[video of the week] Dan Wriggins – The Diner

Taken from the “Dent b/w The Diner,” the debut solo singles by Dan Wriggins of Philly alt-country band Friendship.

Dan Wriggins is a Philadelphia-based songwriter, musician, and poet. He grew up in the town of Yarmouth, Maine, and on Islesford, a small island community near Bar Harbor. In high school, he started playing piano and guitar, and met bandmates Michael Cormier and Peter Gill. He worked on lobster fishing boats before moving to Philadelphia and starting the alt-country band Friendship in 2015, with whom he has toured the US and Canada extensively. He lives and sometimes tours with his dog, Roy.

“The Diner” and “Dent” are Wriggins’ first songs released under his own name. They were recorded in an October 2020 session with Michael Cormier and Lina Tullgren at Big Nice Studio in Lincoln, RI.

Wriggins explains: “Writing songs for Friendship, I would sometimes come up with one that felt more like a solo song and less like a band song. The distinction is blurry. I wrote “The Diner” a couple years ago, and “Dent” this summer. They are companions insofar as they both feature violin parts from the amazing Lina Tullgren, and they share three title letters.

The All Night Diner was a basement venue in Philly active around 2016-17 that my friends and I used to hang out at a lot. It was a special place. There was a nice porch and backyard, friendly people, and a lot of great shows. I don’t know whether I “took it for granted” or not. It probably helped me understand that a supportive scene and community doesn’t just happen, and I was lucky to be a part of that one. The song could also be about actual diners. My favorite is Annie’s in Worcester, MA.

I’m not sure where “Dent” came from. I may have had Willie Nelson’s “Last Thing I Needed, First Thing This Morning” on the brain. Most of the song is typical blues about work sucking and feeling like a zombie. But the punchline is “oh and by the way, you leaving didn’t help.” Peter Gill recorded the guitar part through his boombox, and gave me a tape with very loud hiss. He assured me it would sound good, and that ‘Keith Richards did it this way all the time.’



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