EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 27, 2013

after all these years


The first time through,though, it sounded great, he said. And they wondered why they hadn’t performed the song all along.

The musicians aren’t planning to play a lot of new music, however.

“We’ve got a couple new things, we’ll play one or two a night,” Gurley said. “But we’ve just got so much stuff (people) want

to hear and it’s an anniversary show. We don’t have a record to promote. So we won’t be playing a lot of new songs. But we’re always writing as a band. Just during these rehearsals, we’ve come up with two, three new pieces. Because we know each other so well, we can just kind of do it.”

Dada has toured steadily over the last 20 years and now is known as much for its live shows as for its recordings. Those concerts can be Springsteen-ian in length, a dramatic contrast with Dada shows 20 years ago.

“When ‘Puzzle’ came out, as a band, we had 12 songs and a cover,” Gurley said. “Our set was 75 minutes, max. Now it’s open-ended. We could go for an hour-and-a-half, two hours and just keep going. There’s a lot of improvisation in it now. It’s evolved some.”

In fact, over the years they’ve become more of a jam band than a song band, according to Gurley.

“We come out of the Beatles, the Stones, the good rock bands,” he said “But we’re also big fans of instrumentalists, of guys like John Lee Hooker, B.B. King and Jeff Beck. I really am fortunate to be in a band as a sole guitar player with no keyboard player.”

Twenty years after the trio’s debut, Dada is set apart from the vast majority of it early ‘90s contemporaries, most of whom have broken up or faded away. Gurley is quick to acknowledge that his band is a rarity, one of the few bands of its era still working.

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