Dan Patlansky: Shelter of Bones | INTERVIEW

Published 7 months ago on December 9, 2023

By Jonathan Graham

Guitarist, singer-songwriter, and globally respected purveyor of the blues—Dan Patlansky sidles into his second successive decade as one of the world's finest blues-based storytellers of his generation. With the release of his new studio album 'Shelter of Bones' (via Virgin Music Label and Artist Services) set for February 25, 2022, Dan chats exclusively with Guitar Interactive Magazine.

Ever since his debut album, Standing at the Station, followed by his 2004 major label (Blue Note, EMI produced) masterstroke True Blues, Patlansky has immersed himself in the rich and rollicking world of blues-rock music. In February 2005, and again in July 2006, Selwyn Miller, the New Orleans based manager of David Gates, Bread, Randy Crawford and Petula Clark, took Patlansky to New Orleans to showcase his outstanding talent.


'Shelter of Bones' was recorded over a three-year period from 2019-2021. "The pandemic allowed me to take my time, and really think about how I want the songs to come across," reflects Patlansky.


"In many ways, I tried to keep the sound from past albums that I've become known for in my arrangements and songwriting, but definitely took some different turns along the way. I've always seen a record as a time capsule of where an artist is in a particular time of their lives."

For Patlansky, 'Shelter of Bones' covers a three- year period of many ups and downs, and, as a result, the South African guitarist believes the process has been a very interesting journey.


"My goal is always to try make a record that I would want to listen to," says Patlansky. "I'm very happy and proud of this album. I produced it myself because I wanted a very particular sound. On three of the tracks, I enlisted a good friend and ex-keyboard player from Hamburg, Tom Gatza, who brought a fresh feel to these songs, especially the ballads ("I'll Keep Trying" and "Shelter of Bones").


"'Shelter of Bones' is an accurate representation of who I am currently as an artist, which is a modern twist on what I love most, the Blues."


Dan Patlansky breaks down each song on 'Shelter of Bones,' track by track.



"Commentary on the soul destroyers that run the modern world. This to me is the biggest problem facing society in general. It doesn't matter what political side you fall under. I see most current day leaders as two-faced, and in it for mostly personal gain. The sole purpose of a leader is to serve in the best interest of the people. That mind set has been completely diluted over the last century."



"A fictional place where liars, thieves, chancers reside. It is strikingly like the current South African government. It currently feels like there is very little law and order, tax money is being pocketed, corruption is rife, and if you have enough money, you can basically get away with any crime imaginable. When it comes to writing blues songs, South Africa is sadly a bottomless source of subject matter to write about."



"A true story about my relationship with tobacco, and finally trying to say goodbye to something that has been such a huge part of my life. I've always seen tobacco as a selfish lover because it really gives absolutely nothing back to you, just a false sense of enjoyment and relief, but even knowing that it still feels like a friend that been through thick and thin with me."



"There was a time a while back when my wife Gisela fell ill and the doctors thought the worst, luckily everything turned out great in the end, but it was a very scary and uncertain time, and the song expresses the absolute turmoil I was feeling."



"Some people are just born bad and can't be changed. I grew up and got to know some people that seemed to just possess a bad streak in them, and no matter how hard people tried to steer them in a different direction, they would just end up being 'bad ass's' in everything thing they did."



"We spend most of our lives either living in the past or the future and not enough time in the present. It a lesson I learnt the hard way and lost a lot of ground in my life by obsessing in the past and the future. My kids helped ground me, and they made me realise the power of living in the present."



"A song about my personal flaws and the effect it has on my relationship with my wife, and the will to improve myself. Taking a hard look in the mirror and identifying one's short comings is an incredibly hard task to perform, but the personal growth from the exercise is huge! Constant improvement all round is one of my biggest goals in life."



"Modern societies addiction and reliance on the digital world is alarming to me. Back in the day, only true experts would be granted a platform to voice their educated opinions on topics and issues in the fields of expertise. Nowadays anyone with an opinion can be heard depending on their social media reach. It very hard to believe anything on the internet these days."



"As hard as lockdown was, we will one day look back on it as some of the most special times of our lives because of the time we all got to spend with our families. There's a silver lining to everything. In the past I've spent a lot of time on the road, away from my family, and have missed so many milestones because of it. The last two years I've really been blessed to have the opportunity to make up for lost time."



"The Blues cliche tale, of selling your soul to the devil. Now he is coming to claim what is his. I've always been fascinated about the story of Robert Johnson and other bluesmen that sold their souls."



"A message of advice and concern to my kids on what they can expect growing up in today's world. One of my biggest fears is what the world will do to my kids as they grow up. I thought it fitting to be the title track on the album because all the songs on this record could be bits of advice to my kids going forward. "It's like my heart is beating without the shelter of bones."



Dan Patlansky's new studio album 'Shelter of Bones'  will be released digitally and on CD February 25, 2022, via Virgin Music Label and Artist Services.


Dan Patlansky — 'Shelter of Bones' Tracklist:


  4. LOST



Patlansky will support the album with a nationwide UK tour from March 31– April 12 with special guest Arielle.


(Insert Tour Poster attached)



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