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Dana Twigg taps creative vein on third album

Dana Twigg stands with his acoustic guitar Tuesday outside the Cortland Standard building in Cortland. The local musician has released his third album. “Better View,” seen below. On the cover is his grandfather.

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Dana Twigg stands with his acoustic guitar Tuesday outside the Cortland Standard building in Cortland. The local musician has released his third album. “Better View,” seen below. On the cover is his grandfather.

Dana Twigg said forget what he’s “supposed to do.”

The musician, who grew up in West Groton, said he did what he wants to do on his latest album — “Better View” — exploring a range of styles, a mix of jazz, outlaw country, folk and rock n roll.

“I wanted to not care what people think. I wanted to make the album I wanted to make,” he said. “I’m pretty proud of it.”
Released last Friday, this is the third album by the Cortland man, 28, a singer, songwriter, guitarist. It will be available at his local gigs and online.

Twigg, a William George Agency cottage manager, worked with Tyler Marlette and Brandon Young, both of Groton, and Steven Bradley of Cortland, on the original work. The men pitched in with drums, bass and percussion.

Marlette has a “legit” home studio where the album was made, Marlette Sound, said Twigg.

Young is Twigg’s “go to drummer” and Bradley, his regular partner at gigs, played the harmonica, washboard, tambourine and other instruments on the album.

“I play at Hairy Tony’s, Sidelines and Rex’s with Steven Bradley. We have been playing together for a year and a half now. He’s a key part in the production of this album,” Twigg said.

“I think he’s wonderful,” said Tony Caruso, owner of Hairy Tony’s on Main Street, Cortland. “He’s my favorite artist … When he first started playing here, with a girl named Rachel Beverly, they’d play together. I had customers and coworkers look at me and say, ‘thank you for having them play.’”

Twigg has no pretenses, is kind, has a great voice and connects well with the audience, Caruso said.
Bradley said he had high hopes for the album, knowing what they all put into it. But when he heard the final version this week: “I was blown away.”

“The way I describe (Twigg), he writes music that you think has been around for decades, but just came out a week ago,” said Bradley. “It’s relevant … it has staying power.”

The men started working on the project in mid January. “Scheduling was rough. It took some time. We wrapped it up in May … It was a good experience,” Twigg said.

Twigg has been playing music and writing songs since he was 12.

“I played drums for a number of years in a few local bands — different from what I am doing now,” he said. “Weird metal kind of stuff.”

“I lived out in Massachusetts for a few years, just trying to figure it out, playing music some how. Moved back here in 2011. I recorded my first album of stuff I am doing now. Singer/songwriter stuff. It took off after that.”

He’s played in California, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia and Florida.

“It has progressed where now when I released this album last Friday, I have had album downloads at all those places. People support me. It’s the best experience so far in this crazy little life.”

Twigg didn’t want to say he’s a specific kind of musician.

“I focus on where I am at in my life, what’s around me, different influences. I don’t want to be a specific genre. I want to reach out and and try new stuff, not only challenge myself but people that listen to it.”

The music reflects a variety of experiences from the last couple of years — “relationship stuff, questioning your direction, questioning, did you make the right decision at certain points,” he said.

The album is available at his gigs — June 11 at Sideline Tap Room on Port Watson St., Cortland, June 25 at BRU 64 at 64 Main Street, and July 16 at Rex’s at the Groton Avenue Plaza; and online through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify.
He has two other albums: “15 Hours in Manhattan” (2011) and “Morning Light is a Friend of Mine” (2012) with A.J. Strouse.
“I am terrible at self promotion. It’s like, what, ‘Hey, hear me a little bit, give me your money.’ I struggle with that.”

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