Saturday, December 13, 2008

Daniel Beck: King of Song

A few years ago I bought my first Liken the Scriptures DVD,, Ammon and Lamoni about Ammon’s mission to the Lamanites. I was surprised how entertaining these somewhat campy little musicals were that my kids absolutely LOVE, but mostly I was impressed with the high quality music, lyrics, and vocal production . . . especially the voice of the man playing King Lamoni…Daniel Beck At once his voice stood out in its beauty and pure tone and, like so many other listeners, I couldn’t help but compare Daniel’s voice to Josh Groban’s.

While Dan, as he’s known by, sings slightly higher than Josh, there is no mistaking that his voice is just as fabulous. In an earlier article I wrote about Jessie Clark Funk’s latest album, Everything Speaks His Name found at, I mentioned her duet with Daniel Beck singing David Foster’s The Prayer being “magnificent”. Having just attended Dan’s first concert for his breakout album Love Like That, where he sang The Prayer with Jenny Jordan Frogley, INCREDIBLE is all that is left in my vocabulary. Jessie Clark Funk had her baby the day before Dan’s concert, so Jenny was asked to do the duet with Dan. She was an awesome matchup with Dan making their duet absolutely electrifying especially when Dan broke into Italian. Few people can sing Italian as gorgeously…Josh Groban and Andrea Boticelli come to mind…and yes I dare put Dan Beck in league with them. We are so blessed in the LDS music world to claim Dan as one of our own and hopefully the world will soon get to know him as we have.

I absolutely recommend a visit to Dan’s website, where you can read Dan’s musical biography and hear samplings in the music section of some of his best recordings from past projects; like “You Raise Me Up”, found on the 2007 EFY CD POWER IN PURITY, I Used to be Like You from Liken the Scriptures DVD David and Goliath where of course he is playing King Saul, and his beautiful duet of The Prayer with Jessie Clark Funk on Jessie’s latest album Everything Speaks His Name.

So what does Dan’s future hold? Well I asked him that recently.

Dan I thoroughly enjoyed your first concert promoting your breakout album Love Like That. What can we expect from you in the future as far as performances and will we possibly be hearing from you in future Liken the Scriptures productions?

I’ve just booked guest spots on “American Idol,” and “Dancing with the Stars,” gigs on the AMA’s, Grammys, and we’re filming my PBS special next week. Nah, just kidding, but we can dream can’t we? More realistically, in the coming months I hope to be able to do more concerts locally as well as in many other states to introduce people to the music on this album. There will be an even bigger marketing push for the album for Valentine’s day being an album of love songs and all. Jessie Clark Funk and I are currently working on a big Valentine variety show that we’ll be doing at the Rose Wagner Theater (that place is becoming my second home) on Valentine’s day. I sure have loved working with the good friends at Liken the Scriptures and they’ve just announced auditions for their production of “Jonah and the Great Fish” that will be filming next year. I’m planning on auditioning so I don’t know yet if I’ll be involved or not, but even if I’m not cast, hopefully they’ll give me a job as a page or something like that just so I can be a part of it again.

I was impressed with your loving expressions for your family. How do you go about balancing the need to be husband and father as well as entertainer?

Well, the family is definitely first and tops for me so there’s not a huge contest here. I think of it more as a dad who happens to be a singer/performer as well. My family is such a huge part of who I am, so when I’m performing, I just try to be real and who I really am, and when I’m doing so, they are there with me. That definitely makes it easier to just be dad and a real person both while performing and when the show is over. After the show it’s back to life I love so much as a husband and father and really couldn’t be more ordinary and that’s the way it has to be, for me. There is a bit of a balancing act when it comes to still working full time at a day job and performing on the side. I still have to make sure that the family has the time that we need to be together and to just be, and that it’s not crowded out by shows or concerts and the like.

However great Daniel Beck’s voice is, without doubt his greatest asset is his family and his devotion to them. Throughout his concert he mentioned his family many times; especially his wife who you could tell was the real sparkle behind Dan’s eyes. I found Dan charming and approachable as an artist who cares about his audience and enjoys engaging them in his concert. We all had a great laugh, including Dan, when he completely forgot the opening lyrics to one of his songs. He finally got it on his third try and you could just see him doing all he could to contain his laughter as he sang the rest of the song without a hitch. Truly a fun and funny entertainer, and of course FABULOUS singer, so I highly recommend attending one of his concerts in the future, and don’t forget to buy your copy of Love Like That.

© Julie Keyser