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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Dan Bubien & The Delta Struts

Dan’s been making music around Pittsburgh since he was a teen so there’s a good chance you already know him well. The band’s latest – “Times Like These” – is a love appreciation song that came together while Dan and his wife and their son were, like us all, stuck at home for a while.

Dan Bubien spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar about not limiting his music to one genre, gigging in January, and cheeseburgers.

This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.

What’s your musical history up to this point?

I’ve been a local musician for more than my entire adult life. I started playing out in bars and clubs when I was 16. I’ve released 5 full albums among several singles of original music to date. In addition to playing out live, whether solo or with my band the “Delta Struts”, I have a home studio I’ve been investing in and have been recording, producing, mixing and engineering a lot of music myself now.

How do you describe your sound?

I’d call it Blues In-fused Soulful Roots/Rock. I love so many styles of music and seem to can’t help but incorporate many of them in the original music I write. That was one of the challenges and reasons for deciding on “Delta Struts” for the band name. I know I’m not gonna just write blues songs, or funk songs, or soul songs, or country music. I kinda write with the idea of blending all those styles and sonics together, hopefully in a way that one day becomes identifiably my own. And I wanted a band name that kinda supported that, where you could release a bluesy type EP, or a funk EP or a rootsy swampy alt-country type EP and it all feel right and not be too far a stretch and fall under that “Delta Struts” umbrella.

Tell us more about the song “Times Like These.” What inspired you to write it?

It’s a lockdown song. I wrote it during lockdown and recorded it and played all the parts myself. What inspired the song was really just sitting in lockdown for all that time with nothing but my family (wife and son) by my side, as we were all going crazy. It’s a pretty straightforward song about love getting you through hard times.

What was the first album that really changed your life? 

Probably Pearl Jam’s "Ten." That came out right at a pivotal time for me. That’s generationally my era and I was really getting into music at that time when it came out. Along with Clapton’s “From the Cradle” and The Gathering Field’s "Lost In America." I would fall asleep every night listening to those two albums.

What’s the best part about making music in Pittsburgh?

Gigging in January, lol. Honestly, I feel if you’re a musician or band that wants to gig a lot, there are a lot of places you can play in and around Pittsburgh. We have a lot more places that book live music than people like to give credit for.

Which Pittsburgh artist(s) do you wish more people knew about?

TC Davis

Any other super interesting things we should know about you?

Ummm, I like spaghetti. And cheeseburgers. Like a lot.

Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.