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Meet Lady Danville: 'Fun & Catchy but Never Kitschy'

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Lady Danville: Dan Chang, Michael Garner and Matt Frankel (l-r). | Photo by Corey seeholzer.
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LAist first caught Lady Danville live at a singer-songwriter showcase at the Ford Amphitheater this past summer. We enjoyed the trio’s breezy pop tunes and polished set, and wanted to find out a little more about the former UCLA a cappella singers.

We e-mailed a few questions to vocalist/pianist Michael Garner who was in the midst of prepping for tonight’s show at Dakota Lounge in Santa Monica.

Who is Lady Danville?
Lady Danville is Michael Garner (piano/vocals), Dan Chang (guitar/vocals), and Matt Frankel (percussion/vocals), an acoustic folk rock trio based out of Los Angeles. None of us are originally from LA. Dan and I are both from Danville (Calif.) but we didn’t meet until in LA when we formed an acoustic folk duo, mikey g and dan from danville.

How did you come up with the name?
A few years later, Matti joined the two of us to make our current trio, but for some reason, we kept our awkward 2-person band name for the 3 of us... until that one fateful day...We were being interviewed by a local newspaper after a show, and the interviewer asked us how/when music first came into our lives. Dan said that he had a kindergarten teacher, a wonderful hippy as he remembers her, who brought fun instruments to class every day for the kids to play. He remembered calling her "lady" (as some kids call older women when we felt no need to honor their proper name). Turns out I had "lady" for my kindergarten teacher as well, albeit two years after Dan, and I was equally as fond of this woman and grateful to her for bringing music into my life. As Dan and I discovered this new connection from childhood, Matti jumped in and said, "Ha, my aunt is a kindergarten teacher in Danville. I wonder if it's the same woman. But her name isn't Lady, it's Gloria." Turns out it was the same woman! This called for a band-name-change. But we didn't like the sound of "Gloria Danville" so we went with "Lady Danville."

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Who are your musical influences?
Ben Folds, Guster, Death Cab, The Decemberists, Simon and Garfunkel, Rufus Wainwright

Spoon by Lady Danville: