Danielle Nicole review…August 21, 2015..

DANIELLE NICOLE

WOLF DEN

CONCORD MUSIC GROUP  CRE  36460-02

WOLF DEN–HOW YOU GONNA DO ME LIKE THAT–TAKE IT ALL–YOU ONLY NEED ME WHEN YOU’RE DOWN–JUST GIVE ME TONIGHT–EASIN’ INTO THE NIGHT–DIDN’T DO YOU NO GOOD–WAITING FOR YOUR LOVE–I FEEL LIKE BREAKING UP SOMEBODY’S HOME–IT AIN’T YOU–IN MY DREAMS–FADE AWAY

Hot on the heels of her self-titled  EP from back in March, Blues Award-winning bassist and vocalist Danielle Nicole has just released her debut full-length set for Concord Records, “Wolf Den.”  For this set, Danielle ventured down to New Orleans, where she worked with Grammy-winning producer Anders Osborne.  The result is a brilliant blend of straight blues, funk, soul, and a touch of gospel.

That grit and funk of New Orleans runs deep thru the grooves on these twelve cuts, too.  The title cut leads off, with that mythical “Wolf Den,” a place where “the lady in red” says “you look like you could use a friend.”  This one is set over a swampy, percussion-and-organ-heavy groove.  A couple of songs from her EP re-emerge here, in all their defiant, spit-in-your-eye passion—“You Only Need Me When You’re Down,” and “Didn’t Do You No Good,” both featuring stomp-down percussion from drummer Stanton Moore, best-known for his work with Galactic.

Danielle shows a softer, more vulnerable side, also.  “Take It all” and “Waiting For Your Love” are excellent ballads, the latter featuring Luther Dickinson on guitar.

As tough as it was, we picked three as favorites.  Dickinson returns on guitar as Danielle plays the homewrecker on the prowl to the hilt on the ultra-funky “Feel Like Breaking Up somebody’s Home.”  She takes the opposite approach on the torch-y tale of unrequited love, knowing that her paramour’s “heart belongs to another,” but begs “Just Give Me Tonight” as a memory.  And, the sweet soul vibe of “How You Gonna Do Me Like That” recalls vintage Stax, and, more specifically, The Staples Singers, as the groove breaks into a “testifyin,” gospel-inflected climax.

We knew Danielle Nicole was somethin’ special when she worked with her brothers in Trampled Under Foot.  With “Wolf Den,” she has begun what looks to be a highly-successful career in contemporary blues!!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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