Photo: Liz Dzuro
South Florida-based Indie-rock/indie-pop outfit The Dan Gootner Band just released their new EP, Ignorance Was Bliss.
Talking about the EP’s inspiration, vocalist Elie Ganz shares, “As songwriters, we find ourselves exploring different aspects of life and expressing them in song. This little collection is about personal journeys. Some journeys are within, as told in ‘Ignorance Was Bliss,’ some journeys are outward bound and fortune-seeking such as with ‘Bourbon Street,’ and others are meditative, wordless reflections on places we’ve found a spiritual connection with, like ‘Iao Valley.’”
Along with the band’s core members, Dan Gootner (guitar), and Elie Ganz (vocals), The Dan Gootner Band utilizes a revolving lineup of musicians, made up of the best of the best.
Formed in 2020, The Dan Gootner Band has released a series of singles and EPs, including hits such as “Leave It In The Past,” “Miracles Can Happen,” and “The Fox And The Hound.”
Encompassing three tracks, Ignorance Was Bliss begins with the title track, driven by a pushing rhythm topped by a sparkling piano, sawing fiddle, and Ganz’s soul-searching vocals, mirroring his realization of who he is and what really matters in life. The feel and flow of the tune are simultaneously alluring and musing. A dazzling solo section conjures up vague suggestions of Dickie Betts’ finessed guitar licks.
“Bourbon Street” opens on a low-slung acoustic guitar flowing into a gleaming melody atop a mid-tempo rhythm. Ganz’s smooth, velvety vocals imbue the lyrics with light, melancholic savors.
“Iao Valley” ties the EP off, rolling out on creamy Americana textures riding a syncopated rhythm. Exotic guitar tones merge with hints of country flavors and an evocative cello, giving the tune paradisical aromas.
The band explains, “‘Iao Valley’ is an instrumental pulling inspiration from Eastern, Polynesian, and Western Classical music. Hawaiian lap steel, Eastern Tabla, Sitar, and cello parts weave around each other as you’re taken to a mystical place. Its namesake is a place where visitors can find a lush rainforest, in the heart of the West Maui Forest Reserve. When trying to think of a title, and listening back on the track, Daniel felt the music placed him at a calm stream when he closed his eyes.”
At once imaginative and complex, Ignorance Was Bliss displays the creativity and versatility of The Dan Gootner Band.