Blues-folk rocker, Danielle Miraglia, will leave you wanting more
The first time that I saw one of her live shows, Danielle Miraglia’s intoxicating brand of hot bluesy music, built on an underpinning of scorching guitar riffs, melted the chill off the bitter cold New England winter night in an instant. Truth be told, I don’t believe that there’s an audience anywhere who wouldn’t be blown away after seeing a performance by this gifted Boston-based singer, songwriter, and guitarist extraordinaire. From her opening song, she lights up the darkness and explodes like a tsunami roaring across the open waters of the ocean.
For me, there are those introspective moments when, on occasion, I pause to look back on days gone by. The times when I access my memory bank and, just for a brief instant, bring up those dreamy days from out of the long ago and far away. They are the moments that have me glancing back over my shoulder at the music, and the artists, of long ago who made an indelible impression on me. If you also have those moments, Danielle Miraglia is that rare artist who might rekindle such images in you as well.
Her guitar pedigree, coupled with a captivating and emotionally-charged singing voice, might have you feeling that if either Bonnie Raitt or Janis Joplin had ever a daughter, that child surely would have grown up to be Danielle. For when she takes the stage, there’s a gritty growling edge in her voice, and a slide guitar prowess that makes the comparisons inevitable. And for those who are, like this writer, old enough to remember the British band, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends (and one of the friends in that band was guitar God, Eric Clapton), I also detected a faint trace of Bonnie Bramlett coming through in Miraglia’s vocal styling. That said, I’m fairly certain that I was the only one in the crowd who heard that echo of Bonnie Bramlett. In any event, those people who may have caught Miraglia’s April 7th show at the Book & Bar in Portsmouth, New Hampshire will know exactly what I’m talking about. For she is a musical artist who has the power to draw you in. Like a crooked finger beckoning to you from across the room, her singing and playing summon you to come closer to the stage.
There’s a touch of magic in her style that seems to, at times, straddle the genres of blues-rock and blues-folk; a blend of artistic interpretation that works like a charm for her. The Revere, Massachusetts-born Miraglia graduated from Emerson College with a degree in creative writing, so she definitely knows how to marry words together in a way that strikes a chord with both new and old listeners alike. The tracks on her CD’s serve as proof points for this. I found myself captivated by her wordsmithing talent when I discovered her CD “All My Heroes are Ghosts.” Is that a great title or what? It was a turn of a phrase that resonated with me immediately. Even the name of her band, The Glory Junkies, is cool.
When you meet her, and have a chance to chat, what percolates up to the surface is how down to Earth and “real” she is. Her smile is warm, and she’s easy to talk to. Simply put, she’s a nice Italian girl who, while she takes her music seriously, never seems to take herself that seriously. There’s no ego at play, rather, just a woman who has worked diligently in perfecting her craft. With Miraglia, her music is more a labor of love than a job to her. This, in itself, is as refreshing as walking through a spring rain shower.
She characterizes her brand of mixed musical genres, and her influences by explaining, “I always say folk-blues to make it easy, but there are a lot of influences in there. My top three artists of all time are Prince, The Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin, so I pull from them often. But I’m also into heavily lyrical stuff, and that’s where Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Paul Simon come in.” she adds, “I suppose that’s the ‘folk’ part. Then there’s the acoustic blues influence – Mississippi John Hurt, Big Bill Broonzy, early Bonnie Raitt, etc.”
When asked about what might set her apart from other singer-songwriters out there today, her humility and humor shine through as she says, “Oh, that’s a tough one.” It’s hard not to sound self-congratulatory or go fully self-depreciating.” With a chuckle, she kiddingly asks me, “What do you think sets me part?” She also wraps a philosophic perspective in a sense of humor when asked about what path she might have taken if she hadn’t chosen music, saying, “Comedy writing, novel writing, painting, or some other ‘hard to make it in’ business.”
I see her as being one of Boston’s, and New England’s, music gems. When you watch her, even from up on stage, you can see the gleam in her eye as she hammers out songs and creates slide guitar magic that has every eye in crowd glued to her. As I say, her work is indeed a labor of love. She has plans to play more Granite State shows in the future, and in my view, it’s absolutely worth investing the time in catching her act.
Times have changed, and those long ago days when guitars were wielded almost exclusively by men in leather pants are dead and gone. Danielle Miragalia is a woman who, in the truest sense of the term, is a breakout artist. While I see her as a singer-songwriter whose style reflects little bit of Bonnie Raitt and a dash of Janis Joplin, in the end, I see her as being the very best version of herself; a musical artist who this region is lucky to call one of our own.
Paul Collins is a Freelance Writer from Southborough, MA.