By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Region – As a young man, Dan McGrath loved music, playing guitar as well as singing and writing songs. But as he got older and family responsibilities took up more of his time, it became just a hobby that he could indulge in now and then.
But now that his children are grown, McGrath is ready, at age 60, to really pursue his passion to make music.
“It’s always been my dream to put out an album,” he said.
McGrath noted that he is not restricted to one genre of music, but rather enjoys playing many types.
“I like all types – bluegrass, Americana, blues, rock, country,” he said.
Currently McGrath plays with a group, Junction 109, along with band members Mark Hamilton, Bucky O’Hare, Mike Tworoger and Jeff Urato.
Although many might wonder that he is finally following his dream of seriously pursuing music at age 60, doing things differently is nothing new to McGrath. An accident many years ago resulted in him losing part of his right arm. Nonetheless, he does not let that stop him from playing guitar. It is just part of who he is.
“When people ask me about how I ‘play guitar like that,’ I just reply ‘The same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Practice, practice, practice,’” he said.
“I play guitar every day and just try to get better and better,” he added.
About three years ago, McGrath entered a singer/songwriter contest sponsored by The Guitar Center. Also entering that contest was Scott Mulvahill, a talented young bass player from Nashville who has played with bluegrass legend Ricky Skaggs.
When Mulvahill had announced on his Facebook page that he would donate his talents and perform on a track for one of his fans, McGrath submitted a clip and then was thrilled when he was chosen.
As a result, Mulvahill played upright bass on Junction 109’s first EP, “Shine On.” With McGrath singing lead vocals, the song is a love song of sorts with tinges of bluegrass and Americana in it.
McGrath also is grateful to Hamilton, he said, for his support. Hamilton, who is Junction 109’s drummer, is also the owner of Caveman Studio, located in Northborough.
“Without Mark and his technical skills none of my music would be possible. He handles everything from drumming and recording to creating the website,” McGrath said. “He is also responsible for the videos I have on YouTube. Mark is the backbone of Junction 109 music and deserves all the credit he can get. “
As much as McGrath enjoys performing, he is also thankful that his music gives him the opportunity to give back to others in need.
“One hundred percent of every purchase I receive from my downloads or CDs go to St. Jude’s Research Hospital and Team Sharing,” he said.
Team Sharing is a nationally based nonprofit group formed to help parents who have lost a child to substance abuse disorder.
“It’s such a huge problem,” McGrath said. “I know so many people who have lost family members to this disease.”
A resident of Marlborough for many years, McGrath now lives in Weymouth with his wife, Robin. The couple has three adult children- Callie, Loren, and Adam and two grandchildren, Olivia and Jackson. Everyone is supportive of his passion to play music, McGrath said.
In fact, Adam is a musician as well, playing the drums as part of the group, Birnam Wood.
“He’s really good,” McGrath said of his son. He also plays the guitar and writes songs of his own. Sometimes we play together for fun.”
For more information visit www.junction109music.com as well as their Facebook page.