MUSIC | “Rasta Bard” David Daniels pulls the plug on the Talkin’ Roots Crew


There’s bad news and there’s good news. Rasta Bard David Daniels is pulling the plug on the Talkin’ Roots Crew—but he’s going to keep writing and performing solo and, possibly, as Reggae Ensemble Theatre.

Daniels has done his damnedest to defy convention and not come up too badly. He keeps running out of venues to play (because you never know when he’ll break out with some herb on stage) yet he keeps finding new ones. He can’t make the mainstream press to save his dreadlocks, but soon as word gets around that he’s performing somewhere, it’s standing room only. Forget about finding his solo CD, Talkin’ Roots. It’s sold out of two printings. However, he moved on to record 4:20 Report as David Daniels and the Talk Roots Crews; you can find that record at shops around Minneapolis.

With him for the upcoming Talkin’ Roots Crew farewell show are Van Nixon, Nate Stevens, Ike Russell, and Dan Boldt. Should prove to be a lively night. Daniels’s grassroot-spawned popularity has never been greater; he packed the Acadia Café to the rafters late last year. Why, then, is he shelving the band? “People evolve and artists evolve,” says Daniels. “In that evolution, sometimes one realizes that the form used in the past doesn’t quite fit where one is at today. This is the case with me with the Talkin’ Roots Crew.”

Okay, fine. David Daniels is still David Daniels, whether it’s with these guys or not. For the past few years, he’s been woodshedding, coming up with a solo piece he calls Kowtown. “It’s a series of vignettes set in 1980s Denver, Colorado. One departure from previous works is that Kowtown contains no reggae music and no references to marijuana. It’s progressed to the point where I expect to present it in Denver sometime this year.” That ain’t all. “In addition to Kowtown, there’s been another play in the hopper and I have various storytelling projects in the works. I can’t say at this time when the public will see them.” So, making it down to this show would be a smart move.

I’m sworn to divulge any possible conflict of interest. Accordingly: I’ve opened for David Daniels a couple times and he’s doing liner notes for my in-the-works CD. The Talkin’ Roots Farewell Show is Sunday, April 19th, 8 p.m. at the Acadia Café. No cover. Do you need to be told to get there early?

Dwight Hobbes is a writer based in the Twin Cities. He contributes regularly to the Daily Planet.