Mixing equal parts musical scholar, businessman and tattooed rock n’ roll rebel, Toronto guitarist Dan McKinnon is not your average blues rocker. While his music is rooted in blues styles ranging from traditional, country and electric, McKinnon has also publicly declared his love for glam rock, fusion, hard bop, and hip hop.
His first release, a self-titled debut E.P., was released in early 2012 to glowing reviews and widespread airplay across North America – including regular positions on the Roots Music Report charts. “Dan McKinnon is certainly ready for the spotlight. His debut EP shines a light on the wide spectrum of sounds he can create. From the slow and soulful to the edgy solos that really bite, the road ahead knows no limits.” (Blues Rock Review)
As Sharp As Possible is McKinnon’s first full length CD release and with the high expectations placed on him after the first release – it does not disappoint. It is musically deep but accessible with sharp lyrics, massive riffs, searing solos and catchy hooks. No two songs sound alike, but there is a common thread weaving each story and song together to create a new and exciting experience for the listener.
Produced by JUNO Award winning blues guitarist Jack de Keyzer and recorded at Canterbury Studios, As Sharp As Possible features Dan McKinnon on guitar and vocals, Aaron Carter on bass and Jon Foster on drums. Each of the ten songs were written by McKinnon with topics that range from relationships, self-reflection and personal loss. From the heavy opening riffs on the first track “Ain’t Looking Back”, to the slow groove and soulful solos on “Killing Time”, and the forlorn lyrics and classic blues feel on “One Regret”, the combination of McKinnon’s voice and guitar playing, along with the solid foundation from the band, As Sharp As Possible will quickly become a favourite among blues fans all over. As proof, As Sharp As Possible was named the 2013 Canadian Blues Debut Album of the Year and third best Blues/Rock album of the year by the Blues Underground Network. In addition to these acclaims, As Sharp As Possible was reviewed in multiple languages and received radio airplay across Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and Australia.
McKinnon preparing for his followup to ASAP in 2016 and currently serves as the resident blues artist at Poetry Jazz Cafe, a renown club that features some of the top emerging musicians in Toronto. Only in his thirties, McKinnon’s education, life experiences and talent will certainly ensure a long and healthy career in the blues genre. “Dan McKinnon is one of the brightest new lights on the blues scene. A well-schooled guitarist, he adds just the right amount of jazz intuition to his searing blues playing. With a nice vocal tone, killer riffs and wicked guitar chops Dan McKinnon is a name you will be hearing a lot about in the coming months, years and decades.”, says producer Jack de Keyzer.