Waterloo Region Record - - NIGHTLIFE - Co­ral An­drews

When Dana Komer was young she had a Mickey Mouse record player.

“I was three years old and I had a wooden tam­bourine. My mom had made a cos­tume out of th­ese shiny blues cur­tains and that was my Patsy Gal­lant dress. I used to dance around my Mickey Mouse player a lot,” says Komer. “My dad was very into mu­sic and so I grew lis­ten­ing to Buddy Holly and Elvis — all of those greats. I am pretty sure I de­stroyed his records.”

But Komer did not start singing pub­licly un­til her early 20s, and now she has been at it for 20 years. Her lat­est project is Dana K & The Rem­edy — a Water­loo-based funk ’n’ blues, rockin’ soul group, who are re­leas­ing their first al­bum, “Still Time.”

She’s also the lead singer of classic rock full-tilt boo­gie cover band Zed, and multi­genre cover band Jacked.

“Jacked owns a lit­tle piece of my heart be­cause my un­cle is in that band. He was in Zed some time ago way back when the band first started. I was not the singer of Zed,” says Komer. “I ended up sub­bing in for a guy who was away. I was al­lowed to join their guys night only be­cause I was fam­ily — so they could keep prac­tic­ing.

“Then when he came back a cou­ple months later I got a phone call say­ing that they had voted and de­cided I could stay. That was be­fore we ever came out of the base­ment. I dis­cov­ered a kind of magic there.”

In 2008, Komer sang with indie band Cal­liope’s Ra­dio. The band put out one al­bum called “Sleep Long and Smile.” Dana K & The Rem­edy is Komer’s first orig­i­nal project since that band. The mem­bers in­clude Howard Brown (Groove­yard) on gui­tar, Jimmy Rup­now (The Ex­cep­tional Gen­tle­men) on keys, Ja­son Hein (Bob Seger trib­ute band Kath­mandu) on bass, and Steve Brack­ett (Alyssa Mor­ris­sey) on drums.

She says the idea for Dana K & The Rem­edy be­gan when she and Brown were per­form­ing at a char­ity event in Elmira. Brown was there with Groove­yard.

“Howard had this vi­sion for a blues band that he al­ways wanted to put to­gether. He had ap­proached me at that event and said hey do you think there is any in­ter­est in do­ing some­thing with the blues. I said of course! I grew up lis­ten­ing to rock and roll and blues I had loved go­ing to the blues fes­ti­val so I jumped at the chance to do it,” she says.

“We had re­cruited a few other lo­cal mu­si­cians to put to­gether this con­cept. Howie had been play­ing in Groove­yard with Jimmy Rup­now who is our keys player as well. Then we found Steve and Ja­son a few months later. They had also been play­ing mu­sic lo­cally for decades. We had all been writ­ing songs and play­ing in var­i­ous bands,” says Komer.

As they con­tin­ued to play, the band be­gan to dab­ble in dif­fer­ent mu­sic gen­res from Mo­town and reg­gae to coun­try and blues.

“That led to the idea that maybe we should try to write some­thing,” says Komer. “We did not re­ally ex­pect to be­come an orig­i­nal band,” she notes.

“Though we have all been at this for a very long time we still have the at­ti­tude that there is still time for this. It is not too late to put your­self out there. And so that is where the con­cept of ‘Still Time’ came from,” she says.

Komer wrote most of the songs, with the ex­cep­tion of “Back of the Train,” writ­ten by Steve Brack­ett who also pro­duced the al­bum at his Kitch­ener stu­dios.

Ev­ery song has its own mu­si­cal stamp be it rock and funk, coun­try honky-tonk, blues, roots reg­gae or a sim­ple acous­tic back­drop. Komer’s sound is wide rang­ing — some­times Adele and Terra Light­foot, some­times Sass Jor­dan or Johnette Napoli­tano of Con­crete Blonde.

“For me, some of the songs tell sto­ries and some of the songs say things that maybe should have been said or could have been said. It hap­pened in that mo­ment. But it doesn’t mean that it is not too late to re­pair this. There’s still time to dream, still time to say I am sorry and still time to have an ad­ven­ture.”


Dana K and The Rem­edy are at De­scen­dants Satur­day Oct 21.

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