Late professional start as folk singer no hindrance for C. Daniel Boling

Posted by Chip Chandler on
C. Daniel Boling will perform Tuesday at FireSlice Pizzeria.
Photo by Ira Hantz

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

After a career protecting America's natural resources, C. Daniel Boling finally got the chance to return to his first love of songwriting.

Boling — who'll make his Amarillo debut on the FireSongs concert series Tuesday at Fire Slice Pizzeria — worked for three decades as a park ranger and investigator for the u.S. Bureau of Land Management before retiring and pursing his passion for performing.

"(Back) then, making a living in music didn't seem terribly viable, and then I found a wife and we had a child," Boling said. "Unless you happen to catch the braass ring, making a living for a family with music is really hard."

But Boling — who'll perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the pizzeria, 7306 S.W. 34th Ave, Suite 10 — never totally put his guitar away, nor did he stop writing songs. That helped him release three albums while still working for the government and another four since he began touring full-time nine years ago.

Getting a late start as a professional slowed his ability to make connections in the folk world, "so I had some catching up to do ... but maybe with a little luck, I'll get to put as many years into music full-time as I did in my previous career."

Since going full time, he's off to a good start, having been named the winner of the Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk songwriter contest in 2014 and performs more than 100 shows a year.

From the beginning, when he was learning to harmonize alongside his sisters and amateur musician mother, folk music has been at the heart of his art.

"I think folk music, ballads, songs that told stories was always where my heart lay," Boling said.

And he's especially fond of a listening room atmosphere like he'll find at Fire Slice.

"That's the only kind of show I do anymore other than some festivals," Boling said. "I'm a storyteller. I just happen to use msuic as my medium to get the story across."

The show is free. For information, call 806-331-2232.




Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.

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