Five Firsts: Dan Costello of Dan & Rachel

Dan and Rachel
Dan and Rachel

NAME: Dan Costello
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, Vocals

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS …“C.M.B,” the debut album by Color Me Badd. It was 1992. I was 11 years old, and I had no idea what I was doing. I got a gift coin from Record Town (remember them?), and we had just gotten a CD player at home. I remember my dad saying to me, “Are you sure this is the one you want?” And I remember thinking, “My friends are going to think this is so cool!” Ugh. Peers. I regretted buying it almost instantly. It cost $18.99. My parents’ record collection was pretty exceptional. Whenever I’m at their house I page through it the way I did as a child. But I was such a fool. I wish I could say it was “Nevermind.”

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … As a young kid, I really dug folk acts at the Old Songs Festival, people like Utah Philips, Michael Cooney, Lou and Peter Berryman. I’m sure I went to a Sharon, Lois & Bram concert as a kid. But my first real concert was Elvis Costello at SPAC in 1994. Crash Test Dummies were the openers. It was that day I learned that Elvis Costello was a pseudonym. To this day people ask me, “Any relation to Elvis?” (No.) My oldest brother took me, and I thought that being in a rock band seemed like the coolest job in the world.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … A clarinet that my parents bought for me when I was in fifth grade. I used to wail in my basement, and play my school band music over and over. I owe my parents big-time for putting up with that. And my neighbors, I suspect. I’ve always been pretty loud at music.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … This recurring theme in a production of “The Gingerbread Boy” when I was in first grade. The school was assembled for the Winter Celebration at PS #16 in Albany. We got our parts when our teacher Mrs. Coogan picked numbers from a hat. I was randomly cast in the title role. Each time I’d run away from a new friend, I’d sing, “I’m the Gingerbread Boy, I am, I can run from you, I can.” At the end, the Gingerbread Boy goes home, and hugs the Little Old Lady when they are reunited. Aww. She was played by this girl Lillian Wright, and my brothers teased me about it at least through middle school. Somewhere along the story-telling line, it was turned into a kiss. I was five years old. C’mon, guys. After that, it was the middle school talent show where I showcased my range and angst with “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from “Wizard of Oz” and “Tie Your Mother Down” by Queen.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … It was called Creaky Boards, an indie-pop group that gave me an introduction to touring in Europe. This was just a few years ago, 2007. I was a fan and friend of the band, and the lead singer was having problems with his hands and needed someone to take over the keyboards. Later on, he also put out a video kind of jokingly accusing Coldplay of plagiarizing one of our songs. My brother called me up to say, “They were just talking about your band on Howard Stern!” I guess that’s how you know you know you’ve broken through the mainstream firewall, when your band gets name-dropped on Stern. Though that band is history now.

Dan Costello teams up with his wife and musical partner Rachel Devlin to perform a rare pop music concert at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany at 7pm on Saturday (August 25). The friendly and theatrical Brooklyn-based rock n’ roll duo Dan & Rachel will be previewing songs from their upcoming album “Plus One,” with a limited edition pre-release version available for purchase at the show. Opening the show will be songwriter-banjo player Debe Dalton (their Kale Records label-mate) and Nippertown favorite Michael Eck. Tix are $15.

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