Photo by Larry Holman, Logo by Kevin Haapala


Dan Hayes Blues Band

Dan Hayes met guitarist Mike Simon in grade school. Together they formed rock bands, played parties and outdoor gatherings as teens and learned guitar together. In 1969 they formed the Dan Hayes Blues Band. Dan Hayes went to playing harp and fronting the band. The band played high school dances, teen clubs and Brown’s Hall, where they shared bills with Clover, The Flying Circus and the Muskadine Blues Band.

Mark Adams of the Muskadine Blues Band introduced Dan and Mike to bass player Rick Saylor and a Mill Valley/San Anselmo connection was made, as Rick became the band's new bass player. By the way, Mark Adams who grew up in Mill Valley, played harp with Clover for a short time. He left Clover because he found it too "country" for his taste and recommended Huey Lewis, whom he had given harp lessons to.


Dan Hayes Group

Dan Hayes Group
Mark Adams, Dan Hayes, Mike Simon, Jon Kellen, Rick Saylor (1970)

In the summer of 1970 the drummer moved and Mark, Mike and Dan reformed the band, calling it “Group” instead of “Blues Band”. The line-up of the Dan Hayes Group is the photo under the trees you can see above: Mark Adams, Dan Hayes, Mike Simon, Jon Kellen and Rick Saylor. Toby Byron was the band's manager. The Dan Hayes Group never went to a studio, but recorded two separate appearances at The Lion’s Share in San Anselmo. They opened for Charlie Musselwhite on one gig, The Ford Brothers on the other gig. That weren't their only gigs though, they also opened shows for Home Cookin' - sharing the bill with the Flying Circus - and Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.

Once the Dan Hayes Group disbanded Mark Adams went on to play and record with famed guitarist, Michael Bloomfield. Then, in 1973 he joined up with Nick Gravenites in Blue Gravy and played with Nick some 25 years on a regular basis. Toby went on to become Bloomfield’s personal manager and lived at his house downstairs. Jon Kellen moved to Taos, New Mexico and still plays drums throughout that region. Rick Saylor became a road manager for such acts as George Thorogood and Herbie Hancock. He and Toby moved to NYC and Toby is in media, producing blues shows and documentaries for public TV. Mike Simon went on to study music at Berkley School of Music in Boston but spent most of his career as a chief.


Dan Hayes Blues Band continued ...

Dan Hayes left his own Group to give commune living a try. He remembers: "Back in those years, we were hippies, plus the daft and Vietnam war was going on. After I came back to Marin, I moved into the Church Studio when Prune Music storeowners bought it from Bruce Walford and Paul Stubblebine. Larry Holman, a drummer from Mill Valley and Kevin Haapala were my roommates. The new version of a Dan Hayes Band emerged with horn players, Ben Perkoff, Derrick Walker and Steve Rockwell. Larry played drums for that band and Mark was in it as well. It didn’t last too long though we played some clubs that Sound (Wide) Hole was playing as well. By then the ballroom scene was over and bands no longer shared bill (which was a shame).

Around 1973, I got religious and became choir director at San Quentin Prison. In 1974, I moved to Nashville to hustle songs I’d written. While living there, I got introduced to country music and started my drinking career in earnest! When I returned to Marin, I played country in honky tonk’s and became full time at music by 1977. In 1980, I moved to LA. I played in bars full time while there but made a bad songwriting deal and my drinking was very bad. I came back to Marin in late 1981 and continued gigging in country bars.

 Sound Hole/Dan Hayes Blues Band-Flyer
Sound Hole/Dan Hayes Blues Band 1973
Artwork: Johnny Colla

In 1984, I got clean and sober and in 1986, I got remarried. Our son was born in 1987 and by 1988, we “switched “ roles and I became a stay at home dad while continuing to play some on the weekends. That’s still what’s going on presently as well as trying to knock on publishing doors. A gig at the Sweetwater led to meeting Mike Somavilla and getting a track on a Taxim compilation."

Dan Hayes
Dan Hayes
 Dan Hayes revisited ...

Until 2004 there were only three possibilities to listen to Dan's music. (1) buy the Taxim CD; (2) try to see one of his gigs in the Bay Area, where he performs around the North Bay and Wine Country as a soloist or with a sideman, or (3) buy a CD of truck driving songs which was available through an accompanying website for quite some time.

On the other hand Dan has recorded tons of material in the last 35 years and once I had the chance to listen to some of these recordings I asked him why this music is still unavailable. Turns out that big record labels these days become pretty lazy in releasing more or less unknown artists. Smaller labels like Taxim try their best but are also unable to release all of the interesting things. Thus - in these modern times - many artist release their CDs themselves and use stores like CD Baby for distribution. One disadvantage though, time once used for the creation of music "gets wasted" with organizing the production and distribution of CDs. Which is still better than not to release ones music, though. To make a long story short, somehow Dan managed to pursuade me help release his music.

  • Dan Hayes Group

    The concert on this first CD released, was recorded 35 years ago and features five songs the Dan Hayes Group recorded live at the Lion's Share in San Anselmo back in 1970. Not only does this recording represent a historic recording, with a very good sound quaility, it also presents the Dan Hayes Group at their best with five original songs. All of the songs were written by Dan Hayes and it is astonishing how good the songwriting/music is - considering how young the band members were at that time. The music is placed between rock, blues and jazz and it is quite obvious why Mike Bloomfield and later Nick Gravenites picked Mark Adams as their harp player.

  • Dan Hayes Blues Band/Dan Hayes Acoustic @ The Church

    The two songs Dan recorded with the Dan Hayes Blues Band are high quality products as well. No wonder, as all the players are outstanding musicians. Both songs were written by Dan Hayes. The instrumental song "Mary Moves Me" has some really funky guitar lines by Dan Hayes and ultra cool sax lines by Ben "King" Perkoff and Derrick "Big" Walker. The rest of the band members play along and know how to let this instrumental move ya. "Well, I Know" takes the band a step further as it's rhythm/lyrics remain in the ear for quite some time.

    Then there are four acoustic tracks Dan recorded. These are basically love songs and were all written by Dan. It is obvious that Dan is a good songwriter and his lyrics keep you humming along.

    (Read more about the Muskadine Blues Band here.)

  • Dan Hayes & Juke Joint

    The nine tracks on this CD capture a mellow, late night feeling as Dan Hayes calls it himself - and he is right. The CD starts of with "Here's To You" - a tribute to Chicago blues artist Luther Allison - a mellow tribute indeed. "Money, Love And Time" is quite a fast song that features some great harmonica lines by Mark Adams and ends too fast - fast as money, love and time can go by. The next song "California" picks up the theme again and tells us how much money it really takes to live in California. A sniveling song? Yes, says Dan Hayes, but that's what blues is all about. "That's Why There's The Blues" explains it all and Holman & Gapinski's rhythmic work is quite cool - as are Mark's harmonica lines. "Flying Blind" is quite autobiographical and Dan describes how bad a drinking career can be. "My Opinion" is a love song, just as "Twice As Nice" (funky!) and "One Of A Kind" (rhythm cruise!) are. All these tracks are fun to listen to and Mark Adams' plays some sophisticated harmonica lines again. Well, and "Everyone's Grown Up But Me" is a sad blues again and has some great lyrics.

    California that's a great little blues album that features blues at its best - so please feed the artist and buy your copy :)

  • Dan Hayes - Big City Country Blues

    Dan's 2006 CD contains 22 tracks that were recorded in 1992 and 2006. Eleven tracks were recorded at Globe Studios in 1992 and feature Dan Hayes, Bruce Gapinski and Larry Holman (= Juke Joint minus Mark Adams). All of these tracks could be called the big city side of the album as they are the amplified versions of the songs. The CD also features Dan Hayes' solo acoustic country blues versions of these tracks - recorded in 2006. All of the tracks have been written by Dan Hayes and it is amazing that it is very difficult to say in which version (amplified/acoustic) Dan's tracks sound best - probably depends on the mood you are in.

    You can bet that I want you to buy this album because it's an outstanding blues album. Plus, once people understand that Dan belongs to the best Blues artists in the Bay and beyond you will be happy to be one of the first who supported him. Thanks.

  • Doug Adamz & Dan Hayes - Blues Duo

    In 2008 Dan released an album with his old pal Doug Adamz. Here is what the Blue Skunk Music website wrote:

    "Blues Duo, an album featuring accredited blues musicians Dan Hayes and Doug Adamz, is steeped thoroughly in acoustic/traditional blues. Both artists are multi-instrumentalists, working their craft on acoustic guitar as well as sharing singing duties and wailing proficiently on harmonica. This album captures the fresh, relaxed and often spontaneous sound of one of their well-established live performances.

    Dan and Doug met in San Francisco, after Doug moved to the bay area from El Paso, TX. Dan was working at The Church Recording Studio when Doug came by to record an album in ’77. Dan had already established himself in the heavy psychedelic heyday of sixties San Francisco and had garnered a strong appreciation for the blues. Together the two performed literally thousands of shows in every honky-tonk, saloon and corner bar that northern California had to offer. Both the time spent with their instruments and the time spent interacting musically with each other is largely evident in their music; you simply don’t get that good without getting out and sweating on the fretboard.

    Together they established a stripped-down sound without the need for drums or electric instrument – simply two guys with two guitars and a pocket full of harmonicas writing songs and doing what they were born to do – play the blues."

  • Dan Hayes' Discography

  • 1998 Even More Bay Area Blues - Various Artists
  • 2002 Truckin' Tunes - Dan Hayes
  • 2005 Live at The Lion's Share 1970 - Dan Hayes Group
  • 2005 The Church - Recording Studio Retrospective - Various Artists
  • 2005 California - Dan Hayes & Juke Joint
  • 2006 Big City Country Blues - Dan Hayes
  • 2008 Blues Duo - Doug Adamz & Dan Hayes

    Even More Bay Area BluesVarious Artists
    Even More Bay Area Blues

    (Taxim Records 1998)
    Bay Area Blues compilation (Volume 3) featuring:

    Dan Hayes - "She Says She Will"

    Dan Hayes (guitars, piano, vocals); Bruce Gapinski (bass); Larry Holman (drums)

    Recorded at Globe Studios, Mill Valley, CA., 1992, Engineered by Tim Eschliman

    Other artists on this compilation: Jimmy Dillon, Jack King And Way Fatt, George Whitsell, Paris Slim, Gary King, Rhythmtown Jive, Goodman Murphy Band, Greg Douglass, Richi Ray, Rhythm Sheiks, Pete Sears & Rich Kirch, Little Jonny & The Giants, Terry Haggerty, Trichotic

    from label!
    Truckin' Tunes (cover by Chris Peterson)Dan Hayes
    Truckin' Tunes

    (Dan Hayes 2002)
    Me and My Truck -- Buttonwillow Blues -- 18 Reasons Why -- Let's Roll -- Talkin' To Myself -- She Makes This Truck Stop Worthwhile -- A Guy And His Truck -- Out Of Work Blues -- These Colors Don't Run -- Let's Roll (acoustic) -- 18 Reasons Why (acoustic)

    The tracks were recorded in Dan's home studio and he played all the instruments himself.

    Buy from Globe Records!
    Live at The Lion's ShareDan Hayes Group
    Live at The Lion's Share 1970

    (Sustainable Music 2005)
    Miller Makes It Right -- A Child Is Born -- No One Is Stopping You -- What Goes Up -- Woman In Every Man

    Musicians: Mark Adams (lead vocals, harp), Dan Hayes (guitar, vocals), Mike Simon (guitar), Jon Kellen (drums), Rick Saylor (bass)

    Recorded at The Lion's Share, San Anselmo, CA on Oct.21, 1970.

    Buy Now
    The Church, Various ArtistsThe Church 
    Recording Studio Retrospective

    (Sustainable Music 2005)
  • Muskadine Blues Band (Church 1969):
    Soul Shakin' -- Before You Leave -- Long Hard Road -- I'm Coming Home -- Ship On The Ocean -- Break Song

    Musicians: Mark Adams, Doug Martin, Lane Hirabayashi, Brian Hogan, Eric Schleiger, Hal Foreman

  • Dan Hayes Blues Band (Church Oct. 1973 & Jan. 1974):
    Mary Moves Me -- Well, I Know

    Musicians: Dan Hayes, Mark Adams, Larry Holman, Byron Sutton, Ben "King" Perkoff, Derrick Walker

  • Dan Hayes Acoustic (Church July 1974):
    It Takes Someone Like You -- When Two People -- Hey, Hey Mama -- Warm Winter's Morning

    Musician: Dan Hayes

  • Buy Now
    CaliforniaDan Hayes & Juke Joint

    (Sustainable Music 2005/
    Blue Skunk Music 2005)
    Here's To You -- Money, Love And Time -- California -- That's Why There's The Blues -- Flying Blind -- My Opinion -- Twice As Nice -- One Of A Kind -- Everyone's Grown Up But Me

    Musicians: Dan Hayes (vocals, guitar), Mark Adams (harmonica), Bruce Gapinski (bass), Larry Holman (drums)

    Recorded April 10, 1994 in Dan Hayes' blues kitchen, California.

    Big City Country  BluesDan Hayes
    Big City Country Blues

    (Sustainable Music 2006/
    Blue Skunk Music 2007)
    Restless Mood -- Bad Combination -- Just Need A Break -- Leavin Texas (In The Rain) -- World Of Trouble -- Good Whiskey, Bad Women -- Let's Make Up -- Nothing New (Under The Sun) -- The Right Tool -- Slow "C" Blues -- Restless Mood -- Bad Combination -- Just Need A Break -- Leavin Texas (In The Rain) -- World Of Trouble -- Good Whiskey, Bad Women -- Let's Make Up -- Nothing New (Under The Sun) -- The Right Tool -- Slow "C" Blues -- She Says She Will -- Can You Dig It?

    Track 1-10 (and bonus track 21) recorded at Globe Studios with band.
    Track 11-20 (and bonus track 22) solo acoustic versions.

    Musicians: Dan Hayes (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano), Bruce Gapinski (bass), Larry Holman (drums)

    The 2007 Blue Skunk release has a different track list - just follow the link.

    Blues DuoDoug Adamz & Dan Hayes
    Blues Duo

    (Blue Skunk Music 2008)
    Traveling Man -- Don't Ruin What We're Doin -- The Jones's House -- Pawn Your Guitar -- I Was Crazy -- All I Do -- Money, Love & Time -- Best Heart In Time -- Oh Lightnin' -- Mini Skirt Alert

    Musicians: Dan Hayes/Doug Adamz (vocals, guitar and harmonica)



    In case you want to contact Dan or are interested in releasing Dan's music (400 song catalog available) you can reach him by phone or fax at (707) 773-1626 or e-mail at


    Further Links:

  • Dan Hayes @
         Listen to Dan Hayes music online!

  • Dan Hayes Song Website
         More Dan Hayes' songs ...


    © 2002-2015 bay-area-bands.comback