Danielle Miraglia – Bright Shining Stars
Danielle Miraglia is a Boston-based acoustic blues and roots artist. She offers up here her first solo CD. She has a couple with her band, the Glory Junkies. She does have some older solo downloads, but this big release is her first solo hard copy effort. Having won awards locally in Beantown, this is her first real exposure to an national audience with this VizzTone release, so the entire country and world will get to see what New Englanders have known for years– Danielle Miraglia is the real deal.
Mixing a blue, folk, roots and Americana sounds, Miraglia has been compared to, and I quote, “Bonnie Raitt, Rory Block and a Lucinda Williams with a sense of humor.” And she phonetically spells out her name on the one-sheet that came with the CD for the masses to pronounce her fine Italian name correctly; I immediately think about, “It’s Albert Castiglia, dammit!” In any case, Danielle is an outstanding guitar player and singer. She ranges from soft and sublime to gutsy power with her vocals and offers up her a mix of originals and well-done covers.
There are four original tracks, the first, fourth and sixth ones written by Danielle. The opening is a short instrumental entitled “Sounds Like Home.” Laurence Scudder joins her on the viola here and on other tracks. It’s a pretty little piece that showcases her fingerpicking. “C.C. Rider” is next and Miraglia offers a folky blues rendition with nice emotion in her vocals that gets complemented well by the viola. The old Ma Rainey tune gets a fresh cover her with steady pacing and fine singing. Bob Dylan’s “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” follows; Miraglia again gives us a little passion in this forthright cut. Peter Parcek adds some nice guitar work in support here. The second original is “Pick Up the Gun,” a Delta-styled blues with Danielle strumming and singing with more raw emotion and the viola adding some cool depth to the cut. Miraglia tells the person she addresses in the song to pick up the gun to give her a reason a shoot, apparently from some ongoing bad relationship issues. It’s dark and cool. Janis Joplin’s “Turtle Blues” comes next, and Miraglia delivers a nice and slow version of the cut with some good finger picking on the electric guitar layered with her acoustic guitar; well done! “Famous for Nothing” is the last of her own original tracks. Here she comments on today’s society, where you can be famous for nothing. She sings and plays with vigor and a slick vibe, and the viola again adds to the mix.
Keb Mo’s “You Can’t Love Yourself” had Parcek on slide offering up some wailing sounds than make for a good listen and overall effect. Danielle again sings and plays with feeling and the sound is just great. Another Dylan tune is next, this time it’s “Meet Me in the Morning.” Here VizzTone’s Richard Rosenblatt adds his fine harp to a nicely done cover by Miraglia. She growls and sings and plays with intensity. The Big Bill Broonzy version of Tampa Red’s “When Things Go Wrong (It Hurts Me Too)” is the next track. Breathy and passionate vocals and a simple and stark sound from solo guitar make this one special. Robert Johnson’s “Walkin’ Blues” gets dusted off and Miraglia again gives a fine, solo performance. She has great passion as she sings, strums and picks. The final track is the title track and was written by fellow Bostonian Tom Bianchi who sometimes shares the stage with Danielle. It’s a beautiful ballad where Miraglia spins a soft and lovely musical web for us.
All in all, this is a really good album of acoustic blues and roots music. Danielle Miraglia needs to be a household name in the blues world and this album can hopefully propel her to a larger audience who can appreciate her talents. I loved it!