OC Weekly's Band of the Week

Dano Forte's Juke Joint Freakshow
is an apt name for a one-man blues band extravaganza. Dano Forte is a surf board shaper by day who plays the harmonica, the bass drum, and the guitar while he growls out bluesy hooks over a simple, four-on-the-floor beat. He joined us to talk about music, the Orange County/Long Beach music scene, Lady Gaga and catalog guitars from the 1950s and 1960s.


OC Weekly (Kristina Benson): What's the best tape or record you've got for less than $5?
Dano Forte: After seeing the movie “Crossroads” years ago, I wanted to get a sound track to the movie. Awesome harmonica playing. So I went to Tower Records ask the guy for it,  he said they did not have it. He showed me the blues section,  and said, “Grab any record.  They all sound the same.” I grabbed Muddy “Mississippi” Waters Live for $4.99, and it changed my world.
There are so many amazing bands in the Orange County music scene. How do you feel you fit into it? What do you contribute? 
Not many one-man bands playing juke joint style rhythm and blues in Orange County!  So I definitely bring that. It seems to fit in with all types of music.
How do you feel your sound has changed in the past year? 
I have only been doing the Juke Joint Freak Show for about a year, so it's been mostly about getting a good guitar and harmonica tone and getting the drums set worked out. The suitcase has been working pretty well for that.
If you could buy any piece of gear for under $200, what would it be?
I got it bad for cheap catalog guitars from the '50s and '60s. I sure would like to find a Kay Speed Demon for under $200.
If you could add any instrumentalist(s) to your band what would it be and why?
Maybe a washboard player or a washtub bass player or a tuba player to play the bass lines. But then it would not be a one-man band anymore!
If you could be produced by any California producer, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I am definitely not up on producers, so if I dropped someone's name, I would be full of shit.
What is your favorite record store in Orange County?
They took away my favorite record store, Underdog Records. I have been lost ever since.
If you could have anyone remix one of your songs, who would it be and why?
Maybe Lady Gaga. Or maybe we don't do a remix maybe just have Honeyboy Edwards or T-Model Ford come around, and we could drink some whiskey and play some blues.
You can see Dano Forte at the Avalon Bar on February 24

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