De Novo Dahl
De Novo Dahl began as the partnership of songwriting friends Mark Bond (aka Vovo Dahl) and Joel McAnulty (aka Joel J. Dahl or Jsperanza) at high school in Hendersonville, TN. Bond, a singer and keyboadist, and McAnulty, a singer and guitarist, initially formed a band called "Harmonium," which broke up on the verge of a recording deal. After pursuing solo efforts, they reunited in the summer of 2001 and resumed writing songs together. Adding singer and omnichord player Serai Zaffiro (daughter of guitarist David Zaffiro of the Christian metal band Bloodgood and, soon after joining the band, McAnulty's wife), bassist Jon Schneck (later replaced by David Carney), drummer Joey Andrews, and lead guitarist Sandy Sandidge, De Novo Dahl was officially formed in Murfreesboro, TN, in November 2001. ("De novo" is Latin for "anew"; Dahl is a reference to Roald Dahl, the children's author of James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.)
Employing fanciful costumes and imaginative concert ideas (an ice-cream social, a night devoted to the science-fiction movie Tron, a "beach party" with free admission to patrons in bathing suits, a show at which the bandmembers dressed as cowboys and served pasta to create a "spaghetti western"), the group built up a following in Murfreesboro and nearby Nashville, then began playing surrounding states, with occasional ventures to major cities. In May 2003, they self-released their debut six-song EP, produced by David Zaffiro and Jason Lehning, available at shows and on their website. The bandmates spent two years crafting their debut full-length album, Cats & Kittens, which was initially self-released, then reissued by Theory 8 Records in May 2005. The package contained both a main CD and a bonus disc of remixes. An EP, Shout, arrived in 2007, and Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound appeared in 2008 from Roadrunner Records. ~ William Ruhlmann
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