An Introduction to Danny Leonard

An Introduction to Danny Leonard

What's up everyone! My name is Danny, and I'm going to be joining the Coffee & Shugar team as a Contributor sharing my thoughts and interest around music. Super excited to be here. Here is a little about me:

My musical interest began when I was a child. My mom’s side of the family was always looking for an excuse to get together, and nine times out of ten those parties had some kind of country music playing in the background. From Charlie Daniels to Brad Paisley, I heard it all and to this day when I think back on the “good ol’ days” that music feels like home. My Dad, however, was (and is) into 70’s and 80’s rock. I remember riding in the truck with him and hearing Duran Duran, Foreigner, ACDC, and so on playing on the radio as we rolled on down the road so I’ll always associate that music with father-son time no matter what we were doing. Back then I was more of a passive listener just taking in the sounds and catchy lyrics without any real bias towards one particular genre. Unbeknownst to me, that spongey young brain of mine absorbed those sounds and planted the seeds of what would become a bit of an obsession later on in my life.

By the time I was in fifth grade, my interests became more solidified as I began to branch out into different kinds of music. My sister had a huge influence in those years when she introduced me to the world of pop-punk. I still vividly remember when she put Fall Out Boy’s From Under the Cork Tree into a CD player and skipped straight to track 4: Sugar We’re Going Down. The opening drum beat followed by the fat guitar chords sucked me in and the clever tongue-in-cheek lyrics had me hanging on to every last line. From then on, I was hooked and an entire musical world was unlocked for me, expanding my musical horizon well beyond Toby Keith and Mr. Mister to anywhere from John Mayer to Slipknot.

Photo by Samuel Woods / Unsplash

It was around this same time that I joined the elementary school band on the drum line and began actually learning how to read music and get involved in making the sounds I knew and loved. Normally, each one of us on the line were playing one instrument; either the snare drum, bass drum or some auxiliary percussion piece but I knew I wanted to do more than that. I remember one discussion I had with my sister where she told me that I should get a drum set because “drummers get all the girls.” Whether or not that’s true is still up for debate but to my adolescent mind, my choice was clear: I had to get a drum set. I was about twelve or thirteen when I convinced my parents to let me buy a cheap set up with some birthday and odd-job money I earned and that is what truly lead to where I am today. Despite ambiguous evidence of female companionship in relation to playing the drums, I’m about thirteen years deep in the game and I can honestly say that making that decision changed my life forever. When I’m behind the kit the entire world fades away and as I’m moving in beat with the song, the audible becomes tangible and getting lost in that feeling is the greatest form of therapy I’ve ever known.

To me, music is a lot of things. It’s a mood enhancer, a getaway car, and a consoling friend all wrapped up with a pretty bow just waiting to be unwrapped with the push of a button or the swing of a drumstick and I don’t want to think about what life would be without it.

Through this series of small articles, I’m going to introduce you to some of my favorite vinyl records from my personal collection and with any luck I’ll give you some interesting roadside attractions to pull over and see during your journey down the road of music.

Thanks for listening,