Beaver was born in Michigan City Indiana. At a young age curious
Beaver dug through his father’s drawer to find his first harp. This landed
him in a lot of trouble but allowed him to experiment with it. He then
became interested in Blues music, the music of The Doors, the band Treat Her
Right, and basically any band with harmonica in it. He put the harmonica on
hold for awhile until Actor Bruce Willis played the harmonica in commercials
and inspired him. So right after high school Beaver then decided to brush up
on the harmonica, thinking it would be a fun hobby and a way to attract
girls. In 1990 on a trip to the Asthma doctor in Chicago, Beaver bought his
own first harmonica.
Dan's first professional gig was at an African-American church along with
his friend, Neil Singleton who played the guitar. After a few years of
practicing and “messing around” with the harp, Beaver decided to get serious
and visit blues clubs in Chicago. He participated in his first jam sessions
at Rosa’s Lounge and Buddy Guy’s Legends. Dan
played with guitarist Sam Good and many other musicians. He again took a
short break from the harmonica and pursued acting, finding roles in a few
movies, a commercial, and a television show. During this time he also worked
as a bartender at a casino, before getting fired for playing his harmonica
on the job.
In 2001 a friend introduced Beaver to guitarist John Primer. Primer hired
Beaver to replace harp player Steve Bell son of blues great Carey Bell.
Beaver has produced four of his own CDs titled, Good Days Bad Days, Blue
Eyed Blues. Last Call, and The Goods. On these CDs he had the opportunity to
play with outstanding musicians such as Sammy Fender, harmonica player
Little Mac Simmons, the rhythm
section of the Lonnie Brooks Band, and
many Indiana musicians whom he started off his career with. Dan Beaver is
proud to have had the chance to meet and play with many of the best
harmonica players around. His favorites are (in no particular order):
Sugar Blue, Kim Wilson,
James Cotton, and John Popper. He
also is fond of Bass player Biscuit Miller for teaching him important
performance techniques. Dan also played with John Primer and the Real Deal
Blues Band at local clubs and on the road.
Playing with Primer has had a great impact on his career and taught him many
things about the blues. In the future, Beaver sees himself continuing his
music and getting back into acting.
Overall, harp player Dan Beaver finds it ironic that his fun hobby has given
him a career and taken him all over the world. He hopes there are many more
great opportunities down the road.