October 3, 2011
Dan Miraldi, and his band, the Albino Winos, are creating a stir in the music world.
WOOSTER, Ohio – If you’ve not yet heard the music of Dan Miraldi and the Albino Winos, stay tuned — it could be coming soon to a radio station near you.
Miraldi, the lead singer, is a 2009 College of Wooster graduate, and his music, which he describes as “Power Pop,” a blend of pop and rock from the sixties and seventies (think the Raspberries with elements of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Who), is quickly catching on.
The most recent evidence of that came just last week when he and his fellow musicians were chosen by (Cleveland) Plain Dealer music critic John Soeder as one of the Top 25 bands to watch in northeast Ohio. Soeder described Miraldi’s latest release “Rock ‘N Roll Band” as music that will “make you smile and dance.”
Indeed, Miraldi has developed a hit-making sound that attracted the attention of award-winning producer Jim McKell, who invited him to record at his studio in Atlanta last spring. Miraldi also toured the East Coast this past summer with stops in Boston, Baltimore, and New York, and last week (Sept. 28) he performed at the House of Blues in Cleveland to highlight the release of a new album.
“We’re slowly gaining momentum,” said the former English major and religious studies minor who grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Avon, where he still resides. “We’ve been on tour, and we are trying to build a network of followers.”
Miraldi, who plays electric and acoustic guitar as well as keyboard, has had a passion for music since he first opened his mouth. “My mother told me that I sang before I talked,” he quipped, “but I didn’t start playing in a band until my senior year of high school, and I didn’t really learn to play guitar until I came to Wooster.”
Miraldi chose Wooster because his father (David ’75), uncle (Jim ’73) and sister (Virginia ’03) — all musicians — had such a positive experience there. “I knew it was a great school,” he said.
Despite his love for music, however, he decided to pursue a different major. “I wanted English because I always enjoyed it in high school,” he said. “Music was more of an escape for me, not something I really wanted to study.”
While at Wooster, Miraldi formed The Cherry Flavored Elevator, a band that produced an album and played frequently at Common Grounds (Wooster’s substance-free program house) and the College’s annual Battle of the Bands. He and his fellow musicians also played at a number of late-night WAC (Wooster Activities Crew) events.
“I really had a lot of support from my classmates and professors at Wooster,” he said. “I wrote a novella for my I.S. (Wooster’s nationally acclaimed Senior Independent Study project in which a student works one on one with a faculty mentor on a project that results in a thesis, performance, or exhibition of artwork). “I learned a lot about independence and management, and that you have to make things happen, sometimes on your own.”
Since graduation, Miraldi has, in fact, been making things happen. “I am following my dream, and, although there are ups and downs, it is very satisfying,” he said. “ I am having to learn the business end. I had to set up a publishing company for the music, and I booked a tour for my band. I’m not sure where all of this will lead, but it’s what I enjoy the most right now.”
Ideally, Miraldi would like to attract the attention of an agent and sign with a record label, but until that day comes, he is content to take things one note at a time. “There’s no set path in pursuing a career in music, especially rock music,” he said. “I’ve been writing to radio stations and sending them my music, hoping that they will become supporters.”
Obviously, many already are. In addition to the East Coast Tour, the House of Blues gig, the invitation to record in Atlanta, and The Plain Dealer recognition, Miraldi was chosen as a finalist in the John Lennon Song writing competition for “The Holy Roller Stone Revival,” a selection from the album, “Tease,” which he wrote one day while hanging out in his room in Kenarden Residence Hall.
Original material has never been a problem for Miraldi and probably never will be. He estimates that he has already written more than 250 compositions — a good percentage of which he describes as “useful material” that he is saving for future release — and he’s nowhere close to slowing down.
He has also tapped into college radio— a fertile test market for new musicians — with interviews and live performances on two Cleveland-area college stations, and plans to visit Wooster’s WOO 91 sometime this fall.
Miraldi has recorded three albums — one full length (“Thirsty,” 2009) and two extended play (“Tease,” 2010 and “Rock N Roll Band!” 2011) — which are available on iTunes and Amazon. He also has several self-produced videos, which are posted on YouTube and his website.
“I hope things continue to build,” he said. “The key to getting signed is to demonstrate that you have a following. I’m just trying to make the most of every opportunity and take things to the next level.”
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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