Howie Day first garnered attention with his mesmerizing technical skills.
Alone on stage, the singer-songwriter could create an entire band, complete with drums, bass and acoustic guitars, vocals and backup singers, all through the use of effects pedals, loop recorders and other devices.
"The whole thing was born in those early days when I couldn't afford a front of house engineer," Day said in an interview on the website stereoembersmagazine.com. "There were all of these details and textures in my brain that I had to figure out how to create myself. Keep in mind at that time, I would go out and do 300 shows a year. There were no rehearsals, just one show being slightly more complex (for better or for worse) than the last. It really was Darwinian in that way, if something didn't work, I didn't do it again. However when it did work, I would repeat it the next night and add something else too, and so on."
Day will perform Friday at The Soiled Dove in Denver.
A performer since the age of 15, Day was 21 when his self-financed and independently released debut album "Australia" dropped in 2000. It went on to sell 30,000 copies and attracted the eyes of several major labels who fought over the young talent. Epic won and rereleased the album in 2002. His 2003 album "Stop All the World Now" produced two Top 40 hits - "She Says" and "Collide" - and other singles were featured on TV shows, including "Grey's Anatomy," "Bones" and "Scrubs."
And then record label trouble hit - after his 2009 album "Sound the Alarm," Epic let him go, which Day described as "kind of liberating" in a 2013 interview with the Portland Press Herald. He created a PledgeMusic campaign in 2014 to fund his fourth album, "Lanterns," which came out the following year.
"It feels like a new chapter and I'm lucky I'm able to do this," he told Portland Press Herald. "I didn't want to go to record companies just looking for a deal. I wanted to make music."
JENNIFER MULSON, THE GAZETTE, 636-0270, JEN.MULSON@GAZETTE.COM