‘Played Once: 16 Impromptus Pondering Empire’ Out Now

The compositions on this recording are all spontaneous. My score is the world we live in. The result is my emotional and musical interpretation of the forces that course through the planet: war and violence, greed and poverty, arrogance and colonialism, consumerism and vapidity, racism and genocide, patriotism and scoundrelism, as well as the obscured inner layers of beauty and fortitude, hope and goodwill, and increasing solidarity among the oppressed.

Each of the sixteen compositions took on its shape as I played; as it sounded the music informed my fingers and led the way through a narrative until a conclusion presented itself.

“Never Again?” is the opening song in the Gaza Suite. “Never again” is a statement of determination and intent that has become the universal reaction to the holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany on the Jews, Roma, homosexuals, communists and other perceived enemies of the Reich in the mid 20th century.

How tragic is it that the main victims of that violence and murder are themselves now perpetuating the same crimes of violence and extermination against the civilian population of Gaza, who have had the temerity to resist the taking of their homeland and culture by the Israeli state, backed by the U.S. and its western allies?

As generational trauma can be passed down from the parent to the child, so too can the people of entire nations, as generations are bombarded with indoctrination and compulsory military service, find themselves traumatized into a state of fear and intolerance. As Zionist leaders have worked to achieve their goal or ridding Palestine of the Palestinians in order to create a wholly Jewish state, they have had to take away their population’s capacity for empathy; they have had to convince Israelis that not only must the Palestinians be replaced, but they must also no longer be seen as valid human beings, in order to deserve the punishment that the Israeli state has decided to mete out to them.

“Never Again?” and the other compositions on this recording are dedicated to finding the strength through love and empathy to be able to defy the dominant paradigm; to resist the greed, selfishness and misplaced pride that drives the daily destruction of the planet and of too many of those who are simply trying to live in peace upon it.

Let’s Pull Our Heads Out of the Sand

All Empires Crumble.

Slavery, land theft and genocide were the foundation and means which fueled the American empire. 400 years later, this empire faces a reckoning.

Freedom, equality and pursuit of happiness are not merely unrealized ideals, they were the lies cum myths necessary to keep a restive population submissive.

The question is, what do we do about it? Do we continue to be mollified by our purchases as we try to buy our way out of despair? Do we allow the daily grind that keeps us worn out and distracted to prevent us from working for a better world? Do we throw in the towel in the face of the all powerful monied interests who now run the show?

Believe it or not, this is neither the first nor the worst time of struggle for justice. Think of the prospects of an enslaved person living during the height of the enslavers’ power. Think of the power dynamic in play on the day that those four young men sat down at a lunch counter in Greensboro. Think of the thousands of people who lived entire lives fighting injustice, dying with no change in sight, but whose work did lead to significant change after their deaths.

This is not a time to give up. Genocide Joe loves to talk about America being at an inflection point. He’s right, although he is not seeing the deeply rooted inflection point that lies at the root of our problems. This isn’t a battle between democracy and fascism, because we don’t have a functioning democracy anymore. The inflection is that our culture is already crumbling. We have lost our empathy, we have lost our interest in community and civic participation, we have embraced materialism as a be all and end all, and that embrace is making us selfish, ignorant of actuality, arrogant and doomed to failure. Already our life spans are shrinking, we spend most of our lives unhappy and under stress. With a nod to Jimmy Cliff, “the American dream is really a nightmare.”

This is a battle for the soul of nation, will it be wholly commodified and fortified to maintain a wealthy elite and continue an ever-widening chasm of inequality between to the 1% and the rest of us, or will we shake off our lethargy and depression, acknowledge the reality that we are the majority and, if we act together, we would have the power to wrench power away from the capitalist and monied interest who are destroying the commonweal for the sake of profit?

Giving up is an option, but not one we can live with.

Green Mountain Mambo ‘Who’s a Patriot?’ Now Streaming

STREAM ‘Who’s a Patriot?’ HERE

“People rarely win wars, governments rarely lose them. They first use flags to shrink-wrap peoples’ minds and suffocate real thought, and then as ceremonial shrouds to cloak the mangled corpses of the willing dead.”
– Arundhati Roy


released February 1, 2012


Dan DeWalt – piano
Steve Sonntag – trumpet & flugelhorn
Clayton DeWalt – trombone
Ben James – drums
Julian Gerstin – congas
Wim Auer – bass

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Charlie Schneeweis, Marlboro Vermont
Cover photo by Rosemary DeWalt

Prepared for digital release by Joel Eisenkramer, Root Cellar Sound

Label contact:

Root Cellar Sound
Joel Eisenkramer


all rights reserved

(time to) Face the Music released on CD and digital

STREAM Face the Music HERE

Pure joy.
Some new tunes.
I call Tim and Wim and ask them to join me on a Monday morning.
No rehearsal, but the music we’ve played together in the last couple of decades serves us well.
Most tunes only need one take – no dubbing or angst.
Just three musicians together, playing for each other.
Lucky me.
I hope you enjoy the music.

As humanity crashes and burns, we can all use some music to keep up our strength to work for a better world.


released November 2, 2023

All tunes written by Daniel J DeWalt (ASCAP) except ‘Dashed Hopes’, written by Mark DeWalt

Dan DeWalt – piano
Wim Auer – bass
Tim Gilmore – drums

Recorded by Joel Eisenkramer, Root Cellar Sound at chez moi South Newfane, Vermont.
Mixed & mastered by Joel Eisenkramer, Root Cellar Sound.
Graphic design by Tim Thrasher, Thrasher Graphics
Digital cover art designed by Joel Eisenkramer

Label contact:

Root Cellar Sound
Joel Eisenkramer