Jun 25 , 2019


Coming Home To This Music City
by Tafi Stober

Two characteristics were immediately evident when interviewing this Friday's Fountain Park Summer Music Series Feature, Daryl Wayne Dasher - He's humble and he is unabashedly proud of his Northwest Ohio roots. Daryl Wayne Dasher, who now lives in Nashville, The Music City, is forever tied to Van Wert. "I won my first music contest at Hoverman Music when I was 11," Daryl warmly recounted and continued, "It's a huge deal for me to come home and play for the people who gave me opportunity." Daryl's hometown is Paulding, Ohio and he spent much of his young life in and around Van Wert.

"This area is rich with musicians. Just picking up instruments was really nurtured. The Paulding Marching Band was a very strong musical influence in my life and Amy Rader  was a dynamic mentor," Daryl eagerly shares. Visioning a musical future on a bigger stage was made possible by opportunities like playing in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta with the Paulding Marching Band. "By 16 I was already playing clubs. There have always been so many supports in the region to pursue musical outlets and there still are. Coming home to those supports is just a really big deal to me," Daryl shared.

When asked what advice he would give to aspiring musicians, Daryl's honesty reflected his own life experience. "It's a struggle. You have to establish the feeling that there is no escape from your dream. You must feel like you're not existing if you're not playing music. You must love it at that level to overcome the struggle," Daryl admitted. For Dasher, his music must not only fulfill his life but also give life to those who are listening.

"Create. create. Create. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You're going to write some bad songs," added Dasher.

The VWCF powers the Fountain Park Summer Series through the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation thanks to an $83K grant made possible by philanthropists in the community who believed in the power of music in our culture. "That's what it takes to spark a music scene and to inspire future musicians," indicated Daryl of the gift of music in Van Wert.

Daryl Wayne Dasher is involved in "The Last Honky Tonk Music Series" that is powered by a philosophy of music being a powerful healer in society. " Music brings people together. We must take responsibility and make sure that we are aiming our work in the right direction," lends Dasher.

Friday night will be memorable for Daryl Wayne Dasher and his band as well as any soul who chooses their own parcel of lawn to spread out on at Fountain Park. Daryl's band is a regional "Who's Who" of music and includes Dan Russell on Pedal Steel Guitar. Dan played with Dry Branch Fire Squad and many more.  Chuck Mauk of Perrysburg, Ohio on Drums. Morgan Bland, from Hicksville, OH and presently attending Belmont University in Nashville, is on Fiddle. Verl Dasher is on Upright Bass. You may notice a resemblance between him and Daryl. Besides being a Rockstar father, Verl is known for his involvement in Boy Scouts of America as the Scout Master of Troop 315 in Paulding as well as the Bass player in the Bottom of the Barrel Boys band from Grover Hill, Ohio. Lori and Brad Lambert perform Backing Vocals. They also Run the Moon City Music & Event Center in Wapakoneta, Ohio and play in the band "New Outlook". The playlist for Friday will include a full spectrum of styles and genres including Classic Country, music of the Outlaws, to Rock and a "Daryl Version" tribute to fellow Ohio music artists, Twenty-One Pilots. Fountain Park will certainly be alive with music!

Daryl has taken his best to Nashville and now returns to celebrate his respected roots. As Daryl indicated, "Van Wert has built a sense of community around music." We are writing history through a song. Is it fitting to say that when people come home to Van Wert that they are coming home to music?

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