The Elsa Kurt Show

Harmonizing America: The Dan Tracey Story

October 31, 2023 Elsa Kurt
The Elsa Kurt Show
Harmonizing America: The Dan Tracey Story
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Sit down, relax, and get ready to explore the fascinating journey of Dan Tracy, a music virtuoso and a true all-American soul. Dan's remarkable story will pull you in from his roots in New England, his risk-taking move to Nashville, to touring the world with the renowned Alan Parsons Band. If you've ever wondered how a passionate musician makes a name for himself in the competitive music industry, Dan's unique experience and insights are sure to ignite your curiosity.

But Dan's story isn't just about music; it's also about the profound love, respect, and appreciation he has for law enforcement and the military. His deep connections to these institutions are revealed through his awe-inspiring and heartfelt stories of kindness and generosity. You'll be moved by the inspirational story of John Chapman, a Medal of Honor recipient who made the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan. You'll also be captivated by Dan's latest creative endeavors, including the 'I Miss America' movement and an impactful song that beautifully encapsulates the spirit of America.

As our conversation unfolds, we will touch on some truly moving and memorable moments that have shaped Dan's life and career. From the incredible snare drum he designed for my husband to the song he penned for my character, every moment is a testament to Dan's character and his unwavering love for his country. So, join us as we pull back the curtain on Dan’s life, revealing an intimate look at his journey to becoming a world-renowned musician, and what fuels his burning passion for music and America. Whether you're a music enthusiast, a patriot, or simply someone who appreciates a good story, this episode with Dan Tracey promises to be engaging, enlightening, and truly inspiring.

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Speaker 1:

Well, hello, my friends, welcome to another episode of the El Secur show. Clay is not sitting with me today. I actually have my dear friend Dan Tracy is here, and this guy has such a long list of things that he does and is and I could I could go down the whole list, but I'm going to shorten it. I'm going to say musician, producer all around, great guy, and so many more things. So, dan, first of all, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here with me. Well, thanks for having me. Elsa, this is great, absolutely. So we have like a ton of stuff to get into and I'm so excited. So we're going to, we're going to do this little intro super quick and then we're going to get right into it. I promised it was quick, it was a quick one. It's not the usual like 30 second one. So, dan, how are you? I'm good.

Speaker 2:

I'm good. It's a nice fall day here in Tennessee, a little overcast, but it's beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, right now. You know what. I even know what it's like outside right now. We've had so much rain, as you know. So Dan and I actually hail from the same area. We're both New Englanders. We're both New Englanders and you got to go somewhere especially cool. So you are in. Are you in Nashville or outside of Nashville?

Speaker 2:

Well, I was in Nashville for quite a long time and then I kind of got bumped out by all the McMansions that came into my neighborhood. I like a little separation where I live and it was just getting crazy. I actually lived out near where Johnny Cash lived, out by the lake, and it just got the farmers started selling out their land. You know, it just happens out here because you can't make money farming sometimes, where people get older and their kids don't want to take over, but anyway they sell out to developers. And here come all the McMansions and all of a sudden our nice little place out by the lake was inundated. It was just crazy. So farther out I'm about 50 minutes outside of north of Nashville, which I love it out here.

Speaker 1:

Nice, oh yes, and I've been fortunate enough to see the pictures and videos of where you live. I won't disclose any of that information, but it is gorgeous. It looks like a beautiful, just slice of heaven over there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're really lucky. We kind of my wife and I drove by on a whim. We were been looking for like two years for a farmhouse and we came across this place and decided to take a drive out. It was nowhere where we thought it was going to be and we came over the hell and looked at the view and we were just in awe of the beauty and just the serenity of this little spot. And we walked in and I wrote her a check and said get everybody out of my house. So that was kind of shocking to my wife because we didn't really chat about actually purchasing it on our way in.

Speaker 1:

You just knew. You knew that was the place, it was yours.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, well, you could build anything and I like to build. I'm handy and I built the cabin that we're in right now with some friends and a couple of guys I hired. But you can't build scenery and you can't build where you're at, so right, yeah, that's so true.

Speaker 1:

So we get to add that to your list of accomplishments. So it's a singer, songwriter, producer, drummer. I knew that was first drummer. You can play the piano and, of course, guitar. And the reason why I say, of course I'm going to show everybody this picture first. How about that coolness right there? Now correct me if I'm wrong. In this picture you're on stage with this crew, right? Is that? Right? That is correct. So tell me a little bit about how you got to working with Alan Parsons.

Speaker 2:

The Alan Parsons project was Alan and Eric Wolfson the kind of the chief songwriter, and then they did hired musicians for many, many years, probably 60 musicians playing on all the stuff and different tours and that type of stuff and where his latest lineup that he's had, I think for the last 13 or 14 years now you tour all around the world.

Speaker 1:

Before we even talk about that, though, take me back to how this kid came from. You know, somewhat sleepy town, right New England town, to traveling the world with a renowned band. So take me on this journey with you, if you will.

Speaker 2:

Sure, well, I got the gene from my grandfather, is what I call it. It's just the musical thing. He could play lots of instruments by ear and I had it right away from a young age. I would dabble around and I could instantly pick something up and play it and make music out of it. And from there I was very lucky that I had some great mentors in elementary school Neil Rinaldi, who you probably, probably know, but he was my elementary school teacher and you know, I think in fourth grade he popped in and started his teaching career and the cool part was, I mean, he recognized right away I had some, some talent because I was. I was playing, like Simon and Garfunkel songs on the piano by ear. And he's like, how are you able to do that? I said I don't know, I just I like doing it, you know. And so he fostered that he was, he was great with me. And then, you know, as fate would have it, he had a few years later he got the job, as you know, overseeing the whole music department at the high school. So eventually, when I went through, you know, middle school and all that, I showed up in high school and there he was and he absolutely transformed that music department from something that had once been kind of a second thought and very sleepy to this just powerhouse music department with a you know killer jazz band. And then, of course, john GM Frito came in and did this amazing choir and show choir and it was just transforming for me and I was always writing songs at that time too and just didn't really have an outlet form. Eventually I'd make my way to New York City doing jingles, which are, you know, you sing TV commercials, and I'd put Cheerios and gosh Folder's Coffee Diet Coke, just tons of them and I met a lot of great people, session players and musicians, but really no songwriters. They would write jingles but not songs. And the few that I had met in New York it was more about an afternoon to hang out and read resumes. And I'm not that guy. I'm about to work, I like doing the work and I just could never find a connection with somebody that was, you know, as passionate about songwriting and the craft of songwriting as I was. And when I would mention Nashville to some of these people, they'd be like Nashville you know it's. Hillbilly Town and I'm like you don't get it Like the best songwriters on the planet reside in this town. It's just got this amazing, you know, amazing atmosphere for creating songs and it's a really high bar, which I loved. But I had a friend that lived here, donald Maine, and he's actually from Springfield Mass, and he had a long time band I think they're still going, called the Saints, and they were just an incredible live party band. But Donald had moved down here and I wanted to check it out. So there was one. One morning I got up very early because I was going to take the train into New York City to do a jingle and my garage door wouldn't open and I couldn't figure out why, and there was six feet of snow on it and I was like this is, this is silly. So you know, and I was out the money that day, of course, because you know you can't make it. So I said let's let me just go down to check it out. So I flew down for a week to try Nashville out, and I'm not even kidding you that the waiters and waitresses that I were meeting were songwriters and players. they were all there risking it, all you know, and I sold everything. I had everything, every stitch of gear. I sold my favorite guitar that I had that I was making money with all through the 80s. I've since got it back. I'll put it on my lap here in a little bit, but that's a great story. I sold everything and just packed the car and we had a one year old and God bless my wife that she. She thought, you know, let's give it a shot. You know she's an adventure like me and a little crazy like me. So we like risk. So we came out here and gave it a shot and just you know, at first it was hard to find my footing because I thought man. I don't really play any of this chicken picking stuff, but I like the songs that they're writing, you know. So it just takes a while. They call it a 10 year town and that's pretty much where it was. About maybe six or seven years I started going out in the clubs here and I started singing the rock stuff that I do. I've got this high tenor voice so I can do the Boston and journey and all that. And I thought nobody's, nobody's going to come out to this. And then people started showing up and some of the people showing up were these pro players that were out on tour and doing sessions. Next thing I know I was hey, do you sing any background vocals? I do the whole harmony arrangement thing. I came up on the carpenters and all that stuff. So I'm really into the harmony thing. So with technology I can sing all the parts and I have sung all the parts on lots of different records my own as well as some other big records that are out there. And yeah, I started kind of making a name for myself doing that and then it just kind of expanded and, oh, you could play guitar. So then I started doing that stuff. Eventually I had a friend call me up and say I have a client and he needs some help with a piece of gear, and you know what this piece of gear is. And I said I really can't, I'm swamped for like the next two weeks. And I said who is it? And he said it's Alan Parsons. And I said clear my plate, you know, because I was a big fan, right, not only of his music but also I really loved the stuff he did with Floyd and the Beatles and all that stuff you know, and I knew all about him and the other stuff Pilot, al Stewart, just a ton of records that I had grown up on and he was kind of like the, you know, the mysterious wizard behind all the stuff you know. And so I flew out there and I fixed his piece of gear pretty much and got it working a little better than what it was working for his situation, so it'd be easier for him to operate on stage and be kind of I call it stupid proof, you know it was light on him or anybody else that just made it so he couldn't mess it up right. And then he appreciated that. So I watched the show and I kind of kept my distance and later on during the night we were having dinner after the show and I was the far into the table because I just saw everybody on him and I was just like this poor guy, you know. And finally he came down my end of the table at the end of the night and he goes what's your deal? The very last thing you say to a guy like that is well, I play guitar and I write songs, and so I just said, you know, I live in Nashville and I play like everybody else. You know we kind of giggled about that and he goes, what did you think of the show? And I said it was good, you know. And he goes no, what did you think of the show? And I said well, I said I said I think your music is deserving of better audio quality. And he went really. And I said yeah, in lighting too. I said because when I think of you, I think of your connection with Pink Floyd and just an amazing show. And I said it just did. The level didn't match what was going on with the band and everything. And I was able to kind of walk into that because earlier in the day there was a problem with the sound system and I just could not shut my mouth about it and the sound guy was just sitting there with a dead stare as there was this big trrrr through the system and he's letting him sound check through it. So I finally went over and said you're gonna fix that right. I said please tell me you're not gonna put the father of high fidelity audio through that Ratch nest, you know. And of course everybody looked at me like whoa, stay in your lane. And he's like well, you know, it's the monitors. I said no, it's this piece of gear, it's this process, or I pointed right at it and he was how do you know? And I said there's a little flickering light that's on there. That's a bad chip. So anyway, I proved it to him by disconnecting it and bypassing it and suddenly it was super clean. So I know that a couple of the guys on the band and crew saw that and said something to Alan. Now they probably said this guy's a smart Alec and doesn't mind his business. But at the end of the day Alan probably thought you know what? He fixed it right.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

So I think that allowed me to be honest with Alan and he kind of pushed me too. I was quiet. He said no, really, tell me what you're thinking. He said how do I fix it? I said, well, let me bring some guys in. So I brought in with Brent my friend Brent Brent knew him as well Martin Fry, who was working for Journey and some other bands and he was a game changer in that. And then we had gotten back this guy, martin Thomas, who was absolutely amazing on lighting and it just it made a huge difference From there. Alan asked me if I wanted to stay on and I said I don't really do the crew thing. I said what?

Speaker 1:

would I do.

Speaker 2:

He said you're gonna do that, Just make sure there's a bar, fix things. So I did. I was kind of a crew guy. I was the stage manager for like a year and a half or something and, as luck would have it, the guys knew I played. But I always tried to be kind of a little low key about it because I could sense a couple of jealous bones right.

Speaker 1:

Sure.

Speaker 2:

And I was trying to be respectful. But I'm checking guitars, I'm gonna play the guitar and people turn around and be like, wow, you can play a little bit. And then, of course, I played her in soundcheck and somebody didn't show up and Alan was like, can you play all these parts? And I said, if I have to, in a pinch.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, okay.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I just knew that if somebody got sick it was gonna be a problem, and that did happen a couple of times actually.

Speaker 3:

Wow.

Speaker 2:

But eventually he heard me arranging the background vocals. There were parts missing and I am a stickler. I have kind of photographic musical memory. So if I hear something on the radio and something is off, it drives me absolutely bananas, right, it's like a crooked picture, sure, I was saying no, that part doesn't exist, here's the part, and this kind of thing. And we'd start singing it and I would sing the missing part and Alan heard it from down the hall and he was like what is that? Are you singing with them? I said yeah, and he knew you know, that's the part that was missing and he's got great ears too. So he eventually one day it was really weird, I heard him on the thing he said he told the sound man get down the microphone, off stage and I started singing with the band off stage on these harmony parts. Eventually it just got so silly that we talked about it and he goes. You know what? This looks ridiculous and people would see me off there going. What's the deal is? He's, you know it just looked a little weird. So he goes. He called me one day. I was actually doing a wedding with my wedding band and he's like I'd like you in the band and I go you know what would you like me to do? And he's like all of it. If you have, you know, guitar, if there's some keyboards, whatever the vocal thing he goes, I'd like all of it. And you know, I said I really don't want to create some waves here, but I know there's going to be some waves. And he said maybe. He said maybe, but that's my call. And so I said let me think about it. You know, for a night, and the next day you know, my wife, of course was like what are you crazy? Tell him yes. And the next day I told him yes and we we kept it quiet a little bit we went out. We were playing somewhere in Canada. And then he broke the news to the band and they all kind of pickpiled on me all except for one guy who's no longer with us. That's okay, I understand. I understand the feelings and the and the, you know feeling insecure a little bit. That's okay, you know. I think he made his own bed there. It was sad. I actually felt really bad about it, not really good like people would expect.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 2:

But you know, eventually we all kind of found our footing in this band and the replacement that we got just shot us into the ionosphere as far as I'm concerned, as far as what we sounded like and played like as a band, and it still has this amazing chemistry after, I think, 13 years with him now.

Speaker 1:

That's so cool and the you know the audiences that you guys draw. You know I've seen I should have put some up here too. I should have swiped them from you the pictures that you've shown of you know it's like the back of the band looking out at the crowd and it's just. They're just. You know stadiums. It's just incredible to see, and it must be so incredible to be up on that stage. Does it ever get like whatever, or do you still get that thrill every time?

Speaker 2:

No, definitely, you know, I will say this definitely when the crowd reacts, it's, it drives your adrenaline. I gotta tell you, though, mostly when we play these songs is what really drives my adrenaline. The songs are great. I mean, they'd stand the test of time and we've got the right lineup to play in. But yeah, there's, I mean, some of these places. We played Burning man a couple of years ago. We were the first band to ever play there. If you can believe that, you'd think that place would have bands all the time. Well, they don't, because they're out in the middle of nowhere, so it's generators.

Speaker 1:

And I mean, it was like playing on the moon Right.

Speaker 3:

It was like playing on the moon.

Speaker 2:

I had you know my Kemper. Here is a very expensive piece of gear. I was here like I can do this thing. And I was so worried about it and so I had it covered up in plastic. You know, and pardon my hands there and there's just dust everywhere. But as far as you could see out into this desert where people holding, you know, led lights, it was absolutely crazy. And we've played, you know, 60,000 people with oh, I think we were double heading with Deep Purple. We've done a couple of really memorable shows. Israel, a couple of times with the orchestra. We play a lot of orchestra shows, which is nice, wow.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that sound has to be so huge, right. I mean just to be present, like even if God forbid you're not an Alan Parsons project fan just to be in that room with that monstrously huge, beautiful sound. It just has to be so epic. One of these days, Dan, I'm getting to a show.

Speaker 2:

One of these days, I will get to a show We'd love to have you yeah, oh, my goodness, what I mean.

Speaker 1:

What a story, what a journey and what an unbelievable gift you have, or numerous gifts. I mean you're just. You know you won't call yourself this, but I'm calling this. You're a musical genius. Really, I mean, that's just incredible. I know you're gonna, you know, I know you're humble. So, like I said, I know Dan on a personal level and I can tell you, and we met through, I'll tell everybody. We met through a mutual friend, our friend Kevin, and when Kevin told me about you, let me tell you what Kevin said about you. He said you will never meet a kinder, nicer, more humble, giving, compassionate, good guy than Dan Tracy. And I'm like, well, I'm sold, that was easy you know, and because, you know, I think, like I said, we met through him, through social media, and you know, I'm pretty sure I probably was like what's this guy all about? What's his deal? And he's like no, no, no, no, it's all good, he's good. He's good and better than good. You're just truly a sincerely a good guy. I want to brag on you a little bit more, to tell everybody just how good you are. I hope you can. I'm either gonna like make your head explode with ego or just make you sink in your seat in embarrassment. But, as some of you may know or may not know, I'm an author. I write books and I had a series going and in one of the books my character was a singer-songwriter. Well, guess what? I'm not musical, I sing along, but I shouldn't. And I needed my character to be writing a song and I was like, oh my God, I have no idea if this is even like the, I don't know what this is, if this is even what a song looks like when you write it. And so I said to Dan, I sent him a message to Dan, I'm so sorry to bother you, you know, I hope you don't mind, but this is what I've got going on and Dan's like, okay, give me a minute. And like literally a minute later, dan has a whole song. Dan wrote a whole song for my character, a legit, actual song. It is gorgeous and it's in my book. Like that's the most exciting for me. That was probably one of the most exciting things that happened in my little book writing process that you you know that. You first of all, that you took the time to even look at what I wrote me. And just out of the goodness of his heart, and if that wasn't enough, dan, when I first started doing my show, my podcast, he heard my cheesy, lame little intro music that I had going on and Dan was like we got hang on, we got to make this better, we got to do this right. He wrote me the most beautiful, perfect intro for my show and then, like a dumb dumb, I ended up changing the name of the show.

Speaker 2:

Well, that's okay, I can write another. That's the beauty of that.

Speaker 1:

You're so great, oh my God. But you know, and you do these things, you know, out of pure goodness and kindness, and it just blows me away that the things that you do, I'm sorry guys, I'm not done. He did one more thing that is I can't. I mean, the whole show is going to be taken up by me telling you all the things that Dan has done, okay, okay, one last thing. I promise All right. Last thing. I have to tell you guys that Dan did. My husband, who's in law enforcement, also on the side, is in a band, he plays drums and he started very late in life and it's been a wonderful, fun, exciting, cool, cool journey. And when Dan found this out, dan's a huge law enforcement and military supporter and we definitely want to talk about that for a moment. Dan had a snare drum, snare drum, right, yeah, it's a snare drum, okay, you know me, designed for him, with the thin blue line, it's all it's for law enforcement and it is absolutely stunning. And again, goodness of his heart, love of law enforcement and military and all of these things, and I mean just wow, and that thing is a treasure. That is like a treasured piece of equipment.

Speaker 2:

Thank you. Thank you, it was an honor to give that to him and you know, Kevin, our friend Kevin played a part in that because I said this thing needs a badge. So he had called up and, through his connections, got a badge sent to me. I think it's your, your husband's, badge number, correct?

Speaker 1:

Right yeah.

Speaker 2:

And then I had it put on the. I put it on the snare drum and then what I thought was cool is that we alternated the lug nuts on it on the snare, and they alternate between red and blue. So beautiful.

Speaker 1:

Which I thought was neat.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, it was an honor to give that to him. He puts his, he puts himself out there every day, not just physically and you know. But that's got to be a soul drainer to do that kind of work. So just like to show those people appreciation what little I can offer.

Speaker 1:

Oh, you do so much. Just your appreciation alone is so gratifying. And you do much more than that, and I know that. Tell me, where did your, your love and appreciation come from? Do you have like a family history with either law enforcement or military? Because I know it's both. For you it's law enforcement, military. You love America and we're going to we've got something to talk about with that too in a minute, but tell me a little bit about that.

Speaker 2:

Well, my dad was, was in the Navy for many years and most of the other kids were born in Annapolis, maryland. I was not. I was born in Hartford, connecticut, which is why we settled in Windsor Locks. So that's at the end of his military career. But I remember as a kid kind of, you know, sitting around the dinner table and being a little peace loving kid during the 70s and kind of arguing with my pop about things that were going on policy wise, you know, with Russia, different things and he would lay it out and tell me like it really was and it wasn't. Until I got older and had kids I was like damn, he was dead on in a lot of this stuff. And then, of course, we have our friend that I went to high school with and his parents coached my soccer team many years I think three, four years playing soccer with him, and he was an amazing athlete, an amazing guy. But John Chapman, who is a recipient of the Medal of Honor, posthumously was killed in Afghanistan right after, right after we kind of got in there after 9, 11.

Speaker 1:

And so that was.

Speaker 2:

That was a profound moment for me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, that gets you. It's not something you forget and you don't forget what was given up and lost. And you got me too. We're both, it's okay, we're both, we're both going. That's okay. And if we, if we didn't, I feel like we would lose part of our humanity, right, if you, if it didn't hit you in your heart. But yeah, and you know just another thing to love about you, dan, that your heart is so huge and it's so full of the right things. It's, it's such, I gotta tell you, it's just such an honor to know you. It really is.

Speaker 2:

Oh well, thank you, you as well, you as well. Well, you're out there every day on your show hitting the right buttons and educating people and letting them know what's really going on and that they're not alone. You know, I think a lot of that.

Speaker 1:

I appreciate that. I love it, it's that same, I love passion and love and love for this country and, and, and the people who defend it and the people who are, you know, risking their lives and losing their lives and, and you know, the ultimate, ultimate sacrifice, as we, as we, always hear, but when it hits home it's, you know, it's totally different. I wanted that. That nicely brings us into another thing I want to talk about that you've been working on, so, along with your songwriting and and and instrument playing and band traveling and all the things that you're doing, you're also a producer and you got involved with my recent interviewee, thanks to you, of course, mason Douglas and you guys, and you'll tell us the story that I'm going to do it right now, but you guys came up with this, this song, and it's more than a song, it's a movement, too, called I Miss America. Tell me a little bit about that. And there it is, and how that came about.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so well, I did not. First of all, I did not write the song, which is and I'll explain how this happened so a friend of mine, clarence J, he had a. He had a viral hit and pretty much changed the industry with this song called Friday's got to get down on Fridays with Rebecca Black.

Speaker 3:

I know exactly this song. Yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

And it's a cool little, cool little song. You either love it or hate it, right, but that's what, what? What catapulted this, this tune, onto the scene and it forced a billboard to recognize streaming. So it was actually like a very historic moment for him and he's done quite well with that song. But I got to know him and he's just a fantastic guy, a great producer I respect greatly just watching him work. We got to work together and I was like man, you're, you're good at this, You're really good at this. And being a producer is a completely different skill set and very difficult to explain to people that really don't understand, kind of, what a producer does. I think they sit in a chair and say yes or no, but you basically have to orchestrate the whole song the sounds, how it's put together, the arrangement, the vocal takes, everything. You got to oversee it, what it sounds like. Anyhow, he played me a song in his car and I was listening for songs for another guy that I was producing and he played me this time this America song and I was like man, I said it just really resonated with me and what was going on in the country and I know I'm not alone in that and the singer was great too. I'm like, who's the singer? I was like he's the co-writer of the song and he wrote we, the People for Kid Rock. And I was like, man, I'd love to do this song and I was talking to my artist about it and we, we ran down that road a little bit but it just wasn't a match for him and he was afraid to do, do and say anything politically. And I get that. And you know, quite honestly, if a push come to shove on the interviews and stuff, he would have folded up like a teep suit, you know. And we needed somebody who, who has it together and has some life experience and and could speak to people about what this message is and what it's really about. So we decided I got my partner, Gary Becker. We have a company together called Ghost Entertainment. Gary used to own Pace concerts in Houston, which was a huge, very highly respected concert production and promotion company in Houston, Texas. I mean they started out having Evil Can Evil that way back then, kind of stuff. Yeah, so, and he's a wonderful guy, he just totally got the message and, like I did, and he's like what let's use, let's use Mason, let's run with Mason, you know, and here we are. We got billboards out around town, everything.

Speaker 1:

That's so awesome and the song is so great. And if the song isn't good enough, you got to watch the video. Oh, what a surprise. I have it right here. So let's watch the video Such a great video and then you can give us some of those behind the scenes things that I think that I know, but but you can fill us in on it. So here's the video, guys.

Speaker 3:

The Sunday Dinner Show. We used to be John Wayne and James Dean, from Sea to Shine and Sea. We used to be baseball and apple pie, bringing on the American dream. We used to be Rockwell and Rock and Roll, standing up for the stars and stripes. We used to be OC and UC, hand on our hearts with pride, but a new generation dividing the nations, hating and breaking what made it great and trying to fake it and take it on over to the extreme, thinking freedom is free. If only they could see the way it used to be. I miss the old days when we came together and we'd all say let's make it better. But that's range of the track. Let's bring our country back home, sweetly home of the grave and the bold yeah, she's something to say. I miss her open arms. I miss her open love, but most of all, man, I miss America. We used to be the Golden Ring, the ivory town Standing tall with the backbone. We used to be First World Superpower. Now they're laughing all the way back home. It was essential, the presidential was consequential for the century turned into a crash and a burn and then the truth was buried by. Whose red, whose white, whose blue? I don't give a damn to you. I miss the old days when we came together and we'd all say, let's make it better. But that's range of the track, let's bring our country back home. Sweetly, home of the grave and the bold yeah, she's something to say. I miss her open arms. I miss her open love. But most of all, man, I miss America. How far we've fallen. Y'all believe in me ballin' while the person, all the voices and choices, all in the name of tolerance, the season, the way they've been livin', and now we're drivin' on a mission to cancel division. Man, I miss the old days of wavin' to your neighbor Hello, hey, that ain't the way we're playin', the way the odds are stacked, gotta take our country back. Oh, sweetly, home of the grave and the bold, yeah, she's something worth saving. I miss her open arms, I miss her open love. But most of all, man, I miss America. Yeah, man, I miss America. Man, I miss America.

Speaker 1:

That was so good. That was so good. It made me laugh, it made me smile, it made me sad and it actually got me a little teary in the picture, got me there. So take us behind the scenes of that a little bit, if you will.

Speaker 2:

Sure, you know, we've been knocking around the idea for a video and at first we had like a parade we were going to do down here in my little small town. It's a very picturesque, older, historic town that you see in a lot of the Hallmark movies. So we were going to do this big or anything and maybe have a boxing match and stuff and aside from the cost of that it was just a huge undertaking getting extras, permits, all that stuff. And we said, well, how can we do something on a little cheaper budget and still have the impact? And our director, john, and I were talking and we're like all right, what is this at its core? What's going on in America? What are people missing? What's going on? And we both came up with the dinner table. You can't even go to the dinner table anymore and talk to your in-laws or your siblings, for that matter, and people are so divided. So I said we should totally just spoof on each person. You got the mag of bro, you got the offended woke sister and all this stuff, and the kid that's stuck in virtual reality and always on his tablet, and I have that person in my family. So I think, yeah, we thought it would resonate with everybody and I knew Victoria through our PR agent.

Speaker 1:

Love her.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we just thought it would be a good match because the comedy aspect and just to keep it light and a little jovial, so that's where we were headed with that.

Speaker 1:

That's so cool, so cool and so good and Mason's such a great guy. I love talking with him and I thank you also for that. Of course, you put us together and said I think you'll like talking with him and hearing what he has to say and, of course, talking about this new release and everything. And boy, I mean it hits home, it hits you right in the heart, because I think everybody can agree that we are not where we should be as a country. We are more divided than ever and I think even people that are on the opposite side of the things that I believe, or maybe the things that you believe, I think they can also say I just miss it. I just miss when we could all get along and not everything be about politics and race. I mean race and social issues and all of the things. There was a time where just average Americans did not care. I don't care. I don't care about that. I think most of us can say this right now Obviously not all, because it's what we're all fighting about constantly. I don't care about the color of your skin, I don't care what religious beliefs you have, I don't care what you decide. Your gender is, whether I agree with you or not, all irrelevant, all I care of. Just be a good person, just be kind, just be compassionate. Just leave it alone. Leave it alone. I can easily say there's a lot of things that I strongly, vehemently disagree with, but I don't feel the need to get in anybody's face about it who feels differently than I do. We just need to agree to disagree sometimes and be on our separate sides if need be, but you can do that without being mean, right?

Speaker 2:

It used to be, we could go have a beer and chat about stuff and then laugh it off. Now that's not the case. People are afraid to say anything anymore. It's really sad because if we're not talking to each other, you can't fix things. You can't understand other people's experiences either. You and I grew up in the same town and the beauty of our little town, which I will say, was mostly white. We had some families of color in the town, but we also had a huge diverse of immigrants that came in because we live in a defense industry and they were recruiting the best and the brightest. They didn't care if they were Italian or Polish or whatever. Everybody kind of moved into this area. It was just odd to me when I started hearing things about discrimination, because I was like gosh. We had so many crazy names and so many letters involved in 26 letter last names Right, we knew how to say them all and they were all great people. It was just how we came up. Then, of course, we both got older. Most people get older and most people travel a little bit. In my case, I travel a lot all over the world. This notion of America is not respected as complete crap. I just want to say that right now Complete crap we are respected and we are still the shining beacon on the hill. People still are climbing walls to get here. You see anybody climbing a wall to get into Russia.

Speaker 1:

Best point ever made right there, really.

Speaker 2:

We have stars. Look the country. We're only 200 years old, we're not thousands of years old like these other countries. Let's take a peek at what's happening right now in the landscape across the world Still tons of fighting with 2,000-year-old countries. They're not working it out. We are really progressing and trying to work some stuff out. Yes, there's scars and bumps and some history we don't like looking at. Sometimes you know what. We've made everything better for most people. Most people are living way better than their generation before them, whether you came from poverty or slavery or whatever. Every ethnicity has faced that, by the way, in different parts of the world. I think, with our scars and all again, we're still the greatest thing going out there. I remember real quick being on a train in Germany. We were going from Germany to Italy, I believe, to play a show. This guy had slinked into the bar car where we had it quadruped off for us. I think he was a Nigerian guy, as I remember the conversation they tried to boot about because it's supposed to be just the band and all this stuff. He was just smiling the whole time. I said hang on, come have a drink with me. I just love talking to people and figuring out where they're from. The first thing out of this guy's mouth is he goes. I am dying to come to America. He says I can't do it here, I can't do it in Nigeria. You just don't realize until you get out and meet people. They're still really dying to get over here. Yeah Well, you're so right.

Speaker 1:

This has not ceased to be the land of opportunity. It is still in. I pray that it always will be the land of opportunity. So, yeah, like you said, yes, we have poverty, yes, we have people in circumstances that are not good and things happen all this things, but it's still. Everyone has the opportunity to succeed here and it's not just the people who are born here and who live here, it's the people who come here through the proper channels would be ideal and do it the hard way, like my grandparents and parents did. They did it the hard way, they did it the right way and they love this. That's where I learned my love of country and I love that little bit of irony of it always that I learned my love of America through my immigrant grandparents, who understood and saw the opportunity and the gift that this amount of freedom that we have and it's so taken for granted now and disregarded. And what a blessing for you to have this external view of it all and to have traveled and to meet people where so many of us really don't, myself included. I don't get out of my bubble. I go to Florida because that's where my grandbabies are. That's it. That's all I'm doing for years to come. Now, and that's totally fine. But, yeah, you do get this bubble view of what's going on in the world and, of course, you got the echo chambers of people just repeating back the same things to each other, and so I think it's really important that we get to hear from people like you who have been around the world and do speak to other people from other countries, and you get a great perspective on everything and bring that back here. So thank you for doing that, because it's needed.

Speaker 2:

Well, it's a learning experience, right? That's part of it.

Speaker 1:

you gotta listen, yeah absolutely, and I hope people will listen to I, miss America and really listen to those lyrics, really take a good listen and put them in your heart. And it's such a and, besides all the deep stuff, it's such a catchy song. Like it's so catchy? Yeah, it is, it is. I forgot. Now I can see you when I put a video up. Guys, we go like in a little waiting room so we just have little boxes or our cameras are there and that's usually when we're taking sips of our coffee or coughing if we need to cough or do whatever and I'm sitting back and dancing along Like and I'm like, oh wait, I think Dan can see me.

Speaker 3:

I could. I saw the speaker.

Speaker 2:

That's great, yeah, that's what grabbed me first when I heard the song, I was like man it sounds great. And then the message. The message is really wonderful and timely and needed. I don't know if it's gonna cut through the noise for the next couple of weeks of what's going on. And we had a chat about that. We don't wanna be insensitive and try to push something that people aren't ready to hear right now. Sure, that would be insensitive. Right, you know we're gonna.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely. But you know, at the same time it serves as, like that stark reminder that the atrocities that are happening over in the Middle East, the things that are happening to those people there, we can't fathom. We can't even fathom that happening here, and God forbid something like that ever does. But you know, just yet another reason to be so humbled and grateful for where we are and the safeties and the securities that were afforded, because what's happening there is unimaginable. I can barely talk about it without crying.

Speaker 2:

So it is. And you know, just like 9-11, you know if you're from the Northeast, you've been up, you know you've probably been in the trade towers before they were hit, right. So there's a little different connection when you saw what happened on 9-11. And you know, we played, we played Israel several times now and I it's absolutely beautiful. And a lot of people I talked to were like, aren't you scared of going to Israel? No, it's beautiful, the people are beautiful and you know it's right on the beach there in Tel Aviv just riding scooters and stuff. It's just again, the food, the people are wonderful, they're very open and just to picture these rockets coming down, people and the atrocities, you know, innocent people, just innocent people it's just, it's heartbreaking.

Speaker 1:

It is, it absolutely is, and I'm glad we actually got a moment to address that and talk about it, because it's, you know, it's on everyone's minds and hearts right now and it's just and it shouldn't be ignored. Of course, obviously, Dan, I you know I kept you longer than I said I would, so I lied to you. I apologize for that. And I'm gonna try and keep you hanging on here for just one more quick minute, because there's one more thing I wanted to mention to everyone. As part of your musical journey and all of the things that you do, you also created a secondary band called Save the World, which is absolutely phenomenal, and I wanna show quickly the album covers here and there's so, so much great music on there and these are your bandmates from there, right, and just so, so good and we're like I think I oh, you're so welcome, thank you for putting out great music, and I want everybody to go check all of these things out. And I'm gonna have to get you back on again because we still have things to talk about. I have I have like questions on my board here that I wanted to ask you and but I wanted the I wanted her to talk to go really organically and not, you know, just like cut you off quick and go, okay, next question. So that means I gotta bug you to come back again. Would you come back again for me?

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, we love to do it.

Speaker 1:

Awesome, awesome. And maybe next time I can con your wife into coming on and sitting with us too, because you two in and of yourselves and here's the last thing I'm gonna torture you with, dan, I love the way you love your wife. I just love it Is just so stinking cute. You guys have just she's also a musician singer. Yes.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I met her in a band, got her own band.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I mean, how badass is that. I mean how cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're very lucky. You guys are just the coolest.

Speaker 1:

I love it. I love it and I think you guys have a really sweet and touching, just beautiful story that I think people need to hear. More stories like that of just like good people doing really good, and I love it, love it, love it. So I'll bug you next time for that. Get her prepared.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, all right, I'll let her know.

Speaker 1:

All right, Dan Tracy. Thank you so much for coming on the show and, like I said, guys, he's coming back again. Thanks again, Dan. I'll see you guys next time.

Conversation With Musician Dan Tracy
Musician's Journey and Collaboration With Alan Parsons
Appreciation for a Good Guy
John Chapman, Medal of Honor Recipient
Remembering the Old Days of America