The band has released four albums, including the latest, Down, Boy!
In 2007 the Dynamites won the Arizona Blues Showdown and a place onstage at the annual International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2008. They have performed at many larger events, including the Glendale Blues and Jazz Festival, Blues Blast, the Scottsdale series Sunday A'Fair, and the Bisbee Blues Festival.
The band began in the '90s as the rhythm section for Freddie (Li'l Junior) Cisneros and The Leisure Kings, going independent in 1998. Years of hard work in the busy saloons of historic Whiskey Row refined the sound and proved out the original material. The band regularly performs throughout Northern Arizona and the Phoenix area.
Big Daddy D and the Dynamites is a five-piece, high-energy R&B band working the clubs and festivals of Arizona. Based in the mountain city of Prescott, the band has built a solid reputation for hard work and quality, delivering a strong catalog of original songs on top of a deep book of covers.
© 2012 Big Daddy D and the Dynamites
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Now with over 25 years on guitar and 22 years as a performing musician, I'm offering private guitar lessons to anyone in the greater Phoenix area with the desire to learn the guitar. Contact me for details.
To my great benefit, Freddie asked to start a trio with me, The Leisure Kings, two guitars and drums. It was raw, tons of fun and an invaluable learning experience. Fred also turned me onto other blues guitar masters, like Ronnie Earl, Albert Collins and especially Freddy King. In 1998 I decided to take the leap to front my own band. We started out as four guys scrappin' for gigs to a serious band in blues demand. The best part is that we continue to get better and strive for more. If you like the blues, then you're a friend of mine.
My brother and I used to play coffee houses, open mics and frat parties. On my return to Prescott from a hiatus in Flagstaff I met Freddie Cisneros, aka Lil Junior, Guitar Player Magazine's Best Unknown Blues Player for 1989.
Before I could even play an instrument, an influential jazz friend of mine, Dan Faulk, turned me onto jazz. I started listening to Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and Wes Montgomery. It was hard listening, but eventually it made sense. I didn't pick up an instrument until I was 17, but fortunately for me Dan had brothers who also played the blues. They let me jam with them and gave me my first band experience. Dan's older brother Chris played blues guitar with the Hoodoo Kings, and was my first brush with a real live gigging musician.
Darryl 'Big Daddy D' Porras
"For several years now I’ve been playing drums and loving every minute. There's a lot to learn, and with help from Darryl, Drew, Gary, Steven, and former Dynamites drummer Carlos B Jones, I’m more than looking forward to the great times to come."
"I started playing guitar when I was 14. I met Drew Hall at around 16, and started taking lessons with him, and later he let me sit in with the band. At 17 I started on a series of music theory classes at Yavapai College, and my favorite part was indulging my addiction to the rhythm studies.
Sonny: "My first musical experience was in the fifth grade, praying and wishing for that oh-so-familiar bell to ring. I needed something to occupy my squirmy mind, so, my friends and I would tap our pens. It may sound lame, but I enjoyed every rhythm, and every sore wrist. I didn’t make this connection then, but now I see that the bottom of the wrist was your kick drum, tip of the pen was the hi-hat, and the snare was slamming your pen down on the desk. There was always something about rhythm that made me feel all right.
New as a regular for 2012 is Sonny Ryan, who's been 'in the family' for many years as a student of Drew's and is among the most natural musicians we've ever had the pleasure of working with.
As a leader of original bands for 20 years, Gary was a pioneer of the world-beat movement starting in the late '70s, and he continues to incorporate world rhythms and influences in his current compositions.
Gary began his career in his native New York, moving to California in 1982, and Arizona in 2009. Garyís musical influences are incredibly diverse, and his ability transcends style or genre, making him as comfortable with straight-ahead jazz as he is with world beat, hip-hop, blues, swing, rock and funk.
I make my living teaching guitar, so if you're in the area and seriously looking to learn, please contact me.
I was inspired to start playing the blues when watching Little Jr. with the Leisure Kings, and a few years later I joined the band as the bass player. The blues kept calling, and I helped start Big Daddy D and the Dynamites with Darryl, Anton Teschner, and Jake Sammeli. This time I got to play guitar and sing.
My first band was called Rasp, and we rocked the Ryan JHS 216 talent show. I think I was 14. My family moved to Arizona when I was 16, and I got involved in various bands and sideman projects.
I was born and raised in Queens, New York (lets go Mets!). My father, Tom Hall, introduced me to music by way of the juke box at the Palace Diner in Queens. I started playing guitar at twelve, when a friend of ours, Ted Ruben, gave me my first guitar, a Kimberly hollow body. Soon after that my dad bought me a '69 Fender Telecaster reissue with his entire tax refund. I still play that guitar today.
After about five years of subbing in the band, Darryl asked me to come on as a regular in January '07. Beyond gigging I produce radio shows on KJZA-FM, build stuff, produce other people's recordings, talk too much politics, and for a living I write and edit.
So I did the prog-rock thing for a little while — lots of hair, weed and bad clothes — but underneath it was always the blues. Maybe it was the location, more or less halfway between Detroit and Chicago, maybe it was dumb luck, I dunno, but I always had a feel for it, and whatever the current project, be it bluegrass, psychedelia, folk-rock, Top 40, progressive, polkas, pit work, big band, straight-ahead rock or club jazz, I eventually returned to the rhythm and the blues like it was home.
I started playing guitar poorly about 1970, a tradition I struggle to maintain, but I was diverted a few years later when this crackhead drummer I'd met handed me a six-string Wurlitzer bass with one busted string and asked me to help him out with this band he was forming. I fixed the string and played that right through a brief flirtation with college, until the guy who actually owned it broke into my house and stole it back.