Many of my shows are performed solo, but whenever
joined by my band the D's. At least one of their names
(first, middle or last)
the letter "D".
If you get a chance to talk with these folks, you'll
why I like to have them around.
Besides obvious talent, these guys
are wonderful, sincere, easy going
beings. Judging from the response
we get, I think that comes
across on stage, as well.
- Dennis Warner
L-R Dan Neale, DK Kennedy, Dennis Warner, Alex D. Maiers
Photo by Steve Diamond
DAN NEALE -
guitar, mandolin and vocals
One of the most sought after musicians in the Midwest, Dan Neale is well respected both on stage and in the studio. Among his many accolades, he was also the regular fill-in guitarist for Pat Donohue on Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion".
Danny and I first teamed up in 1996 when
I decided to shift back to a more folk, acoustic sound. At the time, my guitarist Paul Diethelm was asked to join the Jonny Lang Band after Jonny signed his A&M record deal.
Paul's departure left big shoes to fill. Tommy Vee told me about a guitar player he saw in Minneapolis with the Martin Zellar Band. Danny was and continues to be the perfect fit for my music.
DENNIS (DK) KENNEDY - congas, djembe, cajon, marimba, harmonica, shaker, tambourine etc...
DK joined us in 1999 when I started recording the My World album. I needed someone to play harmonica on a couple of waltzes and my producer, Jeff Vee, said he knew someone who played really well.
To DK's dismay, we discovered that he was a percussion major in college and played a lot of instruments, including the marimba. DK's been the "multi-tool" in our group, adding special nuances to songs with harmonica, marimba and various percussion toys. He's now become our main percussionist on Congas and Cajon. We haven't figured out how to incorporate the marimba into his new role. I suppose he could hold those mallets between his toes?
Still, the harmonica player in our band carts around more toys and equipment than the rest of us.
Funny how that worked out...
ALEX D. MAIERS -
bass and vocals
Alex joined our ensemble recently and we couldn't be more pleased. He's a well known guitar player in Minnesota with an outstanding stage presence. But not many know that he's also an accomplished bass player. And he sings great harmonies!
He's a little younger than the rest of us which should mean that his back is more able to move heavy equipment at the concerts.
Shhh... don't tell him I said that!
DERRICK RAITER - cajon, djembe and congas
Formerly our full time percussionist until he moved overseas, we welcome Derrick back whenever possible. His unique style has been very important in developing the DW sound that's defined our albums and concerts. When that djembe kicks in, everyone notices!
Derrick signed on with me around 1996. With the Perfect Morning CD in the works and my shift back to an acoustic sound, I decided to steer away from the full drum kits of my previous three albums, instead moving toward hand percussion.
While still a college student and percussion major, it was immediately noticable that he had a great touch on Congas. Through the years, Derrick has added djembe (pictured) and in 2007 began mastering the cajon, AKA "The Box". While it's now a popular instrument with bands, Derrick was perhaps the first regular cajon player in Minnesota.
While he tells me the cajon originated somewhere in South America, I think it resembles a wood duck house, probably invented in Iowa by a bored Norwegian farmer during a cold, lonely winter...
Whoever invented it, it sounds cool and we love it!
PAT CURTO- vocals
Occassionaly, we are blessed with Pat Curto joining us on backing vocals. Pat's incredible career nationwide as a drummer and vocalist led to his induction into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.
We are most happy to make him an "honorary D" when he is available!