a concert Monday night at Dover’s Maple Dale Country Club.

Mr. Black, aka Dan Schwartz of the Philadelphia-based indie folk trio Good Old War, released his first solo album “Adventure Soundtrack” in February under a new name and is hitting the road to play music from the instrumental album.

The nationwide tour, which takes him to Brooklyn and Philadelphia in the two days following his Dover stop, will later take him as far as Los Angeles and back again.


The Dover kickoff is due in no small part to the capital city’s biggest fan of Mr. Black, Glenn Deaton.

Mr. Deaton, a Dover insurance agent and part-time musician himself, has been a fan of Good Old War and Mr. Black for the past decade.

“When we were putting together this tour, I wanted to do something a little more intimate for the first go-round and put the call out there to see if anyone wanted me to come to their town. Glenn stepped right up. He’s been an awesome supporter,” Mr. Black said.

Mr. Deaton said he got into Mr. Black’s work through his children.

“It was at the same time that indie folk bands like Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers started to grow and they turned me on to that music that they were into,” Mr. Deaton said.

“As a guitarist myself, the guitar playing really captured me with Good Old War.”

In fact, Mr. Black and Mr. Deaton later traded guitars, with Mr. Deaton’s black walnut Stratocaster used on Good Old War’s last two albums.

“Being in bands all my life, getting to have someone like (Mr. Deaton) who considers your success their own success and makes it a priority to put the word out on a band he loves, is something special,” Mr. Black said.

“He’s a real music lover and if you can have just one of those people in your life, it’s really appreciative. We have an easy rapport and he’s very parental.”

Mr. Deaton, a member at Maple Dale, reserved the room and made all of the arrangements for Mr. Black’s Monday show.

“The new stuff is really interesting. I’m looking forward to the show,” Mr. Deaton said.

“Adventure Soundtrack,” an album consisting solely of Mr. Black’s guitar work, was recorded last winter in his father’s empty house in Ventnor City, New Jersey, while his bandmates were working on another project.

Described as “music for a movie that doesn’t exist,” Mr. Black hopes the new album takes listeners on their own private adventure.

“Each song is a little picture. My wife and I are very adventurous. We are into rock climbing and hiking and I wanted to give people something to listen to while they are creating their own adventures, whether they are taking a long drive or whatever,” he said.

Monday night’s concert will be accompanied by projected images with each song.

“They help create the mood. I want people to hear the music and apply each song to their own lives without me telling them what the songs are about,” Mr. Black said.

“The images will help tell the audience what to feel rather than what to think.”

For this tour, he and his wife Annie will pack up the dog and drive their van across the country. While he has been on plenty of tours both here and abroad with Good Old War, this will be his first solo go at it.

He has played a few album release shows and says playing solo is a new but welcome change.

“It’s been easier than I expected,” he said.

“The songs are very lush and I feel very safe behind my guitar. The more I play them, the songs seem to take on a life of their own.”

He said his bandmates in Good Old War have been very supportive of his solo efforts.

“That’s the great thing about this band. We are all behind each other in whatever we do. We get along real well and it’s a really nice situation,” he said.

Mr. Black said Good Old War fans should take solace in the fact that the band is busy making music that will be released throughout the year.

“We just finished a new record and we’ll be putting it out in three short albums that will become one big album,” said Mr. Black of the followup to the group’s 2015 disc “Broken Into Better Shape.”

“It’s a return to form of some of our earlier stuff. It’s what people who like our first and second albums will want.”

Opening Monday night’s show will be Mel Washington, a singer from Charleston, South Carolina.

“His vocals are incredible. I think it’s a really nice combination of him singing and then me not singing,” Mr. Black said.

“His singing will more than make up for it,” he said.

Tickets for the show at Maple Dale, 180 Mapledale Drive, are $10 and can be obtained by calling Mr. Deaton at 382-0939 or 734-3700.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7.

Toney Rocks in Dover

In other local music happenings, Toney Rocks will present a concert featuring his Americana music today at Kent County Theatre Guild’s Patchwork Playhouse at 8 p.m.

In addition to his nationwide tour, Toney Rocks, aka Dover’s Tony Robinson, has released a video for his latest single “Run to the Night” Alternate Root Magazine just premiered the video on its website.

His current tour is highlighted by shows at the NAMM Conference, Folk Alliance International and South By Southwest.

The opening act will be Melissa Alesi, a Delaware native now living in Nashville, Tennessee.

The singer-songwriter has a sound that fuses folk, alternative, country and world music.

Tickets are $15 and can be obtained by visiting

The Patchwork Playhouse is at 140 Roosevelt Ave.

‘Beauty and the Beast’

Taking a cue from the hit movie, The Centre Ice Rink at Delaware State Fair in Harrington will bring a host of fairy tale characters to life as Bay Country Figure Skating Club presents its spring show, “Beauty and the Beast on Ice,” at 6 p.m. today and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.

Directed by the Centre’s skating director, Jerry Santoferrara, and coach Tom Harrison, “Beauty and the Beast” features an original story and is choreographed to a variety of familiar music.

More than 70 local skaters of all ages and levels including Bay County Figure Skating Club members as well as students and coaches from the rink’s skating programs will perform.

The show also will feature previews of 1st State Ice Theatre’s competitive programs for the 2016-2017 season, which will culminate in competing at Theatre on Ice Nationals in Indiana in June. First State Ice Theatre has an adult team, who will perform their “Rocky Horror” freestyle program, and an open team, who will perform their “Aladdin” freestyle program.

Tickets cost $10 for adults and $8 for children ages 5 to 9, with free admission for children under 5. Groups of 10 or more receive $2 off each ticket if purchased in advance. Tickets also will be available at the door.

For more information, call Bay Country Figure Skating Club at 302-398-5900, ext. 218, email or visit

Holly’s Club Spring Fling

The Holly’s Club will celebrate 33 years of community service with its 33rd Spring Fling on Saturday from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the Clayton Fire Hall, 214 Railroad Ave.

This year’s primary beneficiary of the Spring Fling will be the Ronald McDonald House in Wilmington to sponsor a room for families from the Smyrna/Clayton area.

The evening will include a silent auction. Music will be provided by D-Jays for All Occasions.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, and basket of cheer will also be featured.

Tickets are $100 per couple or $50 per person. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are also available with Silver sponsorships at $150, Gold sponsorships at $250 and platinum sponsorships at $400.

For ticket information call Julie Osbourne at 703-967-5140.

‘The Civil War’

As we told you last week, “The Civil War,” a musical, will be performed at the Schwartz Center for the Arts today and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in is final weekend.

The show uses letters, diaries, historical documents and Walt Whitman’s poetry and tells the story in song from the perspective of Union soldiers, Confederate soldiers, slaves and the wives back home left wondering whether their loved ones were safe.

Adult tickets are $20, senior, military and students are $17. They are available at the door or online at

The Schwartz Center is at 226 S. State St., Dover.

Now showing

New in theaters this weekend is the suspense thriller “The Circle,” starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson.

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is the family film “A Dog’s Purpose”; Matthew McConaughey in “Gold”; and the supernatural film “Rings.”

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