“Rise Above” features nine tracks, none of which are brand new, but some of which are re-mastered and all of which Dan is hoping get wider attention following his exposure on the show.
“Rise Above” is also one of the songs on the album, and its message made it the perfect title track, Dan told Voice Views.
“Rise Above represents everyone that faces hardships on a daily basis,” he said. “We tend to look at people and place them in boxes — black, white, rich, poor, young, old, liberal, conservative. Those things may affect timelines, degrees of success, but they do not guarantee the outcome of that success.
“Passion, self-determination, self-reliance, love of family, country, faith — those are what drive, or should drive all of us.
“There are millions of people who face the same struggles and have placed their goals and dreams on the back burner to do what is right. They are the weekend warriors who go out on weekends performing in bars, who by day are welders, teachers, lawyers. Moms who chose to be moms, but still have a passion to write, dance, or whatever their life ambition. Those who were raised in single-parent homes, in the most difficult of circumstances as I was.
“We tend to look at the exterior, not the internal. We look at age as a sell date, a spoil date, when in fact most people won’t even reach their stride until later on in life.”
Dan knows a little about all of that. Fifty-six when he auditioned, he was the oldest contestant to land a spot on The Voice Season 11.
And while he’s stayed involved in music all his life, he also took a full-time job as a salesman for a beverage company to provide insurance for his family when his son turned 11 and was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
The album also includes one of Dan’s favorite originals, “Leaving Virginia.” The song dates back to when he was producing an album for the band Salt. The band needed one more song to complete an album.
“I had written the music, melody, the night before. I came to the studio and I had asked Brian Williams, the drummer, to go to another room and start lyrics. He came back and the song was complete. The song is about a fella of faith, who loved a girl so much. He tried sharing his faith, but she would not accept. So consequently had to make a very difficult decision. He chose his faith.”
Dan said he’s also stayed busy since Season 11 writing new music. And he was part of two highly successful Season 11 reunion shows in Nashville that featured 16 singers from The Voice, including Brendan Fletcher, Christian Cuevas, Nolan Neal and Darby Walker.