After nearly twenty years working as a professional musician, it's little wonder that Dave Calandra plays guitar like his life depends on it, and it's also no accident that he writes songs that dwell in your subconscious for days at a time. His rugged vocals, fluid guitar-style and haunting compositions have been aptly described by industry veterans as sounding like Mark Knopfler and Kelly Joe Phelps covering the works of the late, great J.J. Cale.
Playing solo or accompanied by 'The Min Min Lights' (Susie Bishop - violin/backing vocals, Johan Delin - double bass/backing vocals), Dave’s songs are refreshing and contemporary, yet layered with subtle folk and blues undertones. A gifted songwriter with a knack for contagious melodies, he draws from his wealth of life experience and pens one beautiful song after another.
On-stage he is a formidable performer, utilizing a carefully crafted guitar-sound and a swag of alternate tunings to weave songs within songs. His many years of touring and adventure have given occasion to become a generous storyteller, hence his 'between-song' travel-stories are dispensed with eloquence and charm, and a healthy dose of humour.
During the course of his career Dave has released four EP’s and two albums independently, and he'll start recording his third full length album in the near future. His debut album ‘Alchemy’ was released in March ’06 to widespread critical acclaim, and supported by performances at festivals, concerts, theatres, and folk and blues clubs Australia wide. Several tracks from Alchemy have also featured in a number of TV series and commercials, both in Australia and the U.S..
Although dedicated to his craft, he is a passionate individual with many interests and has pursued his muse in search of further inspiration. Among other journeys he has spent time living with aboriginal people in central Australia, studied classical music in India, travelled solo around Australia on a motorcycle, made numerous surfing trips to Indonesia, and also spent four years performing and recording in New York.
Dave is currently based in Sydney and works as a full-time musician. Alchemy and Gone Too Far are both available worldwide through Itunes, Bandcamp and CDBaby.
"Dave has a laidback but very listenable voice, the songwriting skills are superb, and the musicianship is of the highest order." Trad and Now Magazine (Aus)
"Calandra possesses a strong vocal that is quite breathy in style and very easy on the ear, and backs it up with fine acoustic guitar work…..There’s not a music fan around who shouldn’t sit up and take notice. Outstanding!" Phil Daniels -Folking.com (UK)
"Although there are references to Nick Drake, Elliott Smith and Jeff Buckley, Dave Calandra is unmistakably exploring his own wonderfully quirky vocabulary….. A delightful album. Five stars!" Cdbaby.com (USA)
"Beautiful guitar work, sometimes reminiscent of Bruce Cockburn, and a honey smooth voice combined to deliver his very appealing set….Dave was the perfect ‘Fairlight Folk’ performer, and left the audience cheering for more." Rosie McDonald - Fairlight Folk Club
"Alchemy did for me what a big spliffo does for smokers... it helped me chill the f*#@ out.". Fi Poole - FBI Radio (Aus)
"By far one of the strongest performers on the Australian folk and roots scene" Sebastion Skeet - Drum Media (Aus)