2023 review of "New Old Friends" CD - The Rocking Magpie, U.K.

C Daniel Boling
New Old Friends
Berkalin Records

A Voice That Has Lived a Full Life and Has Stories to Tell

I wasn’t sure which album to write about today, so after pondering over the 7 or 8 albums being released later this week, C Daniel Boling ‘s NEW OLD FRIENDS somehow caught my attention. Remembering that each song is a co-write with The Legendary Tom Paxton; and when I’d first received it; the first couple of songs I played last week, back into the hi-fi it went.

That first song, Get a Life! made me smile. Which is always a good start. Name checking John Prine and featuring Tom Paxton on backing vocals and guitar while Boling’s friend Jeff Scroggins picks a mean banjo on a song that will appeal to music fans of all ages and musical denominations.

Listening again today with the sun shining in through the windows; this album of the Classic Folk style we associate with Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs and Ewan MacColl as well as 100 other ‘coffee shop singers’; but so few carrying on the tradition in 2023. As you’d expect with Tom Paxton at the helm and Daniel recording his 9th album; the songwriting, while deceptively simple is actually quite exceptional and the arrangements follow suit too. 

Much of the Folk Music I receive is quite po-faced and the singer/songwriter taking themselves far too seriously in their quest to prove themselves in front of their peers. Here, while the subject matter can be deeply personal and serious; Old Friends as an example is about the singers’ boyhood friend who goes to war and comes back ‘changed’ … nothing new there you may think; but this particular song reels you in and doesn’t let you loose until the final notes fade into the ether.

I wasn’t sure what to expect the first time I saw the title Bear Spray and Barb Wire; but this tale of being out in the back of beyond and accidentally puncturing the can of Bear Spray. Who knew Folk Music could be so much fun?

Of course it’s a ‘given’ that l.o.v.e makes an appearance several times; and C Boling Daniel really does handle it with care.

The keys finds our narrator reminiscing about his life via the various cars he’s owned; which is a pretty cool thing to do and I can imagine many people (myself included) smiling while we do the exact thing after hearing this song. Tucked away in the middle, where you’d least expect it is the rambunctious toe-tapper My Hick Pick-up. A smartly observed and fun song that features some of the funkiest banjo I’ve heard in many a year.

We Can Still Waltz follows a similar path with Boling being grateful that, regardless of the aches and pains and faulty body parts; he can still manage a short waltz on a Saturday night.

It’s not funny-haha; but ironically funny that songs like the jaunty This Town Has No Cafe, How Did You Know and especially Of You and Me are so obviously aimed at a mature demographic, who like ‘looking back’ more than ‘looking forward’ …. and then I realised that I am now that age too! When did that happen?

While there are many treasures here of various hues; and overall the word ‘delightful’ springs to mind; two songs have really, really captured my heart and they will yours too. We all know someone that fits The Quiet Ones like a velvet glove; I certainly do that’s for sure and that easily makes this incisive song a Favourite; not least because of the bewitching guitar throughout. The other is probably the saddest song here; and features some stinging harmonica too; and that’s Friendless Heart. The type of song that catches you unawares; as you didn’t think anyone else anywhere in the world felt …. but here it is in both words and music.

Not only is this pure and simple Folk Music; C Daniel Boling instills every square inch of his songs with the soul of Americana that so many younger singers strive for but miss by a Country mile.

In C Daniel Boling we have a singer with a voice that has lived a full life and has stories to tell, that we all want to hear.

Released August 25th 2023

2019 interview for "Musik and Sich" - Germany
[This one is long, but it has lots of interesting info!]
with journalist Wolfgang Giese

1)  “….once upon a time“, that’s how fairy tales start. Your personal fairy tale started in Germany. Tell us more about that.
My father was a Sargent in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Bremerhaven when my sister and I were born. Our family moved back to the States when I was only six months old, so I don’t remember Germany from back then. But in recent years I have returned and visited Bremerhaven and many other places in Germany. Such a wonderful country full of friendly and kind people! 

2)  After leaving Germany where did you settle first in the USA? 
From Germany we moved to San Angelo, Texas. Then to Okinawa, Japan. Then back to Texas, but to San Antonio this time. From San Antonio we moved to Bloomington, Indiana about the time I started First Grade, and by the time I was in Second Grade we had moved to Misawa, Japan. 

3) What had been your first musical experiences? Did anyone in the family play music? Was it a certain radio program you’d been listening to? 
My mother and my eldest sister, Malinda, sang around our house all the time. So I grew up singing too. Mama was an amateur folksinger and played the autoharp. She sang in schools, and when we lived in Misawa, Japan she had her own program on Armed Forces Television. Her program was called “Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard” and featured Mama and Malinda singing old folk songs with small groups of children about my age, including me. My wife Ellen and I still sing some of those old folk songs when we play occasional concerts at retirement communities and folks still love to hear them. 

4) What was the first live show you’ve been to and which artist/band did you see on stage? 
The very first live music show I remember attending was in San Antonio, Texas. Mama took me to see Roy Rogers and Dale Evans sing! 

5) What music did have the first great impression on you and why? 
The first music from outside our home that I remember really connecting with was on reel-to-reel tapes Daddy brought home from the Air Force library – recordings from the Newport Folk Festival in the early 1960s. These were songs with a story to tell, and some pretty fancy picking too – but mostly what caught my imagination were the stories in the songs. I’m still that way. 

6) What was your first favourite artist/band? 
That’s a very long list, and I’m really not sure which artists came first. So I’ll narrow the question down to songwriters instead of artists in general, OK? The first songwriter to really get inside my head in a major way was Harry Chapin. It broke my heart to learn he was gone. I never got to see him perform in person, but I loved his records and songs on the radio. I’ve had the honor to perform with his brother Tom a couple times now, and love his music too. 

7) Did any musician leave a permanent impression on you? 
Yes certainly, and again that’s a pretty long list! People who surely have a place there from fairly early in my awakening to songwriters include Tom Paxton, Steve Goodman, John Prine, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Harry Chapin, Cat Stevens, Steven Fromholz, and quite a bit later on Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Tim Henderson and many many more. 

8) Since when do you play music for a living? 
I’ve performed publicly on and off since the early 1970s, but I started making my living playing music in 2008. Since then I’ve been performing fulltime everywhere in the USA and also in Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. 

9) Now you’re living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since when do you live there? 
Ellen and I and our two children, two Bassett hounds, two cats, and a tank full of fish moved to Albuquerque 22 years ago from Gresham, Oregon where we had lived for seven years. 

10) You told us, that you had been working as a ranger. Where and when was that? 
OK, this is a long one that I’ll answer in two parts… About three years into my University studies, a college friend convinced me to move down to Big Bend National Park on the Mexican border with him. He had a job there as a waiter in the Park restaurant, and I worked for the summer as a desk clerk at the tourist hotel in the mountains there, Chisos Mountains Lodge. I liked the Park very much and wanted to stay longer, so I took the fall semester off from school and kept working. The job wasn’t great, but the hiking and rock climbing and white-water canoeing were outstanding! And there was this girl … 

11) You are happily married. How did you get to know your wife? I remember it was through music, whistling a song….(???) 
Here’s the second part … and Ellen tells the story a lot better than I do. When I went to work in Big Bend National Park as a desk clerk at the Lodge, Ellen was already there working as a National Park Ranger. Her job was to hike all the trails high up in the Chisos Mountains and check on hikers and campers and maintain the primitive campsites and signs and such. There was, and still is, a small cabin way up in the mountains, only accessible on foot or on horseback, and Ellen would live up there for a week at a time and then hike back down for her two days off each week.   On one of her days off she came over to the Lodge, and there were quite a few people in the lobby and the restaurant, and one of the Lodge employees asked, to no one in particular, “where did all these people come from?”  In response, Ellen launched into a recitation of a monologue from a well-known American musical comedy stage show called “The Music Man” and said: “It’s the Model T Ford made the trouble Made the people wanta go, wanta get, wanta get, wanta get up and go Seven, eight, nine, ten, twelve, fourteen, twenty-two miles to the County Seat Yes, sir, yes, sir …”  and so forth  Well, as it happened, just a few years earlier during High School I had played the lead role in a production of that very play. And the monologue Ellen was reciting was part of the dialogue for the character I had played – Professor Harold Hill. So, as Ellen was reciting all this to the employee who asked the innocent question, I came out from behind the hotel desk and started reciting the lines too, and pretty soon Ellen and I were standing face to face reciting these lines to each other and seeing which of us knew all the words! That’s how we met – in 1979 in Big Bend National Park.  When the spring semester came around I resigned from my desk clerk job and went back to school and changed my major area of study are to “Park Administration” so I would be qualified to work as a National Park Ranger. A year later I was back in Big Bend working for the National Park Service!  I worked ten years for the National Park Service moving back and forth between several Parks: Big Bend National Park (Texas); Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado); Chaco Culture National Historical Park (New Mexico); San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Texas); and Padre Island National Seashore (Texas). Meanwhile Ellen continued working as a Park Ranger also, but mostly in different Parks than where I was stationed, including: Isle Royale National Park (Michigan); Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial (Indiana); Lake Mead National Recreation Area (Nevada); Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park (California); Death Valley National Park (California); Carlsbad Caverns National Park (New Mexico); and then finally we managed to get stationed in the same park together at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico! That’s where we were working when we married in 1983.  We worked at Chaco Canyon together, and then I got a job back in Big Bend while she kept working at Chaco. Ellen’s job was permanent, but mine changed seasonally so I had to keep finding a new posting and I went where I had to go to keep working. So at that point we were married and living 800 miles apart! Six months later I transferred to Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado so then we were only 150 miles apart which was a LOT better. My next posting was back at Chaco, and then we moved together down to San Antonio, Texas and worked at the Missions National Park there. We moved a lot more after that, but always together. 

12) When did you record your first song? 
That depends on your definition, I guess. I recorded a few songs I had written just on cassette tapes way back in High School in the early 1970s. Those tapes are long gone, but we still have some live performance recordings from the mid and late 1970s when I was playing in clubs in Lubbock, Texas and down in the Big Bend country on the Mexican border. 

13) When did you put out your first record? 
My first album came out 20 years ago in 1999. It was called “Perfectly Stable” – a two-disc album with 22 songs, and only 5 of them were songs I had written. The next year I released my second album called “Welcome Home” which was all original songs of mine. 

14) Are there any most loved musicians or bands today? 
I don’t listen to any mainstream music today. When I listen at all, and that’s not often, I listen mostly to my fellow folksinger/songwriters from the touring circuit such as Jack Williams, Jaimie Michaels, Still on the Hill, Jono Manson, and quite a few others – dear friends whose music I love and am inspired by. 

15) Is there a certain song, you really love and wish you would have written it yourself? 
There are many! A couple which stand out in particular are: “In My Eyes”, by Tim Henderson (and quite a few others of Tim’s songs too); “Outlaws Dream”, by Jack Williams (and lots more of Jack’s as well). 

16) Are there any musicians you’d like to have for playing on one of your records? 
I’ve made my recordings more and more sparse over the years, but I have been blessed to have a number of deeply talented friends help out on some of my records, including: Jack Williams; Still on the Hill; Jono Manson; Bill Hearne and quite a few others. I can’t think of anyone right off who I’d like to have record with me who hasn’t already! 

17) When had you been on tour in Europe for the first time? 
My first tour in Europe was in the spring of 2015, and then again in the spring of 2017. 

18) Are there any differences in the audience of different European countries? And are there differences to the American audience? Which differences are especially striking? 
Many things are similar, but some things are different. I think more people in Europe are familiar with the concept of “listening rooms” – places where the music is the whole focus and is not competing with other things happening. Also, my audiences in Europe have always been VERY responsive and excited about the music – folks here in the States are too of course, but in Europe it’s often on a different scale. At my very first concert in Europe I learned to always have more than one encore ready, because audiences in Europe were never satisfied with just one encore – they always demanded a second, and sometimes a third or fourth! In the USA one encore is typical … and sometimes not even one – it depends on the setting, the part of the country, and many other factors. 

19) What are you thinking about playing in a club and most of the audience won’t listen to your music, but instead are talking and discussing very loudly? Are you able to ignore that or are you angry about that? 
Well, the songs I write tell stories for the most part. And there’s not a lot of point in playing that sort of songs for people who aren’t really there to listen and engage with the story – they miss the whole point if they are only partly listening. So I am careful not to play in places where the music is secondary. I want the audience to enjoy the music, and I want to enjoy the audience! 

20) You are traveling a lot around the whole world. Is there any country you’ve been you liked to stay there forever? 
Everywhere that Ellen and I have traveled has been fascinating. There are so many places where we could imaging staying forever … but our children live in New Mexico, so we always come back home! They are grown up and have lives of their own of course, but we still want to live where we can connect with them pretty often. 

21) In 2014 you played the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. You were one of the winners. Do you still remember this special event and do you remember how it felt to win this great festival? Since when had you been playing there before and are you still? I heard you became part of the famous Limeliters? 
Yes, I will always remember the summer of 2014 at the Kerrville Folk Festival!  My first time to attend the Festival was in 1978, I believe. Back then I was one more of the many people playing songs for each other around the campground, and didn’t really imagine that one day I would be among the performers booked to play the Mainstage. 
I attended with Ellen in the early 1980s and then we moved far away to California and to Oregon and could not afford to travel to Kerrville for the Festival. But 22 years ago when our family moved from Oregon to Albuquerque, New Mexico we were close enough (a little less than 700 miles) to get back to Kerrville for at least a few days of the Festival each year. So for the past 22 years we have attended, and for the past 11 years Ellen and I have attended for the entire three weeks each year. It is a very special community of folks and we are so proud to be part of it. 
The songwriter competition, called “New Folk” at Kerrville is one of the most prestigious in the world, to my mind. New Folk accepts songs from up to 800 songwriters each year and selects just 32 of those songwriters each year as Finalists. I first submitted songs to the competition in the 1980s, and many more times between then and 2014 when I was finally selected to be in the Finals. Those 32 Finalists come to the Festival and compete to be one of the six Award Winners chosen each year. In 2014 I was also greatly honored to be chosen as one of the six Winners!  The six Winners go on a tour together in Texas in November for a week of concerts arranged by the Festival and get to know each other and one another’s songs much better. We made lifelong friends with these wonderful, talented people, as we have with so many others who are part of the Kerrville Folk Festival family.   I have performed at the Festival every year since 2014 and look forward to playing there again in the future.  As I write these notes Ellen and I have just returned from Kerrville. As always, we had another wonderful experience reconnecting with old friends and making new friends and being blown away by all the great songs!   You mentioned the Limeliters – yes, indeed! The trio began in 1959 and over the decades there have been many changes in personnel. I recently joined the current trio and we did our first performances together at the 2019 Kerrville Folk Festival. In September we begin touring throughout the USA and many of our concerts are co-bills with the Kingston Trio and/or the Brothers Four, two other legacy acts that began decades ago and are still exciting audiences all these years later. It is a great honor and a tremendous pleasure to perform with Andy Corwin and Steve Brooks and I look forward to many future concerts together. Please visit us at Limeliters.com ! 

22) You are recording for Perfect Stable Records. Are you or had you ever been interested in recording for a major label? Or do you rather keep back from that? 
My first five albums were released on my own label – Perfectly Stable Music.  In 2013 I was invited to join the prestigious independent songwriter label Berkalin Records which is based in Houston, Texas. My most recent three albums have been released on Berkalin. 

23) Would you change your musical style if someone would promise you a lot of money for playing the music that they want? If so, what kind of music would you play to get into popular charts? 
No, I don’t see that happening. I write and play the sort of songs that interest me, and I am grateful when they also interest other folks. 

24) Is there a very special song among those you have written yourself you love the most, and why? 
I have several favorites. Like most songwriters I suspect, I tend to be in love with whatever I finished most recently, but some songs stand the test of time and stay in the concert repertoire while others fall away over the years. One of my favorites is called “Ruby Slippers”. The song represents a distinct shift in my writing and I believe is one of the best I have created. We’ll see what comes along in the future to replace it – who knows? 

25) Are your lyrics mostly influenced autobiographical or are they more fictional? 
Some of both certainly. But even when the story line is fictional, the heart and soul of a song is always the song’s emotional landscape. No matter where the songwriter finds a story, the emotions written into the song can only come from the songwriter’s own life experience … so in that regard they are all autobiographical, aren’t they? 

26) It is often said that the time for CDs and LPs is running out and there will only be downloads for consuming music. What do you think about that? Will it happen that way? And what would be the consequences for you as a musician? 
CD sales have certainly dropped off quite a bit in the last decade or so, but they still sell at my concerts far better than downloads I offer. The day of the CD will eventually pass of course, as did the LP and cassette and other formats along the way. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said so long ago, “The only constant in life is change”! 
Overall I believe the business model for performing artists has changed. Decades ago many acts toured at a financial loss in order to promote their records, where the real money was. But that has not been the norm for some time now – a tour has to pay its own way, and album sales are a nice bonus … not the mainstay. 

27) Finally, are they any special things you ever wanted to tell the readers of „Musik An Sich“? 
I am so very privileged to travel and share music with wonderful people throughout the USA and elsewhere in the world. It is easy to become cynical in the face of so much political strife and rhetoric these days, but the amazing people Ellen and I meet every day as we travel constantly renew our hope and keep us optimistic that things will improve. Music can do so much good, and I intend to make music for the rest of my life.

[This review has been translated from Dutch. To read the original text please click this link -

Music That Needs Attention - The Netherlands
C. Daniel Boling - These Houses 
by Theo Volk

Boling once earned a living as a Ranger in the Mesa Verde National Park. Later he worked as an investigator for the US Bureau of Land Management. He lived for a time in Japan. On his fiftieth birthday he started touring.

“These Houses”, produced by Jono Manson, is his seventh album. As a singer he fits in the series with real storytellers like Tom Paxton and Tim Henderson. The latter was a good friend of his. On the new CD Boling interprets Henderson’s songs “Buffalo Nickels” and “Miss Amelia Harris, Spinster”. The rest are new original songs of his own.

Mostly these songs are autobiographical, like the moving opener “Mama's Radio” which describes the day of his fourteenth birthday in 1963. In “Ruby Slippers” there are references to Dorothy Gale from the familiar story and film “The Wizard of Oz”. Boling subtly incorporates melodic tidbits of the classic “Over the Rainbow” at the beginning and end of the song.

“I Brought the War with Me” is one of the most impressive songs I heard this year. It deals with soldiers returning from war with post-traumatic stress disorder. “Crumble” also deals with this subject. Boling is very concerned about the fate of these veterans, for he is himself a war veteran. He donates part of the proceeds to Full Battle Rattle. This is an organization that helps veterans who suffer from this condition.

The final track “Leadbelly, Woody and Pete” is obviously about Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger – three folk singers who delivered a clear message. The songs are all quite sparingly arranged and mostly in the folk idiom. Some have country influences: Dad's Garage; Big Old Heart. The booklet is beautifully designed. “These Houses” is a beautiful album full of personal and honest songs.
[This review has been translated from Dutch. To read the original text please click this link - http://musicthatneedsattention.blogspot.se/2016/12/c-daniel-boling-these-houses.html]

Lonesome Highway - Dublin, Ireland
C. Daniel Boling - These Houses - Berkalin 
by Paul McGee

This represents the seventh release in a career that has seen this American Folk artist receive widespread acclaim for his singer-songwriter talents and compared to the artists like Steve Goodman, John Prine and Tom Paxton. 

Of the 13 tracks here, 3 are co-writes with Tim Henderson (Buffalo Nickels/Miss Amelia Harris/Spinster) and Andrea Renfree (Growing Old in New Mexico), and there are also 2 songs inspired by the war veterans of a New Mexico organisation who helps with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (I Brought the War With Me/Crumble). 

These are well-crafted story songs and influenced by his upbringing in a traveling Air Force family, along with some years spent as a National Park Ranger, a Criminal Investigator for the US Bureau of Land Management. 

The assembled musicians serve the songs with quiet restraint and colour the words with sensitive playing around the arrangements. 
The title track is right out of the great American folk tradition and it is no surprise that such a varied band of musicians assemble to pay tribute to the past as well as honouring the present. Songs such as I Will Not Go Gently and Leadbelly, Woody & Pete close the project with a nod to the struggle that continues… ‘We are here to make each other strong and whole…’ A fine performer and song-writing talent.


Musik an Sich - Germany
C. Daniel Boling - THESE HOUSES 
by Wolfgang Giese

Rate 19 out of 20 points

Take note - C. Daniel Boling was born in Bremerhaven! His father was stationed there, but when Daniel was six months old he left Germany. Today he lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the meantime he worked as a Park Ranger until, at the age of fifty, he decided to tour throughout the country and make music. 

This musician casts a long shadow, but a positive one: he was the winner of the famous Kerrville New Folk Festival in 2014; and this is just one award in a long series begun in 2007 when he won the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival Songwriter Contest. And so we have arrived at his music - Folk! Folk in the way it was once played by musicians like Pete Seeger or Woody Guthrie. 

Daniel is a story-teller, and so his singing style with his friendly tenor voice is also a mixture of sung and almost spoken elements. These songs fit life as closely as a hand fits a glove, and we find autobiographical features in his lyrics. These are quite peppered with different societal-critical and self-critical and winking elements. For example, we learn something about Bessie Steen, who with her new knees at the age of 93 still drives old masters to church in her car – delicious and loving! 

As is typical for folk, the arrangements are quite sparse, but this is not true of expressive power. This is inversely proportional. I was fortunate to be able to experience the music live, and I could tell what tremendous strength was in his voice and how he could formulate his messages very impressively. 

“These Houses” is Daniel’s seventh album, and once again it is a very excellent one. The music radiates again this wonderful, calm sea of ​​emotions in which one can bathe well. There are wonderful subtleties within the arrangements that make each song special and build tension. An example is the particularly moving song "I Brought the War with Me”, dealing with a theme which is unfortunately always current. Daniel’s guitar is joined by two musicians from Pakistan, Shakoor Fakir, who plays a Kamacho, a traditional string instrument, and Ali Mohammad, who plays an instrument called Changg, evidently a kind of shell also used as a trumpet in Hindu rituals. It would be interesting to record a whole album with these two musicians … perhaps in the future? After all, it is said that when the Changg is blown it announces the victory of good over evil. Yes, that would be nice – it would work. 

In summary, Daniel once again presents an excellent record currently unparalleled in the great jungle of contemporary music. You'll find an excellent and watchful songwriter who knows how to tell stories, maybe even like colleagues Steve Goodman or Tom Paxton. This music comes from the heart and from deep inside, you can feel it very clearly. And when you know Daniel personally, you know that he means it honestly and that the mood of the music clearly mirrors him, and his wife Ellen. Inside the jewel case is a very warm photo of this happy couple. Thanks, Daniel, for this wonderful music and sharing a great friendship. And thanks to Ellen too – take care of your always young husband! 

Incidentally, part of the proceeds of this record go to an association in Albuquerque which accepts war veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

[This review was originally printed in German -- please click the link below to go to the original text -

The Next Gig
Concert review
by Richard Wagenaar

Out of love for the folksingers’ profession, C. Daniel Boling travels around the world. At any time during this concert of C. Daniel Boling at Peter & Leni in Steendam it is clear that the American genuinely enjoys his performance and the interaction with the audience. This man who spent his entire life in the National Parks of America, first as a park ranger and then as a federal agent (as we know them from TV series like NCIS, but the variety that solves crimes in these federal nature areas), bought a camper after his retirement and travels around the world with his wife Ellen as a folksinger. 

C. (the C stands for Charles) Daniel Boling knows what kind of footsteps he follows. His performance began with the tribute to “Leadbelly, Woody & Pete” in which he expressed his gratitude to Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and through them to all those folksingers in the world who travel with their stories and songs, and evening-to-evening compete with all the millions that are spent on television and the internet to keep people at home. 

This man, who recently competed against Megadeth bassist David Ellefson to win the public's favor in an epic battle in Jackson, Minnesota, immediately won the audience in Steendam. On the very first song of this unplugged concert the audience sang along loudly, and that was certainly not the last time. Boling is a storyteller – someone who takes you on an evening full of love, pleasure and beautiful, personal stories. 

Daniel is not a man of hard political songs, but of subtle songs that are close to himself. His most political song this evening was “I Brought the War with Me” about the experience of veterans who strive to reclaim a place in the strange world that the United States has become to them after deployment to Afghanistan or Iraq – and how debris that for the ordinary American is simply waste on the side of the road is an alarm bell for them because it could easily hide a roadside bomb. 

Many songs after that were close to Boling: what do you do with the stuff in your father's house when he moves in with your sister and you have to go through all the things he has collected over the course of his life … and you realize that you are actually doing the same thing, in “Dad's Garage”;  about “Mama's Radio” and how the transistor radio gave a growing teenager a look at the world. And Boling finished the first set with a tribute to his late friend Tim Henderson, from whom he sang two songs, and with “Singing Your Songs”, a wonderful and dear song written in memoriam to his friend. 

In the second set there were more stories. Boling knows how to accompany himself on guitar and has a nice clear voice. At every moment he draws the audience in with his songs, sing-alongs and stories. Highlights included “These Houses” about his years as park ranger at the rock homes of Indians in the Mesa Verde, the title track of his recently released and Grammy nominated album, and he sang in Dutch the Fungus number “Kaap'ren Varen”. 

Millions may be spent to keep you at home, but when someone comes along with so much love to sing their songs for the audience and provides an evening full of music and fun, staying home is not an option. 

[This review has been translated from Dutch. To read the original text please click this link -

CD review by Richard Wagenaar
for The Next Gig - Netherlands

A new C. Daniel Boling album is always good news. The former park ranger who became a folksinger after his retirement has a patent on beautiful songs with good narratives. Boling brings songs that are really about something. He is a storyteller in the spirit of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, whom he also honors on this album with the closing “Leadbelly, Woody & Pete”. 

The album “These Houses” is a tribute in more ways. It is also a tribute to Boling's late friend Tim Henderson from whom he recorded “Buffalo Nickels” and “Miss Amelia Harris, Spinster”, and through the most impressive song from the album, “'I Brought the War with Me”, it is a tribute to veterans who have come out of the wars with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. A beautiful tribute and beautifully put into words how these men, even after returning home, still face a tough battle. 

Very nice are “Dad's Garage”, “These Houses” and “Singing Your Songs”. Boling is a careful and articulate singer in these beautiful folk songs. That is important because his music is about telling stories. Musically it is also good, but the focus is on the lyrics. An excellent successor to his “Sleeping Dogs” album. 

To hear Boling perform live we have to wait another year. He will be expected in Europe again in 2017. 

[This review has been translated from Dutch. To read the original text please click this link -

CD Review for CTRL. ALT. COUNTRY - Belgium
C. DANIEL BOLING "These Houses" (Berkalin Records)

Very good indeed!  

"C. Daniel Boling is what one calls a late-bloomer. He was 50 before he  took his songs on the road, gathering success with that pretty soon  after starting. Only two years ago he was the laureate at the renowned  Kerrville New Folk Songwriters Competition. His seven albums to date are  highly regarded by fans and critics alike.  

With his unparalleled warm tenor voice and his instantly recognizable  style of guitar playing as his most important allies, for well over 45 minutes on his latest album produced by Jono Manson, he again shows just  why he's so highly regarded by all.

Following in the footsteps of many  great artists like Steve Goodman, James Taylor and Pete Seeger, Boling  tells stories about the most diverse characters and facts, and  frequently also about himself and his dearest and nearest. On this CD  “These Houses” he specifically touches on stories told to him by some  war veterans in two fine songs – “I Brought the War with Me” and  “Crumble”. As far as we are concerned the first is brought to a unique  level by meaningful lyrics like “I never faced battle completely alone,  till I brought the war with me when I came back home.”  

Another such exquisite beauty of a song is “Mama’s Radio” in which  Daniel remembers one of his own childhood birthdays. His mother, being  poor and knowing she could not give him a birthday gift, wrote him a  poem which she entered into a poetry contest held by a local radio  station. You've guessed it – they won the competition winning not just a  nice prize but a priceless memory. A warm memory shared with us song-wise by Boling, as with many other songs on this CD.

This style of  storytelling reminded us a bit of the recent material by the German  troubadour Reinhard Mey. Just like him, C. Daniel Boling succeeds with  ease to touch his listening audience. Why? Because so much of what he  tells us we recognize in ourselves."

[Reviewed January, 2017 in CTRL. ALT. COUNTRY - Belgium, and translated to English. Please click the link below to read the original text -