But Dan Mulholland is a world-class rock 'n' roll original who didn't jump on any bandwagon. And after being part of the crowds that have been thrilled by his performances for three decades now, I finally had it dawn on me that he must have been born under a bad sign. Some sense of this even seems channeled through the energy of his voice, in its screaming thousand-gigs-in-as-many-dives soulfulness. It's a small tragedy that most of the rest of the world hasn't a clue.
A few weeks ago I met Mulholland for beers, again at TC's, and this time he was all in white a paint-splattered work outfit. We traded stories about the power of music from how he met Kinks legend Ray Davies in New Orleans to how he caught dozens of MC5 gigs back in the day and he smiled about how he'd just heard a great new band from Dayton, Ohio, the Heartless Bastards, and got that same buzz that all of us get when music just clicks. It hit me that Mulholland is one of those rare musicians who never forget or lose sight of what music can do to you.
The sunlit Top of the Park may not be as perfect a setting for this band as some club at midnight, but I'll be there on Friday, June 30, to celebrate Ann Arbor's good fortune to claim Mulholland as our own, obscure or not.
[Review published June 2006]