Live Review: Dan Navarro at Rockwood Music Hall in NY

Material: His multi-city tour would not have been complete without a stop in New York City. Grammy nominated songwriter, Dan Navarro, is pressing on despite the latest Covid variant that is once again upending live entertainment.

Showcasing a variety of songs from his catalogue, Navarro proved that writing across several genres comes naturally. “Bullet Proof Heart,” a hauntingly beautiful ode to a past lover, describes the emotional unavailability of that partner: One perfect kiss blew the shackles apart/ that keep you locked inside your bullet proof heart… So where are the fault lines/ how deep are the ties/can I ever touch the fire I see in your eyes…and all the king’s horses and all the king’s men/can’t put the genie back in the bottle again. “The Devil’s in The Details,” an up-tempo rocker, portrays someone caught in the grasp of love’s manipulation: Love is a living thing/makes you high and makes you sing/underneath she hides her sting/the devil’s in the details/love is a southern wind/blows you down and sucks you in/whips you and it’s gone again/the devil’s in the details. 

Musicianship: Navarro’s voice is rich in tone; a little raspy along the edges, but authentic and unadorned. His expression reads genuine, as does his guitar work which features more gentle guitar licks on the acoustic side and spirited strumming on rock numbers.

Performance: Navarro has quite the well of artistic stories to draw from which he shared throughout the show. He recently released an album of Led Zeppelin songs re-imagined, treating the audience to a bit of “Stairway to Heaven.” He took a few requests before returning to his planned setlist, creating an overall intimate listening experience “The Devil’s in The Details,” whet your appetite for more up-tempo numbers which would have further rounded out the setlist, but that was of minor consequence. Saving the biggest song for last, “We Belong,” recorded by Pat Benatar and nominated for a Grammy that year, was truly a thrill hearing it sung by the songwriter himself. Navarro also recounted the backstory of how the song evolved, from bare bones to mega hit, and why it was almost the song that wasn’t. 

Summary: This show is highly recommended for any up-and-coming songwriter (or even a seasoned one), for a window into the journey of a veteran songwriter and the fortitude required to stick with it. Navarro is currently at work on a new album.

Contact: [email protected], [email protected] (bookings)

Web: dannavarro.com