On June 30th 2007, Daniel Blue found himself alone in an empty loft/warehouse situation. All tore up about the harsh reality of the isolation of the modern man, he picked up a used guitar and "just made it happen, I needed a way to connect to the outside world." This is odd, because this particular warehouse was often the hub of the vibrant, if not struggling young Tacoma arts scene.
He sings to the walls, a crisis building in him…these nights alone swirl around him and he unloads his unusual lungs at the ghosts in his heart, at the demons he feels “I am a madman”, he confesses to the spirits of the air…in agreement or perhaps an acceptance as rebellion. “If i have to be mad to free myself from your grasp, then I am a madman.” Its the job of the song to tell the truth, as simply and beautifully as possible.
“Madman is the hardest song I have ever heard.” - Mike Smithy (music/fashion photographer)
The ease of his broken guitar and gaped strings demanded obsessive attention, and more songs came, some flowing out in one piece as if waiting in the wings for the droning e’s and d’s to draw them from their long incubation. Daniel began to appear in between acts that graced the stage he had set up in his "big space" a scenester hand-me-down 400 person capasity underground venue/loft in the heart of Downtown Tacoma.
“…that guitar isn’t even in tune!” - Joshua Vega (guitarist/vocals, Paris Spleen)
Local philanthropic musicians pulled Blue into the studio and crash coursed him through microphone etiquette and song structure.
“He writes perfect pop gems, disguised as abstract art pieces.” - Joshua Cain (singer/songwriter, Joshua Cain Band)
Armed with a slightly over-produced demo and a newly rehabilitated guitarist, Blue began calling his project Motopony, after his primary mode of transportation, a 1984 Honda trail 110, and appearing on stages all over Tacoma and Seattle conjuring his Cherokee and Druid ancestors into what journalists called:
“The love child of Joplin and Cohen” (Paul Schrag), and “…Oppressive, and Impressive as hell.” - (Mark Thomas Deming)
50 some odd shows and minus one guitarist later, Blue once again hoisted his newly rigged three string guitar and began to “…get serious about an album here.” In April 2009, a swirl of songs descended on Blue, forcing him to write five in nearly one week. Among these were “June”, “27” and “Wake Up”, all seeming like potent messages to himself about what he saw occurring in his life. Warnings, prophecies and hopes rolling off of stark intuition. At the same time Blue was re-introduced to Buddy Ross at a songwriters dinner hosted by a mutual friend in Tacoma. “I had to have Ross’ beats under my songs…I bugged him with emails until he would give me a listen.” Ross found potent lyrics and melodies over a skeletal chord structure, built in hooks and the thing he had been looking for: room to compose.
The duo quickly joined by some high school friends after a string of failed add attempts in the local alternative newsweekly. Thomas Williams click kicking on a 76 visqueen vintage drum kit and Brantley Cady ripping through electric blues scales as if possessed by some ancestral R&B demon.
“Tacoma’s Best New Band” - Matt Driscoll (music editor, Weekly Volcano)
“One of the best debut records of 2009 - anywhere.” - Mark Thomas Demming (Journalist)
“The best Debut I have heard in Ten years” - Ingrid Walker (Dean of Pop Culture Studies University of Washington)
“Like a breath of fresh air, I took a lungful when I first stumbled upon Motopony’s “King of Diamonds”…holds its own as testament to the indie folk prowess of Daniel Blue.” - Brian (Music Blogger @ http://wakingupto.wordpress.com/
"Motopony’s Daniel Blue is a subversive character in Tacoma’s tight-knit music scene...Motopony’s music flows effortlessly between the genres of soul, funk, rock, and folk" - KEXP blog Song of the Day: Motopony - Seer By Leigh Bezezekoff | Published: January 29, 2010
"Keep making music, I'll keep playing it." - John Richards KEXP
"When Daniel Blue – one of Tacoma, WA’s most prolific…