By Ann Pierceall
Hannibal Mo. — When singer/songwriter Daniel Link returns to Hannibal, each trip is pure nostalgia. Link, 40, grew up in Hannibal, and said that experience is an "intricate part of my creative development." That creativity will be on display Friday evening when he performs an acoustic show during a release party for his new CD "Color of Rain," along with producer and sideman Johnny Big on bass. The show begins at 7 p.m. at Java Jive, 211 N. Main St. Cost is $10 at the door. Link, who now lives and works in Austin, Texas, chose Hannibal for the release party because of the many contacts he still has in the area. "I thought it would be cool to come up to Hannibal and do the CD release up there for people who don't see me all the time and who want to get ahold of the music," he said. The Hannibal native grew up listening to rockers Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, Tom Petty and Dan Fogelberg, influences that are apparent on "Color of Rain." His music is a mix that ranges from alternative rock and alternative country to Motown-influenced pieces, and even a poetry slam set to jazz. The CD is released through Recovering Catholic Music, Link's own independent label. He said the music in "Color of Rain" explores spirituality. "My mission, my vision as an artist, is to communicate, to connect and to inspire inner peace. And in order to do that it's very important to make peace with the mistakes we've made," he said. "Our mistakes are just as important as our triumphs." After graduating from Hannibal High School, Link packed his bags and headed south to Austin to chase his dream of being a songwriter. It's an early lifetime experience referred to in "Alter Boy," one of the tracks on "Color of Rain." Link said with his first two CD's, "Out of Silence" and "Ghost Stories," he was a "fledgling performer." "This CD is very well produced. It's some of the best songwriting I've ever done — it's the album I've always wanted," he said. He gives credit for that to Johnny Big, who he said as producer brought focus to the CD. The pair teamed up in 2003, when the bass player signed on with Link's band. Johnny Big has performed with Ted Nugent, Billy Idol and Bo Diddly. "This is a big CD for me," Link said. "This new project is where I really opened up and really am at my stride both performing and songwriting. So this is really a big achievement for me."