By Christa T. for Accordion Americana I first became aware of Dan Newton, several years ago. I was in a Manhattan music store browsing through sheet music, and came upon a compilation by Dan called “Cafe Accordion” with a CD affixed to the back cover. I purchased the book and brought it home. I found his recording charming, played in an extremely fluid and flawless manner. Dan Newton seems to convey an honesty typical of the Midwest as if to say “Yeah, I know that I am not Parisian, but, you will love these songs”. From then on, I was sold on French Cafe Accordion music! It was a good purchase for me, and for my sister who so loved the disc she refused to return it for two years. We both voted “Two French Waltzes”, as our favorite.
Although originally from Nebraska, Dan Newton’s appeal is well known in his adopted state of Minnesota. He has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s nationally syndicated radio show, The Prairie Home Companion, numerous times and in the company of some of the best musicians in the world.
Dan is an integral part of eight different working bands representing several diverse musical genres, and performs, also as a solo act. One of the hardest working musicians, Dan Newton has positioned himself as one of the few, full time professional accordionists in the United States. He was the winner of the Nebraska Accordion Competition in 1978. Since then, his career has evolved. Dan was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Minnesota Accordion Club. Also known as “Daddy Squeeze”, Dan Newton has contributed to numerous recordings and is a fixture in the Twin Cities area, performing at venues both large and small.