Keyboardist and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee Dan Delano joined Rockabilly Greg In the Flamingo Lounge on March 18, 2023. Dan shared some original compositions and talked about the many projects he has been involved in over the years.
Dan DeLano was born into music. His father is a keyboard player and there was always access to a piano and a Hammond organ. It starts there. He studied classical piano from the age of four to the age of twenty and studied saxophone from the age of 9. Throughout school, he played in concert band, orchestra, marching band, and jazz band. His High School Rock band, Mentlegen, actually opened for Talas at the famous Avondale Ballroom. He started playing professionally at the age of 16 with his father’s band playing sax, keyboards, drums, and bass.
When he went out on his own, it was country music first with a band called OK Corral. In 1986 he joined About Time doing Rock and Progressive Rock. In 1988 he joined the Buffalo based band Baby Blue, fronted by Johnny Angel, which released the regionally successful album “American Boys”. This grabbed the attention of Epic/CBS records who signed them to a demo deal in ’89. Essentially, this all fell victim to the coming of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” when all bands from that era were kicked to the curb. From that, he formed August with brothers Tom and Nino Catanzaro along with Steve Camilleri, later replaced by Dave Dzialak. During this time Dan formed the regionally successful Pink Floyd tribute band In The Flesh? . He did a very short stint as a performing member of The Cheshire Cat. This all lasted until 1993. Dan then floated through multiple bands, Stealin’, San Antonio Rose(Country), The Jukes, then took a break to open and run a tavern. In 1996 he rejoined San Antonio Rose for a couple years as a “fill-in” and also joined the Harper Brothers/ Dan Harper and the Designated Hitters for which he played off and on with for almost 20 years. He had the opportunity to play with many musicians in the Blues circuit at this time, which still occurs today. During this time, he also started gigging and recording with the Maria Aurigema Band which lasted for the better part of 20 years. He is on her “Long Way Home” album. In 1998 he helped form the U2 tribute Mysterious Ways with members of The Jukes and S.S. Thunder which was well received but short lived. He joined the Boogie Monsters from early 1999 until early 2001 when he joined the Niagara Falls based band Tribal Reign. He also became a member of The Red Gills during this time. They appeared as the Dead Gills for many years in the annual Tom Waits tribute show.
In 2002, he helped form a Black Crowes tribute called Grits and Gravy with members of Tribal Reign and Klear. His playing grabbed the attention of the newly signed to Good Charamel Records act,Klear, who had just released the album “Makin Noise”. Jason Freese had recorded keyboard tracks on the album. Dan was hired to cover them, and then some. Klear toured, recorded, did an Armed Services Entertainment tour in Alaska, and then started going through member changes. Dan left Klear in 2005 only to return a few years later for the reunion recording and shows for the Eyes Wide Open album. He still writes, records, and performs with Bruce Wojick and the Struggle which is made up of members from Klear. In 2005 he helped form Roland’s Curve which eventually Morphed into the Doors homage The Garage Doors which is still together. In 2007, Dan joined the Steam Donkeys which he stayed with until 2010 when his unplanned political tenure of Trustee/Deputy Mayor/Mayor in the Village of Williamsville began. In 2011 Dan helped form “Scarred For Life”, aka The Village House Band whose resume includes a true reenactment (minus the Police) of the Beatles rooftop set on the roof of Williamsville Village Hall to help kickoff the village’s Picture Main Street project. In 2012 he hooked up with Kickstart Rumble, which he still plays with today, on piano and now saxophone. In 2013, he joined the Ifs which morphed into Stoneflower which he left on the first day of 2016. In late 2015, Dan rejoined The Steam Donkeys and recorded, and helped arrange, the albums “Everchanging” and “Frayed”. He was inducted into The Buffalo Music Hall of Fame with them in 2018. In 2016 he co-founded The Darts, an organ groove band, which is still playing around the region. In 2017 he joined CODA , a Led Zeppelin tribute. In 2018 he hooked up with The Grateful Dans for a year or so and through that developed many musical friendships in the Jam Band circuit. In early 2023 he co-founded a Deep Purple (and the musical family tree thereof) with members of Sky and Diver Down called Deepest Purple.
Dan has performed, and still does perform, in many one-time projects over the years. He has occasionally appeared as a guest vocalist with his wife, Donna Kerr, in a minor singing, and sometimes playing, role with her group The Buffalo Dolls. Donna also performs with The Darts on vocals and horns. He has been playing the role of Dr. John in The Sportsmens Foundation annual production of The Last Waltz since it’s inception. He has been playing the role of Benmont Tench in the annual production of Dreamville – A Tribute to Tom Petty which has been going since 2018.
Dan has won Buffalo’s Best Keyboardist in three categories; Country, Blues, and Rock. He has also been a part of multiple band awards in Original, Country, Rock, and Blues including “Best”, “Vocals”, “New”, “Original”, etc.
He was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2018 as a member of The Steam Donkeys.
Through his long career, he has done countless studio sessions in Buffalo, New York, and Los Angeles and has appeared on countless albums regionally and nationally. He has become a main go-to person when it comes to Hammond Organ work.
His original material has been featured on WGR, including the theme for “Around the League” for almost 25 years. Although there no releases of his “solo” work as of this date, there is plenty recorded. Someday. He’s been busy (see above) and has raised his two sons starting in 1996.
Dan can play just about every instrument except brass and double reed.