Local singer-songwriter Dain Mergenthaler will be performing at Willow on State’s first Friday festivities tomorrow
By P.J. D’Annunzio, Staff Writer, UnionvilleTimes.com
KENNETT — For Dain Mergenthaler, songwriting has been a lifelong fascination. His passion for music started at a young age, inspired like so many others by the rock and roll revolution spurred by four young lads from Liverpool.
“When the Beatles came out I was 9 years old. My brother runs in the room and starts yelling ‘The Beatles’ are on, so well all gathered in the living room to watch. I actually saw them on Ed Sullivan,” Mergenthaler remembers. “I grew up on Lennon-McCartney songwriting. Started playing guitar at 13 or so, piano 15 or so, started playing in bands at 18 and played local places around Wilmington.”
In the next few years Mergenthaler would bounce between a series of bands, all the time honing his songwriting craft, never straying far from his melodic pop-rock influences. Along with his beloved Beatles, he is a child of Badfinger, The Raspberries, The Who, and Neil Young.
When it comes to subject matter, Mergenthaler sticks to what he, and all troubadours, knows best. “I usually sing about love, sing about relationships. Since I met my wife Janine, there have been a lot of songs about us.” It is through these highly emotional songs that he says he is able to connect to the souls of his audience.
“Going out on stage is very, very emotional for me because I am singing about things that pertain to me. I have a song called ‘Nothing Can Kill This Pain,’ it’s about losing my father when I was about five. Never saw him again, he just left,” he said, “There’s a lot of that—that shaky childhood—besides the relationships.”
For Mergenthaler music is a continuing effort, even now he’s working on his tenth studio album—which he foresees will be his magnum opus.
“It’s called ‘Unknown Artist,’” he said, “It’s called that because I’ve had nine albums and CD’s out and I’ve been close with a couple songs—I hate to say exploiting the song or making it as commercial as possible—but I’m going to have that as a feature in this concept of being the greatest unknown artist of all time.”
Looking to the future, Mergenthaler said he’d like to try pitching his work to the studios for use in soundtracks for films. “Trying to get a song on the radio is kind of far-fetched at this point,” he said. “Writing a song for a soundtrack is my number one goal. I have a lot of different types of songs; on piano I write a more melodic type of song, versus guitar which is more like pop-rock.”
The event kicks off at 5PM and lasts until 9PM, featuring music by Mergenthaler, as well as an exhibition of local visual artists Juliet Thorburn-McIntosh, Debra Pozzi, Richard Remenick and a book signing by Chester County author Gene Pisasale.