NB. The purple sections are not links as of yet but someday…
Who are you?
My name’s Daniel Mulligan or Dolbro Dan as some people know me as. I’m an independent songwriter from Bangor, Northern Ireland. I’m in my mid-30s and earn my crust as a part time musician and graphic designer. I like folk, punk and grunge but I listen to all kinds of music – blues, reggae, electronic, rap – whatever’s going. I like cooking roast dinners, omelettes, soups and curries. I’m an omnivore. I like walks on the beach and cycling around the coast. My favourite video game is and forever shall remain, Street Fighter II. My favourite colour is orange and warm, earthy tones.
Did you say Dolbro Dan?
Yes, it’s an odd name. I’ve carried it around since 2008 so although it’s bit complicated it has some advantages. For example, if you know how it’s spelt, you’ll definitely find me on Google. There’s no-one else with a name like it. Some people think it’s ‘dobro’ misspelt. I do still own a dobro / resonator guitar but I prefer to play my acoustic guitar. The truth is it’s just a name I liked the sound of. I’m stuck with it now.
Why the vinyl obsession?
I’ve always harboured an love for vinyl. The first record I ever owned was Bad by Michael Jackson. I still have it. Found it years later in the attic. When I was starting to get into music as teenager I collected albums and EPs by Green River, an early precursor for Pearl Jam and Mudhoney. I bought their album Rehab Doll on vinyl (because it was the only format I could get my hands on at the time) and I still play it a lot. As for my own music, my second release Paranoid Protest Songs was meant come out on 10″ coloured vinyl but it never happened. Maybe one day. But I’ve never given up on the idea of printing my songs onto wax. I’m so glad it’s finally happened.
Where did you make Folk Dope?
The album has been cobbled together across 4 or 5 different studios and home recording setups. A lot of the preparations, edits and overdubs were made at my own home studio but the majority of the work was done at One30Two Studio in Holywood, County Down with the help of producer / engineer Dean Stevens. The drums, bass and electric guitar were tracked at Hilltop Studio by Paul Hamilton in 2014. I also recorded songs with Paul Steen, Stephen Macartney and Andrew Danso. I could go into great detail about the making-of process but not right now…
What are your influences?
Growing up my parents turned me on to a lot of cool music – Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rory Gallagher. My Dad was big into Black Sabbath and AC-DC. My mum loved Joni Mitchell and Suzanne Vega. As a teen my cousins exposed me to Pearl Jam early on, and before long I was hooked on all-things Seattle.
Next my school friends got me into So-Cal punk – NOFX, Bad Religion, Pennywise etc as well as dose of quality metal – Rage Against The Machine, Slipknot, System Of A Down. I also had a soft spot for Ash, Idlewild and Kula Shaker which I still go back to. Finally there’s Bob Dylan. After falling in love with his 60’s protest songs I started to explore folk music in earnest and the Laurel Canyon scene.
Can I help you with promotion?
That’s very kind of you to offer. I would be very grateful for your assistance. Just by sharing, liking, following me on social media. If you like writing and would like to review the album it would be a big help. I depend upon the recommendations of followers so your endorsement is a great way to promote the music.
When is your next gig?
Currently I stay around Bangor, County Down and perform at the weekends in the Rabbit Rooms and the Jamaica Inn. Details of upcoming gigs and special events can be found on my SongKick page. I recommend following me on that or subscribing to my newsletter so you’re kept in the loop.
Bookings: Can I book Dan to play a gig?
Certainly! I’m always interested in playing for an audience, near or far, big or small. For example I’ve played in Lusaka, Zambia for the Irish ex-pat community. If you’ve something in mind (house concert, coffee shop, arena tour) just drop me a line with your proposal.
Session work: Can you record with me?
I always enjoy singing and recording vocals in the studio so I’m happy to lend my voice to your recording project. We can work remotely or face-to-face if you want to fly me to your studio and feed me. Contact me for details on how to book a session.
Who else have you worked with?
My name’s Daniel and I’m a songwriter, an artist and a blah blah blah. This is my website Folk Dope. I made it to promote my 2nd album Folk Dope,my music, my career and my existence in general.
What about your day job?
I’m self-employed so making and performing music is my only income. Until to 2016 I worked in an office for 10 years, updating nautical sea charts. Being a self-employed musician has taught me a lot about spreadsheets and the importance of good record-keeping. It’s allowed me to write-off guitars and musical equipment as a business expense. It also requires me to play Wagon Wheel and Wonderwall also every time I perform in public. These are the sacrifices we make.
What about the missing years?
I never really took a hiatus officially. As a solo artist it’s difficult break up a one-man band. But I did slow down production and underwent a long period of consolidation. I wanted to release a big budget, highly polished, professionally produced album (on vinyl) that I could be proud of for the rest of my days. (Even if I never got any further than that). I also knew that to pull it off and recover my costs would require a lot of forethought and meticulous care in terms of DIY creativity.
So while it looks as though I’ve been inactive between SHM and Folk Dope, there’s been a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Hopefully now that’s all established and I have figured out how to do it, I can produce more work, more quickly and can start to make a proper go of it as a musician, online and off.
What the story with that cap you wear?
My cap is a special item of attire that I originally received from my parents after their trip to the United States. I wore it for years until it was threadbare and colourless. Eventually a friend informed me he was visiting Las Vegas. He kindly tracked down the hat store and returned with a brand new replacement cap for which I am very grateful.