Behind the unpolished exterior of Daniel Huscroft’s bushy beard and dusty boots lies a masterful musician who cut his teeth on a piano, and picked up his first violin when he was five. He was schooled in Vivaldi concertos and old-time fiddle; by 12 years old, he had travelled the continent, competing nationally and performing alongside his musician father and sisters in the Huscroft Family Band — and he plays Jan. 10 at the Snoring Sasquatch.
In 2000, Huscroft began playing guitar with U.S. recording artist Sarah Kelly, and went on to write for her first two major albums, Take Me Away and Between the Lines, both of which garnished Grammy nominations and further awards. During this period, Huscroft played and recorded with many of his heroes, including Slash, Gary Novac, Nick Lashley and Mike Clink (Guns N’ Roses).
In 2003, Huscroft returned to Canada and put together his own band in Calgary Alberta. Strada was a wildly popular indie rock band booked by Feldman, sharing tours with Switchfoot and Stabilo Tea Party, and winning numerous battles of the bands.
In 2006, Huscroft began experimenting with an acoustic approach to his instrumental work, replacing the pick with his fingers. In Vancouver, he connected with singer/songwriters Ryan McAllister (Dakona, Maverick Records) and Barnaby McRae and recorded the Cowboys and Indians album. His presence on the West Coast was quickly recognized, and led to session work on dozens of independent projects, including Canadian Idol, Miss Wisconsin’s album and with producer Daniel Mendez (Dashboard Confessional, Duran Duran).
In the spring of 2010, Huscroft released his first solo album, Here Is Just For Now. Funded in part by a grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts, and co-produced by Mendez, the record is a stark departure from the electric guitar-driven rock and pop of his past. Recorded live with a finger style acoustic guitar and full string section, the album abounds with what he calls “Kootenay moments” — tracks inspired by the generations of Huscrofts who made their home and their lifeblood in the southern British Columbia, Canada hills and valleys. The result is a sense of haunting mountain solitude with unexpectedly sweet song and gruff soulful vocals that transition to serene falsetto and back again.
Even with the growing success of Here Is Just For Now, Huscroft continues to choose experience over security, and honesty over production. And out of that seeming disarray he’ll continue to produce perfectly orchestrated forest songs and mountain masterpieces.
Tickets for Huscroft’s show are $10 in advance at Kingfisher Quality Used Books & Black Bear Books, and $13 at the door, which open at 6 p.m.; the show starts at 7.