Playing in Dad’s band: South Fayette graduate, daughter join forces to put on a dynamic show
You could say that Andrea Iglar joined the Dave Iglar Band shortly after she learned how to talk.
“I remember sitting on a stool. It must have been in the basement, where you practiced,” Andrea told her guitar-playing pop.
“Dad strummed chords, and I made up words to songs, and sang about Daffy Duck and Twinkle Little Star,” she said.
They still have the cassette recording of the impromptu session.
“She had like a stream-of-consciousness dialogue that went on for minutes,” Dave recalled. “She was the first rapper.”
Today, she’s vocalist, guitarist and saxophonist extraordinaire in her father’s band, officially becoming a member in 2003. As for Dave, the South Fayette Township High School graduate’s career in music goes back slightly further:
“Yeah, it’s been forever. My first gig was the day they invented time and started keeping track,” he’ll joke. “I always tell people I was first paid in fire. That was the only currency that was available.”
Actually, Dave first picked up a guitar around the time of the so-called British Invasion of the mid-1960s, when hirsute musicians from rock groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones started to dominate American radio.
By the early 1980s, he had honed his skills to the point where he became one of the Pittsburgh area’s best-known guitarists and bandleaders, putting on performances that demonstrate both his virtuosity and showmanship.
As for the latter, if you’re in the audience, he just might walk over to your table in mid-song and start playing his guitar with the bottle of whatever you’re drinking or putting on top of your steak. And he’ll follow that with, say, a jaw-dropping Spanish Phrygian-scale solo in the middle of Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard.”
Dave Iglar Band performances:
• Aug. 19 – Shelby’s Station, Bridgeville
• Aug. 20 – Payne Hill Grill, Jefferson Hills
• Aug. 27 – South Fayette Township Community Day, Fairview Park
• Sept. 3 – R Bar, Dormont
• Sept. 4 – Tiki Bar, Finleyville
• Sept. 10 – Iron Creek, South Fayette Township
“All my life, I was doing things like that, just for run, really,” he said. “I can remember being at a party in high school at my friend’s farm, and picking up a shovel and playing my Stratocaster with it.”
Andrea, who is community development director for South Fayette Township, takes a cue from her father as far as performing style. She’ll stroll among audience members as she takes an extended sax solo, often climbing atop the bar for added emphasis as the situation allows.
“I definitely just put myself out there right away,” she said about playing in front of people. “I didn’t feel shy onstage. I always felt like taking a risk and just being myself, whatever came out. But that has certainly been refined over time.”
Father and daughter joined forces when Andrea returned to the area after living in Seattle, where she rekindled her longstanding interest in the saxophone and joined an all-female Stones cover band.
“Even when she came back to visit and she sat in with us, people were already responding to her,” Dave said about her guest spots with the band. “I have to say, I’ve always been pretty good with recognizing the potential of people and bringing them along.”
For the Iglars, music definitely runs in the family.
“A lot of my relatives were violinists and fiddlers, and that seemed to come easy to them,” Dave said, recalling that his grandfather used to play for him. “I could tell, even as a little kid, how good he was.”
Dave passes along his musical legacy as a guitar instructor, having published “The Dave Iglar Guitarometrix Method” book, based on his experiences of basically teaching himself at an early age.
“After a couple of years, the whole concept came together for me in a really natural way,” he said. “By the time I was in my late teens, I kind of found a way to correspond what I had learned with actual theory. And that’s how I put my method together.”
He’s found that after all these years, aspiring young guitarists are starting with much of the same source material that he did, well, when they were just inventing time.
“I have 12-year-old kids come in,” he said, “and they want to learn how to play the Beatles and The Who and Pink Floyd.”
For more about the Dave Iglar Band, visit www.daveiglar.com.