Dani Hoy -
“I see songs as mini movies. The words and music tell a story that creates an image in your mind.” Dani Hoy pauses for a moment, finding the right words. “I took online courses through UCLA on how to write movies because I was interested in possibly writing scripts. Unexpectedly music came into my life from stage left and I began to see that writing a song was similar to writing a movie. There’s definitely structure but lots of room to be creative within that structure.”
Born in Baltimore, MD and now residing in Key West, FL, Dani Hoy aspires to living the artistic life, always searching for the right medium to express herself. Drawing and painting from a young age she was inspired to capture what she saw around her. Her music today expresses that same fascination with observations into character, circumstance and moments in time. An avid reader, she is a lover of words and crafting songs with a keen eye to the poetic use of language. “I hid away in books while I was growing up. I spent a lot of time in my imagination, visualizing what I was reading. I don’t read as much as I used to but I still love to get lost in a good book.”
Before moving to Key West, Hoy lived in Pennsylvania. After visiting Key West for the first time in 2010 she became inspired to try her hand at songwriting. Her first song, “Tropical Man,” is on her premier CD, TropiGal (2012), the cover of which sports a crop of coconut palms located on Duck Key in the Florida Keys. Since this CD was her first her producer, Kevin Johnston, sound engineer and owner of Orca Sound Studio, Abingdon, MD, took her under his wing to make sure the songwriting was top notch. Together they crafted a project featuring ten original tunes including “Drunk on Mallory Square” and “Meet Me on the Boardwalk” which are fan favorites.
Hoy’s second CD, released in 2013, was a huge step up in songwriting for her. Songs of Love & the Ocean offered up a variety of styles from the pop title cut to country, blues and torch songs. Kevin Johnston once again produced and employed the amazing Jim Hoke (http://www.jimhokemusic.com) to play a wide variety of instruments to add depth and color to each tune. A fan favorite is “I Like It Hot.” Hoy states, “I wrote the song because I was living up north and was getting tired of the cold. I imagined a character, a lady, who just keeps going further south because she “likes it hot.” Of course there’s a bit of a double entendre in there. It’s a little sexy.”
After moving to Key West at the end of 2013 Dani settled in and began to look for work as a performer. She teamed up with her partner, “Key West Chris” Rehm and with him created the duo The Shanty Hounds (www.theshantyhounds.com). Rehm is also a songwriter, published in Nashville, and the two are now performing regularly each week at several popular venues in Key West and up the Keys. “We’re so busy,” gushes Hoy. “I thought I would be traveling more but it’s like I have a steady job and luckily it’s music. I’ve played around the U.S. and would love to tour more in the future, but right now playing the Keys is perfection.”
In 2016 Hoy put out an EP of five songs on her third project titled, “At the End of a Long Road,” describing being in Key West which is at the south end of Route 1 which goes up north to Fort Kent, Maine. This time Kevin Johnston pulled out all the stops enlisting Nashville studio musicians Dave Roe (http://www.daveroe.net), Kenny Vaughan (guitarist for Marty Stuart) and Jerry Roe (http://www.jerryroemusic.com). “I wanted to get some new songs out. These guys pulled out all the stops and I’m so happy with this production.” Hoy’s vocals were recorded by Ian Shaw (warmfuzz.com) in Key West and then the project was mixed by Johnston. The CD starts with an “Escape” to the islands and fun, then onto a “Back Country Pontoon Party” with friends. Heartbreak enters the picture with “Not Enough Rum,” but perks up quickly with “Coffee Drinking Girl.” Finally, “Status” addresses the uncertainty of what consequences her move may have. “The answer lies in a song.”
Dani Hoy continues to write while performing weekly in Key West, at times solo but mostly with partner Rehm as The Shanty Hounds. She is planning a new project for next year. “I have some songs in the works. Some are complete and others I’m fleshing out. I always want to drive forward. Explore new territory. I don’t think you should hurry creativity but being consistent is necessary. Having goals is essential and I’m ready to see where the muse takes me.”