Mosquito-B’s Dan Louis says his record label offered to fly him from his Quebec City home to Nashville for a one-off gig he’s playing there this weekend. But he told the label he’d rather drive. “A road trip is always more fun,” agreed our waitress yesterday when she heard Louis’ story as we sat and talked over a few beers.
On his “Spring Buzz” tour, Louis is stopping at cities like Rochester, Buffalo and Columbus as he drives south. He’s hoping to generate some interest in his new CD, Raid, and he’s taking along a guitar in the shape of the continental States that he plans to decorate with stickers from various cities along the way.
Wearing a bright blue American Eagle T-shirt and tattered blue jeans, Louis definitely looks like a ragged rocker. But he came into music a roundabout way. He taught himself to play bass, piano and drums when he was in his teens, but he initially chose to go to college and study graphic design rather than pursue music. “My dad was willing to let me try to make it as a musician and offered to pay for everything,” he says. “I said no. I had too many friends who were trying to go pro and so broke they couldn’t afford to eat anything but peanut butter. I thought I was too young at the time and it’s easy to lose control at that age.”
After 10 years in the advertising industry, Louis began recording his first CD in 2001. He toured Winnipeg, Brunswick and Quebec. For his second album, he signed a deal with Marc Durand, the man behind '80s one-hit-wonders Men Without Hats. Durand encouraged him to start singing in English, which he does on Raid, a collection of straight-forward rock tunes punctuated by a hard rocking cover of the Broadway standard “Send in the Clowns.”
“In the fall, I hope to have a chance to play the cities I’ve visited,” says the 39-year-old Louis. “The whole point of this is to prove that I’m not an MP3. I’m also somebody. I just wanted to meet with people. So many bands are booked on paper. If your city one day welcomes me with show, at least I introduced myself first.” —Jeff Niesel