Dalton Domino is an "up and coming" star in the Texas Music scene these days. After the success of his debut album entitled '1806,' released in 2015, Dalton has had the roller-coaster of ups and downs in his personal and professional life.
Not happy with his path after getting his new album ready, Dalton scrapped many of the songs and rewote and re-recorded a new album. In 2017, Dalton released the mostly biopic album 'Corners' and his story became largely public through his songs. He stopped drinking and did his best to be true to himself, having it all unfold in the public eye. But, the change is very visible with his fans. He is more approachable than in the past. And, if you had to narrow it down to a couple of adjectives - "real" and "unfiltered" pretty much sums it up. Not affected by exterior opinions, Domino tends to skirt the politically correct speak to tell it like it is. And more often or not, it's about as refreshing an approach to life that anyone has.
So, when I heard that Domino was playing in my hometown of Belton, Texas, and that I'd have my 14 year old son with me, I was anxious for my son to meet and listen to Dalton Domino. You see, my son is going through some life issues as well. Domino is more of a role-model to my son as anyone.
My son happens to be named Dalton as well. We adopted him and his sister several years ago. Their mom did the best she could, but it wasn't near good enough. Dalton and his sister went through the foster home system for a while before they found their way to us. Through that experience, they both faced some tough times. Unfortunately for my son, his experiences stayed with him, often in a negative light. As he grew older, those experiences reared up so that sometimes, it put him and those around him in danger. He is currently not living with us and is getting wonderful help near San Antonio. We get to see him at least once a month and we are very proud with the progress he's made. In a sense, he's turned his own "corners" through adolescence and has to work hard every day to meet life's challenges.
Domino was playing the week before the 4th of July and I was picking up my son the same day of the show. We rushed back and although my son didn't know anything about Dalton Domino except the stories I had told him, he was thrilled to meet another Dalton. After Dalton's set, I introduced them and Domino thought it was really cool that they shared a name. He genuinely was excited to take a photo. But, the demand for his time was great and we moved on. My son had a good time meeting the lead guitarist, Beau Bolfing, bass player, Michael Moad, entertaining keyboard player, Sam Jones, and since my son fancies himself as a drummer, enjoyed meeting Chase Francis.
My son found a drumstick on the side of the stage and was happy to sit backstage and drum along to the headliner, Jason Boland. Near the end of the show, I went back to say goodnight to Domino and thank him for taking the photo. I explained that it meant a lot because of what my son had been through and that he was a role model. Dalton looked me in the eyes and asked questions. Not the polite questions. Real questions. Then he asked me to go get him and bring him back.
For the next fifteen minutes, I watched Dalton Domino connect with my 14 year old son on a level no other adult has. They talked about sports and what my son likes to do. They compared their glasses perscriptions. They talked about movies and books and connected over Percy Jackson books. My son asked him to sign his drumstick. Dalton then took him over to his guitar case and asked my son to autograph his guitar strap. Invitations to come to future shows, a t-shirt and my son walked out with a few new heroes. One big one in particular.
Several weeks later, my good friends Tim and Melissa Murphy of Crackers and Cucumbers Photography caught the Dalton Domino show in Waco, Texas, and caught this photo. The interaction between my son and Mr. Domino wasn't window dressing. The "real deal."