So an early dailypic, today is going to be busy and I am still celebrating yesterday. Stop back ere tomorrow for Labor Day Bash photos but for now more on the New England Songwriters Retreat, and Dan. I have been around musicians/singers for years, in high school, at a record store, friends, wife, photography, though I can not play or sing, music has always been a massive part of my life. To watch that part of my life branch off to Dan is something on an entirely different level. I spent the day yesterday photographing the New England Songwriters Retreat led by Ellis Paul. The event itself is incredible, 70ish songwriters taking classes, sharing music, and just having a blast. Dan joined me, but he was there as a student, as a songwriter. And among these talented women and men, he held his own. Participating in the classes, sharing his music, offering advice, listening… and absorbing it all. One of the youngest there, I did not get to, nor want to stay by his side the whole time. I had a job to do. I would turn a corner and Dan would be laughing and smiling with other musicians, I would step into his class for some photos, and he would be there on stage sharing a song and how he wrote it. At dinner, another songwriter was taking notes as he spoke about his process and what he has learned from Ellis. But that was not the most impressive part, that was when others sought me out to talk to me about Dan. Most conversations were similar, “He is only 17?”, “Old soul,” “Pure talent,” “Just a great kid,” “You must be so proud.” I am proud, every day that much more. To see Dan where he belongs is one of biggest joys in my life. The night ended with a staff concert, and then song circles broke out. Dan, five others and Ellis Paul sitting in a circle, each taking a turn sharing a song. It gets to Dan, and Ellis requests his song Day Dreamer. I know the exact thought going through his head, “Ellis f’n Paul is requesting a song I wrote.” But he remained calm, collected and killed it. And of course, I was the proud Dad in the back recording it.