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2.1.11

Danielia Cotton


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Danielia Cotton - Small White Town - 2005 - Emergent/92e

Hopewell, N.J. native Danielia Cotton called her first full-length album Small White Town because the singer/songwriter grew up in a small town that was, in fact, largely white. But Cotton herself isn't white. She's African-American, and she's the type of African-American artist who -- like Tracy Chapman, Living Colour, Joan Armatrading, 24-7 Spyz, Lenny Kravitz or Sound Barrier -- is seldom, if ever, heard on urban contemporary or classic soul radio stations in the United States. Cotton is very much a rocker; while there are R&B and blues elements in her vocals, she is a rocker first and foremost. Much of Cotton's inspiration comes from classic rock; Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, and Janis Joplin are major influences, as are the Rolling Stones. And on some of her harder material (most notably, "JC I Try" and "Devil in Disguise") a healthy appreciation of Led Zeppelin asserts itself. But for all her '60s and '70s influences, Cotton isn't oblivious to alternative rock. PJ Harvey is also an influence, and there are some Nirvana-isms on the grungy "Today." Small White Town won't go down in history as the most groundbreaking release of 2005, but in terms of craftsmanship and quality, this CD is a winner. Cotton (who wrote or co-wrote almost all of the material) is the type of vocalist who sings lyrics like she really means them -- she brings a great deal of conviction to her performances -- and all of the songs on Small White Town are memorable. From the moody "Take My Heart" and the reflective "It's Only Life" to the aggressive "Devil in Disguise," there are no weak moments on this highly promising, if somewhat derivative, effort. © Alex Henderson © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/small-white-town-r790763/review

Her voice is raw, her delivery impassioned. Her songs are like tight packages with snarling cats locked inside – those cats being pain, desire, anger, and ecstasy, each baring teeth for battle. But there's more to this woman and her music. With throat-searing confidence, she delivers songs of desperate dreams fueled by crunchy, guitar-driven power. The result is a debut album "Small White Town" that is more than impressive, with every track offering its own passionate catharsis. "Small White Town is a reflection of me," she declares. And for those who never felt the magic of rock & roll, Small White Town offers everything to discover. "Her music has the swagger of 'Let It Bleed' era Rolling Stones. Her singing has the raw emotional power of Janis Joplin. Her songwriting places her among the top new musical storytellers."- Philadelphia Daily Local News

With an emphasis equally shared between rock, jazz, soul and gospel, "Small White Town" is a great soulful and upbeat album on which Danielia's writing is influenced by artists including Todd Rundgren, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Mavis Staples, Etta James and Bonnie Raitt and many others. Buy her 2008 "Rare Child" album and support real music

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Devil In Disguise - Danielia Cotton
2. Fast - Danielia Cotton, Kevin Salem
3. It's Only Life - Danielia Cotton, Kevin Salem
4. 4 A Ride - Danielia Cotton, Samuel Roberts, Kevin Salem
5. Found Another - Danielia Cotton
6. Take My Heart - Danielia Cotton, Kevin Salem
7. JC I Try - Danielia Cotton, Kevin Salem, Christina Amphlett
8. Pride - Kevin Salem
9. Today - Danielia Cotton, Kevin Salem
10. Shame - Danielia Cotton, Kevin Salem
11. Chains - Danielia Cotton, Kevin Salem

MUSICIANS

Danielia Cotton (vocals, guitar, electric keyboard)
Kevin Salem, Mark Copely, Ralph Legnini (guitar)
Rob Arthur (piano, organ, Mellotron, keyboards, percussion)
Rich Mercurio (drums)
Joe Magistro (drums, percussion)
Danny Wilensky (saxophone)
Walter Salas Humara (vocals)
John Conte, Carol Brooks Meyners, Jenny McCrae Douglas (background vocals)

BIO

Early indication is that Danielia Cotton is a fiery blues-rock artist with a chip on her shoulder. She doesn't like comparisons, although as of the May 2006 release of her debut disc she was earning them with such titans as Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, and the Rolling Stones. And she doesn't mind letting the world know that the circumstances of her youth were less than ideal: Cotton, according to a mounting pile of press materials, grew up fatherless in rural Hopewell, NJ, as one of only seven black children at the local high school -- thus the title of her CD, Small White Town. Inspiration for a career in music came from her mother, a little-known jazz singer, and two aunts. The three women sang as a trio at church, igniting a passion for big belting in Cotton. Outside of church, though, her musical tastes leaned in an unlikely direction. AC/DC, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, and Todd Rundgren -- not hip-hop or R&B -- formed the soundtrack to Cotton's discomfited youth, and shreds of the hard rock bands' fury and of Rundgren's literate sensitivity shade her songs. Early adulthood found Cotton and her electric guitar abandoning Hopewell for Manhattan. There she played the rock club circuit, eventually befriending Kevin Salem of the band Chocolate Genius. Salem produced Small White Town, a promising disc full of hurt and hope that, as she finds her footing within the indie scene, should beget a string of powerful others. © Tammy La Gorce © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/danielia-cotton-p643866/biography

BIO (WIKI)

Danielia Cotton is an American rock, singer, songwriter and guitarist from Hopewell, New Jersey. Danielia comes from a musical family. She is the daughter of jazz vocalist, Wenonah Brooks and the niece of jazz vocalists Jeannie Brooks and Carol Brooks-Meyners. She is married to Sam Roberts, a New York-based attorney with legal aide. Danielia Cotton was raised in the small western New Jersey town of Hopewell, population 2,010. She was raised, along with three siblings, by her African American/Native American/Caucasian mother, yet never met her Puerto Rican father. A jazz singer by avocation, her single mom supported the family doing accounting work. At the age of 12 her mom gave her an acoustic guitar, a prescient move designed to help a daughter find an emotional and creative outlet. She also started harmonizing with her mom and her aunts in a gospel group, the Brookes Ensemble Plus. Growing up as one of only seven black kids in Hopewell Valley Central High School, she was not exposed to R&B and hip-hop. Along with her growing love for rock, Danielia developed a warm appreciation for jazz and gospel. Danielia wound up at the top of her high school class, the first to graduate from the New Jersey School of Performing Arts. Her powerful vocal skills earned her a full scholarship to Bennington College, a storied – and costly – school where the arts were emphasized. Danielia chose to pursue acting there, eventually spending most of her senior year at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. She doubled up on credits, so she could still study music, taking tutorials with avant garde jazz trumpeter-professor Bill Dixon, who, she says, “really trained my ear.” Acting has had a serious effect on Danielia as shown every time she performs, commanding onstage and off, a natural raconteur as well as a singer. In 2005 Danielia released her debut album Small White Town (title inspired by Hopewell). Although Danielia is not a fan of comparisons, she was soon earning them after her debut album with such titans as Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, and the Rolling Stones. WXPN/Philadelphia and home of the nationally syndicated World Café named her "Artist to Watch", slotted the album's soulful single "It's Only Life" into heavy rotation, and featured her on their HDNetwork broadcast of On Stage at World Café Live. Extensive national touring followed. Not too long after, Danielia's second studio album Rare Child, released May 20, 2008, was ranked in the top ten albums downloaded on iTunes during its first week of release. On July 7, 2009, Danielia released the LP "Live Child", a companion piece to her 2008 studio album, "Rare Child". This riveting document of her live set won the 9th Annual Independent Music Award for the ‘Best Live Album’ and 'Live Performance Album Vox Pop' for the album "Righteous People". Throughout her career, Danielia has played in clubs and festivals around the country, and has opened for some of the biggest names in rock, R&B and blues including the Allmans, B.B. King, Derek Trucks, Bon Jovi, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Robert Cray.