by Charlie Swanson
Possessing a mane of long, blonde hair and a blazing alt-country sound, Danny Click is an immediately recognizable figure in Marin County’s music scene, fronting his popular band The Hell Yeahs!, and releasing acclaimed albums of original tunes since moving to the North Bay in 2006.
Click’s new record, “Holding up the Sun,” is due out September 18 on Dogstar Records. It’s a solo release from Click, and the San Rafael songwriter celebrates with a solo acoustic concert on Saturday, Sept. 12, in Mill Valley. Copies of the album will be on hand, as will many of Click’s close friends, like guitarist Stevie Coyle and vocalist Elliott Peck.
Before moving to Marin, Click spent 20 years as the best-kept secret in Austin, Texas, sharing stages with legends like Stevie Ray Vaughn and Lucinda Williams, and touring extensively with Jimmy LaFave. He first visited Marin as a member of LaFave’s band and eventually gravitated here.
“Marin County’s kind of like the Kryptonite of Austin,” Click says. “Texas, not Austin as much, but Texas is really a backwards-thinking state. It’s the polar opposite that way here, but it’s very simpatico in the art and music scene; it’s a wonderful melting pot of talent here.”
Since relocating and forming The Hell Yeahs!, Click has become a staple at Marin venues like Terrapin Crossroads and has jammed with local icons like Carlos Santana, Elvin Bishop and Phil Lesh. Click’s last studio album, 2011’s “Life is a Good Place,” spent more than 12 months on country, pop and Americana radio charts, and his 2013 single release, “Baptize Me Over Elvis Presley’s Grave,” even got airtime on the country cable channel CMT.
For the new album, Click enlisted another music legend in Los Angeles producer Jim Scott, whose credits include engineering for the Rolling Stones, Tom Petty and Johnny Cash.
“It was really an amazing experience,” says Click. “He’s a big believer of playing it live and the sounds we got were fantastic.”
Click and friends, including members of The Hell Yeahs!, spent two weeks in Scott’s Plyrz Studio, a quick turnaround for any band. “That’s all we had money for,” Click says with a laugh. “Jim really did bring out the best in us.”
“Holding up the Sun” is one of Click’s most wide-reaching albums yet, full of lush Americana melodies and Click’s serene, but sizzling guitar work. The album’s title track is actually a ballad, co-written with singer-songwriter Jessie Bridges (daughter of Jeff Bridges). “We came up with the song in about 20 minutes,” says Click. “It’s not what I typically do, but it’s one of my favorite songs that I’ve ever written.”
Danny Click goes solo on Saturday, Sept. 12 at the Throckmorton Theatre, 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley; 8pm; $20-$30; 415/383-9600.