Dave’s earliest memory is his family’s acquisition of an antique upright piano. He was two years old. He started writing songs immediately afterward, and his first published piece was performed by his kindergarten class. It had something to do with being able to determine the identity of each of one’s hands. His teacher was later named “teacher of the year” for that particular state, and Dave thinks that he just might have had something to do with that. He was later trained in the archaic art of classical piano, and he can occasionally be heard, late at night, dusting off some venerable old Chopin chestnut, although now those days are few and far between. Keep practicing, kids, or someday you’ll regret it!
misty, water colored memories
He got a degree in Biology that was obsolete about 15 minutes after he graduated (thanks, UWSP!), but it was while in college that he learned to play music under the expert and overly-patient tutelage of the legendary Otis McLennon, who remembers him to this day. He also ran an open mic for several years, and it was at this impressionable time that he was immersed in the music of Tom Russell, Ian Tyson, Nanci Griffith, and Gordon Lightfoot. With a little knowledge and a whole lot of healthy ignorance, he moved to Chicago to seek his fortune in the Blues Business. While in the windy city, he taught “blues band-ology” at the Old Town School of Folk Music while being musical director of that city’s ComedySportz theater troupe.
Later, Dave moved north to Minneapolis, which had had a thriving music scene at one time. He played with a couple of groups there, and was introduced to the music of Townes Van Zandt, Loudon Wainwright III, and Randy Newman. A few years after, he found himself in a small town in Wisconsin teaching piano and guitar and writing songs to greater and greater acclaim.
people who need people
Dave has been playing his songs for a few years now, and has been lucky enough to play for some very appreciative audiences. He’s done opening spots or shared billing or just played along with some wonderful people: Leon Russell, Juice Newton, Lou and Peter Berryman, Cliff Eberhardt, Peter Mayer, Johnsmith, LJ Booth, Pat Donohue, Larry Penn, Louise Taylor, Susan Werner, Cosy Sheridan, Michael Johnson, the Arrogant Worms, Trout Fishing in America, Cathy Bolton, Chuck Mitchell, Don Conoscenti, Joe Jencks, Richard Pinney, James Gordon, Gove Scrivenor, Alice Peacock, Justin Roth, Bonnie Koloc, Jim Malcolm, Andrew Kerr, Andrew Calhoun, Dan Lloyd, Josh Calhoun, Karen Mal, and don’t you just want to call him RIGHT NOW to come and play your gig???
are the luckiest people
Dave’s won a few awards, too. In 2005 he won the Kerrville New Folk Award. As if that weren’t enough, he also won the 2004 Minnesota Folk Festival New Folk grand prize, and he was a finalist in the first annual Winterfolk song writing competition in Montreal in 2003. That's in Canada. NOW do you want him to come and play for you?
in the world
He’s recorded at least 5 records of all-original material, and he’s recorded on, well, just a whole bunch of others. He’s co-written at least 6 full-length large-cast musicals and a few short form musicals. Audiences seem to like him. Although it’s certainly not true, he’s been accused of being a comedian, but then, he was once mistaken for George Winston, too, so that should tell you something. He’s a pretty good cook.
From Dave Stoddard's official website