COMING SOON... MISS SCARLETT AND THE MADMEN featuring Danielle French
Danielle has been writing and recording music as a singer/songwriter over the past 20 years, and although her four independent recordings are fully produced, for the first time in her career Danielle is in the process of conjuring up an actual band project...
Miss Scarlett and the Madmen will be a Steampunk band of gypsy nomads gathered from locations across the US such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Phoenix and Atlanta- a collective of musicians that she has been co-writing and performing with over the past year at the Holiday Music Motel in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
In 2012 Danielle was invited by pat mAcdonald (Grammy-nominated songwriter, formerly of the band Timbuk3- he wrote “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades”) to attend three separate week-long songwriting intensives at the Holiday Music Motel, where dozens of songwriters of varying genres gather, in a focused environment, to co-write, perform and record together in the onsite recording studio. Songwriters are housed at the motel and are paired through a random “spin-the-bottle” process, and this is where the magic happens.
A group of songs have emerged from the intensives have proved to be transformational for Danielle. She has been performing some of the new material live and audiences have been enchanted... mesmorized... transfixed. Bringing together a collective of of the musicians she has co-written with, Danielle is starting to work on the recording of her first full-length band project due for release in 2014. Demos of three songs are featured in the music section of this EPK.
DANIELLE FRENCH- DRIVE (2012 RELEASE)
In titling her fourth CD DRIVE (a collection of driving, freedom and heartache songs inspired from her years on the road touring throughout North America) it seems appropriate that Danielle embarked on a road trip, driving 1300 miles from Calgary, AB to Reno, NV to record this project with co-producer Tom Gordon at Imirage Sound Labs.
Danielle was first introduced to the Reno music scene when she toured through the area in 1998. She was quickly welcomed into the local music community and over the years Reno has become somewhat of a second home. Tom Gordon has been an integral member of the Reno music scene since 1991, working as a staff engineer at the bed and breakfast studio Granny’s House alongside head engineer Bjorn Thorsrud (Smashing Pumpkins, Shania Twain, Whitesnake). In his time at Granny’s Tom worked with a wide range of major label recording artists including Dr. Dre, Whitesnake, Boys 2 Men, Collective Soul, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Nelson, and producer Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. In his time at Imirage Sound Labs, Tom Gordon has engineered Creedence Clearwater Revisited, The Beach Boys, G Love and Special Sauce as well as producing countless local Reno artists. As a long-time friend and occasional drummer for Danielle when she performs in Reno, Danielle has always been eager to work collaboratively with Tom in a studio environment and is thrilled to have co-produced the songs on DRIVE with him.
On her 2007 CD release Shadows, Danielle grouped together a collection of quirky songs and chose to explore the sonic potential of this material through layering, editing and using creative production elements in the studio environment. Working with her favorite Canadian guitarist Martin Tielli (Rheostatics), who also leant his signature voice to two tracks, the material on Shadows has been described as “beautiful strangeness” and was embraced by national media, campus radio, and CBC as well as being named among CKUA Radio’s Top 100 CD’s of 2007.
When contemplating the material to record on DRIVE, Danielle felt a yearning to take a more organic approach to her music and return to her roots as a singer/songwriter. Although tracks such as the upbeat opener, Drive, the torch-y Life is Too Short, and the catchy Long Drive feature full-band arrangements, the production approach was to focus on the essence and foundation of the songs and how she typically writes and performs solo on acoustic guitar and vocal. Means to and End is primarily acoustic with some melancholy strings and harmonies added for support. And Danielle’s version of Tom Waits song Time was recorded live-off-the-floor with minimal rehearsal in order to capture the spontaneity and authenticity of the band learning and exploring the song for the first time. Tom Gordon connected Danielle with Reno band The Novelists to back her up in the studio, along with stellar studio musicians Tony Savage (of Englebert Humperdink’s band) on drums and electric guitarist David Grantham on the almost jazzy track Harsh Reality. One anomaly on DRIVE is the track Not My Lover which was recorded in Calgary at The Audities Foundation with producer David Kean in 2009- it felt like a good fit on this project, so was included on the CD in the final mastering.
Danielle is an award-winning singer/songwriter whose music has been featured in film and TV. In her 15+ years as a recording artist and performer, she has worked with an impressive list of musicians and producers that reads like a who’s who of the Canadian music industry. Artists such as Burton Cummings, Matthew Good, as well as members of Spirit of the West, Rheostatics, Blue Rodeo, Veal and Sarah McLachlan, Barney Bentall and Mae Moore’s bands have leant their talents to Danielle’s various projects. She has co-written with Matthew Good, Jenny Allen and Annette Ducharme and her songs have been covered by Jenny Allen, Shelley Lennox and the Plaid Tongued Devils. Career highlights include being invited onto Rita MacNeil’s hit CBC show Rita and Friends, and being welcomed onto the Calgary leg of Lilith Fair.
Danielle has coupled her well-spent studio time with a relentless work ethic. She has toured extensively across Canada and the United States and has opened for (surprise!) another who’s who list of performers including Burton Cummings, Holly Cole, The Barenaked Ladies, Spirit of the West, Bob Wiseman, and Mae Moore, to name a few. She has also been spotted touring with a project called Grrrls with Guitars, a female singer/songwriter showcase and compilation CD series based out of Vancouver.
Danielle’s undying allegiance to film, theatre and the arts culminates in a myriad of ambitious undertakings. She is also an award-winning filmmaker who has produced/directed three short films to her songs which have been broadcast on the Bravo! Channel and have screened at film festivals around the world. She has co-written music for several theatre productions and has had her artwork and photography featured in several gallery shows.
It’s obvious that music, for one who oozes creativity from every pore, is just part of the overall tapestry of expression that is Danielle's life.
Although Danielle's recordings are fully produced, she usually tours as a solo acoustic act. However, she has been expanding her recent performances to additional band members. She has been spotted with a full band, but is very fond of performing as a trio including Danielle on guitar/vocals and an accordion and a tuba player! Danielle has toured extensively throughout North Amercia over the past 10 years ~ three of which she lived out of her mint-green, flowery-curtained, Dodge maxivan!
Drive was recorded in Reno, Nevada with co-producer Tom Gordon at Imirage Sound Labs. Local Reno group The Novelists (along with Englebert Humperdink's drummer Tony Savage) supported Danielle in the studio to create a lush organic sound to her music.
Danielle's third full-length release features guest musicians such as Martin Tielli (the Rheostatics), Diego Medina (Chad Van Gaalen), Jonathan Lewis (the Plaid Tongued Devils) and Peter Moller and Diane Kooch (both of Kris Demeanor's Crack band).
Danielle's second full-length CD was mixed at Alberta’s prestigious Banff Centre by John Sorensen (The Rolling Stones, Beck, the Red Hot Chili Peppers…) and features guest musicians Burton Cummings (the Guess Who), Don Kerr (ex-Rheostatics, Ron Sexsmith), Paul MacLeod (The Skydiggers), Spider Sineaeve (Tom Cochrane's Band) and Luke Doucet (Veal).
Danielle relased this 4 song, minimally produced experimental CD that literally foreshadowed the material that would evolve into her third full-length CD 'Shadows'.
me, myself & i (1995)
Danielle's debut full-length independent CD features guest musicians from Blue Rodeo and Spirit of the West as well as members of the Sarah McLachlan and Barney Bentall bands.
Last Goodbye V1
Take my Love
Must Be Roses
Did You Want Me
Drive (radio edit)
Not My Lover
Time to Kill
Time to Kill (LIVE)
Coming to America, growing musically
[+ Show ]
Canadian Danielle French moves to Door County to expand her musical horizons. As an established p...Canadian Danielle French moves to Door County to expand her musical horizons.
As an established performing, touring and recording singer-songwriter, Danielle French necessarily have to leave Calgary, Alberta for Sturgeon Bay, even temporarily.
Or maybe she did, based on her experiences here.
The indie folk/pop-ish singer-songwriter is in Door County indefinitely to expand her musical horizons, write some new material, record her songs and play some live shows in the area. French wraps up a two-week tour of the Midwest with local singer-songwriter Kory Murphy with a gig Friday night at Untitled Used and Rare Books in downtown Sturgeon Bay.
French’s odyssey from Calgary to the Peninsula came about through her participation last year in the three songwriting workshops offered by pat mAcdonald and melaniejane at the Holiday Music Motel, where she is staying while in Door County. It started in 2012 with “Love on Holiday,” where musicians gather at the motel each February to collaboratively write songs around Valentine’s Day.
“It was so transformative, so magical, that I came back for Steel Bridge SongFest and ‘Dark Songs’ (which are held annually in June and October),” French said in a phone interview. “I had so many songs emerge from me that I wanted to record.”
After talking with mAcdonald, French decided to move to the Holiday, temporarily at least, to help mAcdonald and melaniejane organize this year’s Steel Bridge SongFest — “It’s just a way to be a part of the community more,” she said — while working on her music.
French has been a solo act for most of her 15-year career, recording four albums and having her songs used in movies and TV shows, as well as scoring music for theater. She said she learned a lot from the collaborative writing and performing efforts of the workshops and plans to put that experience to use while on the Peninsula.
“In reflecting back to the workshops, it’s almost like an organized process,” French said. “When you get in these groups, someone gets an idea, someone else gets an idea. I got my first punk song, my first country song out of it ... I haven’t really played with a band before. It’s really just been me in my car, solo, so being with a band was different.
“Four or five songs I did, I’d like to put on the (new) CD. People have told me the songs are mesmerizing, haunting, intoxicating. When you play them live and get that kind of response, it’s something.”
With a recording studio at the motel and access to engineers like Grammy-nominated Billy Triplett and Steve Hamilton, as well as input from mAcdonald, French said she looks forward to working on a new album while here.
“Mostly, I’ll be working on really developing the songs I want to record,” she said. “The project I’m working on, I can’t even really call it a Danielle French project. It’s about the people I’m working with here. Call it Miss Scarlett and the Madmen, kind of a steam-punk thing ... I want to make this as collaborative as possible.”
Becoming part of the arts community
Her concert with Murphy at Untitled is another offshoot of French’s participation in the songwriting workshops. Each released solo albums last year — “Drive” for French,” which she described as showcasing the songs themselves, “Open Cities” for neo-folkie Murphy — and the two spent the past two weeks touring from Duluth, Minn. down to Chicago to support the CDs. Their concerts mostly have them perform their own material as solo acts.
“I met Kory through the songwriting sessions,” French said. “When he heard I was coming here, he said, ‘Oh, maybe we should do some dates.’ He did the poster, I did the publicity. We do individual sets mostly, a few songs together.”
Of course, French also will play live shows while in the county. She has an indefinite gig hosting an open mic night Saturdays at Mojo Rosa’s in Egg Harbor, and she’s taken part in open mics at Poh’s in Sturgeon Bay and Bayside Tavern in Fish Creek.
“I think I’m definitely getting a sense of the music scene here,” French said. “Everyone’s been really welcoming. I don’t want to take any gigs from anybody, but it’s really been a welcoming community. I’m really trying to help raise everybody up here, as well.”
French said that sense of community compares well to her Calgary home, which holds about 1.2 million people in its metro area.
“Calgary is a pretty major city. It’s a very diverse arts scene, all kinds of music, country to punk,” French said. “But it’s also kind of a small town. Even though there’s a lot of artists, a lot of diversity, we all know each other, everybody kinda supports each other. Here, it’s a lot smaller, but there’s a lot of artists, and everybody supports each other here, too.”
There’s more than just music in the local arts scene, of course, and French brings more than just music to it as well. She’s produced and directed three short films to her songs and exhibited her photography and visual art in galleries. The album cover to “Drive” is comprised entirely of her photography, including the self-portraits.
“I’d really like to get into the arts here,” French said. “I feel like I wouldn’t want to go trying to capture Door County, making art cards or something like that, because it wouldn’t feel authentic. But I do have an idea of doing some multimedia stuff.”
Kory Murphy & Danielle French Conclude Midwest Tour at Untitled- A Consequential Duo
[+ Show ]
"I remember I was booked to play Untitled for a gig at Steel Bridge [Songfest]," r..."I remember I was booked to play Untitled for a gig at Steel Bridge [Songfest]," recalls Danielle French, sitting in an armchair, dwarfed by high shelves containing hundreds of multi-colored books. "I thought, 'What? A bookstore?' But then I came here and was like, 'Whoa!' And Steve had some honey whiskey for me." Owner Steven Link throws a thumbs up from behind the register, French and fellow musician Kory Murphy laugh. "Now, I'm like, 'Book me at Untitled!'"
Murphy, who lives above the bookstore adds, "This is one of my favorite venues." A song from his album, Quiet Cities, was even recorded in the bookstore.
Touring together throughout the Midwest since early March, the musicians will conclude their tour at Untitled Used & Rare Books on March 22 at 7:30 pm, in the city whose thriving music scene brought the duo together.
"We met at The Holiday Music Motel last year," explains Murphy. A musician all his life, Illinois native Murphy traveled up to Door County for a solitary camping trip. "I didn't know people actually lived up here," admits Murphy. "I came up here with my guitar and people were like, 'You gotta meet pat [mAcdonald]! You gotta meet pat!' So I stopped in the Holiday Music Motel, introduced myself and we ended up jamming all night."
Alberta native French's life also changed when she met musician and creative director of Holiday Music Motel, mAcdonald.
"I was at a festival in Nashville, of all places, and didn't know anyone and ended up meeting pat and melaniejane," recalls French. Spring of last year, French "was headed this way and asked them if there were any gigs around Valentine's Day. They asked if I could stay for a whole week." Now the Holiday's annual songwriting and performing events are a "priority" for French, who is also helping plan this year's Steel Bridge Songfest.
During Holiday Music Motel's inaugural Love on Holiday songwriting event, Murphy and French were paired together. Murphy's sound has a neo-folksy rootsy feel while French's original tunes showcase a blend of alternative, folk, and rock. "We have wrote a few songs together, and will probably write a few more during the tour," says Murphy.
The musicians challenge one other to explore their musical talents and abilities, something they practice at Door County's many open mics and the Holiday's songwriting events.
"I wrote my first punk song last year. I didn't know it was in me," laughs French, who also recently picked up the accordion. "I started as a drummer," she admits, "and learned guitar out of necessity. I taught myself to play the accordion last year and some [Love on Holiday participants] asked me to use the accordion for their song 'Loose Lips Ship Sinks.' I barely knew what I was doing and then ended up singing half the song!"
Murphy hones his musical skills by participating in the variety of open mics. "It's like practice for me," he says.
In fact, both musicians host weekly open mics – French leads an open mic on Saturday's at Mojo Rosa's in Egg Harbor while Murphy leads Writer's Night at Holiday Music Motel on Thursdays.
Door County concertgoers can catch French and Murphy at each Holiday Music Motel's songwriting events – Love on Holiday, Steel Bridge Songfest, and Dark Songs – and at various venues throughout county.
"I'm still getting acquainted with the area," smiles French, "but the live music scene is great!"
"It's why I live here," adds Murphy.
Best Bets- top local albums of 2012
[+ Show ]
The hyperactive Reno music scene continued to crank out original material in 2012. It sometimes seem...The hyperactive Reno music scene continued to crank out original material in 2012. It sometimes seems every act playing area clubs or bars is peddling CDs or download cards.
A cynic might note the preponderance of stuck-in-the-’70s guitar-bass-drum rockers and stuck-in-the-’80s beeyotch-bling-battle rappers and consider Reno a retro backwater. Closer scrutiny reveals diversity representing nearly the entire spectrum of popular-music genres in this colorful crossroads of the world, which boasts an abundance of proficient players — from classical to jazz, blues, rock, country, hip-hop, Latin, world beat . . . and the latest DJ dance subgenres. Among these are a number imbued with that rarest of musical talents: the ability to write a good song.
In this ranking of area albums released in 2012, criteria included song catchiness, sound freshness and production deftness. Only albums professionally recorded and available in physical and digital format were considered. (The following are on iTunes or other online outlets.)
5. Danielle French “Drive,” singer-songwriter. HT: “Not My Lover.”www.daniellefrench.com. The Canadian-born chanteuse-guitarist who records and performs in Reno has a smooth voice equally suited to up-tempo folk, sultry jazz or torchy soft rock — all which she pens and delivers effortlessly, tastefully backed by guitar, bass, drums, keys and strings.
- Michael Sion
[+ Show ]
Life, as a metaphor, has often been described as a journey, a search for ourselves. Of course, thoug...Life, as a metaphor, has often been described as a journey, a search for ourselves. Of course, though our lives are inconstant, and the scenery may change on a whim, we ourselves remain a constant. It’s what those with wanderlust often neglect to realize: Life is not a journey to find where we ourselves belong, but a journey to belong wherever we find ourselves.
Which is why Calgary native and self-proclaimed nomad Danielle French can say with full confidence, “Reno calls me a local, and when I’m there I realize I’m home.”
This musician from Canada first stumbled on these desert shores in 1998, and immediately felt a sense of community. From the beginning she felt welcomed into the local music scene here. And, over the years it has become something of a surrogate home for her. But, after years of touring through North America, part of which she lived out of her mint-green van, she has come to realize that she is forging lasting bonds in communities wherever she happens to land.
“Reno calls me a local, and when I’m there I realize I’m home—but this is happening in Wisconsin too. When I go there they say, ‘Welcome home,” she says.
Inspired by a poet she saw perform, who described the meaning of being a nomad, she implemented this concept into her life and her music.
“[The poet] described a nomad as ‘A nomad isn’t someone who doesn’t know where they belong; it’s a person that belongs everywhere,’” she says. “That really hit home for me, because I was always someone who was searching for ‘where do I belong?’ and I do belong everywhere.”
But part of taking a journey is the return home.
On her latest album, Drive, she walks familiar territory. Her last album, Shadow, was a very studio-oriented, production-heavy effort. And, though she was immensely satisfied with the album and her growth as a songwriter for the album, on her latest effort she was motivated by a sense of coming back to realm of traditional folk music.
Though she has a full band, Reno’s The Novelists, playing on her record, she put herself as a singer and a guitar player at the forefront of the album.
“If you hear this album with the full band, you can still get the essence of the song, and you can hear that it can be done just with a guitar,” she says. “Making it really clear that I could do these songs with just a guitar was really the focus in the recording.”
And, though the album is laced with jazz, moody acoustic folk and up-tempo rock, at its core it is supported by the vocal and guitar tracks that motivated the album, which plays like a seamless road trip mix, the songs themselves changing as mood and intensity as the landscape viewed from the windshield of your car might.
Drive, which was recorded in Reno and produced by local Tom Gordon, was the first album she has recorded outside of Canada, which is why she is planning on coming back to town to play a CD release show at Cantina Los Tres Hombres on Aug. 16, and also planning to stick around and play a number of shows before and after she heads into the desert for Burning Man.
“I really wanted to have a celebration, and acknowledge where I recorded it,” she says about her record release show, happy to acknowledge that she has already released the album in Canada, where she already had an album release party.
She laughs like a child with too many parents, fully aware that come Christmas time, her only problem will be finding too many gifts under the tree.
CKUA Letter of Reference
[+ Show ]
To Music Programmers, Festival Producers and Other Interested Persons, As the programmer/presen...To Music Programmers, Festival Producers and Other Interested Persons,
As the programmer/presenter/host of close to 15 hours of mixed music radio per week, I’m always on the lookout for something a little different. Yes, there is something comforting about the ubiquitous “guy with a guitar singing about broken hearts,” but variety IS the spice of life and we need a mixture of voices to properly reflect the complexity of the world around us.
Enter Danielle French. Her world begins in the same place ours does; Canada in the 21st century. But on “Shadows”, her latest offering, she chooses to look at that world a little bit sideways, to squint into the sun, so to speak. Sometimes it’s a fun-house mirror image – it’s both familiar and odd. “Beautiful strangeness” has been used to describe her material. It’s an apt description.
That said, it would mean very little if audiences didn’t respond. But they do. Her voice is charming, appealing, compelling. The arrangements fit and the listener can’t help but sit up and take notice.
Danielle is a hard working, Canadian, independent musician who has been honing her craft for more than a decade. She is deserving of a broader audience and the audience for independent Canadian music has never been stronger.
Long live diversity in music!
Host/Producer, “How I Hear It”
CKUA Radio Network
Herizons Magazine Shadows Review
[+ Show ]
October 16, 2007 Having been kicking around since her 1995 debut with me, myself & i, singer-song...October 16, 2007
Having been kicking around since her 1995 debut with me, myself & i, singer-songwriter Danielle French has never quite hit, desipte having strong similarities to Sarah McLachlan and Tara McLean.
Now an independent, French has released one of the most interesting Canadian albums of the year, Shadows. The disc is an incredibly theatrical venture- the 11 songs that make up this CD all have a cabaret feel, employing rising and falling crescendos, concertinas and lyrics that evoke Brecht. Moody and intense, Shadows has a slightly sinister feeling that draws the listen in, demanding full and absolute attention. Songs like "Alive", "Sincere", "Descending" and "Drowning" have titles that reflect their emotional content- a thick, rich mixture atypical of most pop music. On these tracks French has more in common with fellow westerner Veda Hille than the aforementioned scarf-dancing duo.
The production is solid, but if there are any singles here, they don't leap off the disc. However, French may be the kind of artist that other musicians look to when considering featuring the work of others on their own projects.
Well worth a listen.
calgarysongwriter.com Shadows Review
[+ Show ]
A captivating experience. A technically top notch piece of work rich in musical texture, lyrical ima...A captivating experience. A technically top notch piece of work rich in musical texture, lyrical imagery and constantly shifting musical style.
At times bordering on world stylings, at times contemporary, at times simply being. This cd is to be played for the pure pleasure of artist as muse. I found myself spinning it time and time again just for the escape. In a nut shell, this is a very refined outing by a group of superb players and a lady with a very interesting imagination. One of the best outings of the year and a must hear. All the best health and happiness to Danielle and friends for the future and good times.
Reno Gazette Journal
[+ Show ]
November 17, 2006 Danielle French, a longtime visitor to Reno... had been paying her dues for mor...November 17, 2006
Danielle French, a longtime visitor to Reno... had been paying her dues for more than a decade in a career that's teamed her with some key artists there and even earned her a date with the Lilith Fair. "Shadows," French's third disc, demonstrates why she's been compared with the likes of Tori Amos and Tom Waits. Like those two, French has no fear of the bizarre. This disc is often one woozy stagger after another, tumbling between a fairytale and a funfair-turned-nightmare. It can be downright freaky, but it's also pretty and brimming with charm. French's voice is clear and luxuriant, and she often layers her own harmonies as she sings her fanciful yet palpable tales. Behind her, the music pulses, swirls and clatters with sounds that include viola, accordion, synthesizer and tuba as well as bells and jarring chuckles. This is definitely one of the year's most eccentric and inventive... albums.
Reno News and Shadows Review
[+ Show ]
Danielle French ~ Shadows June 15, 2006 OUT OF THE SHADOWS Album covers don't always say much...Danielle French ~ Shadows
June 15, 2006
OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Album covers don't always say much about the music inside. But Danielle French, who moved to Reno from Canada this month, was very deliberate in everything she chose for Shadows, her newly released album. A black-and-white pinhole photograph of French standing before a whirling disc covers the front. It looks like a UFO, but the shot is actually of an amusement park swing ride, taken with a very slow exposure. Smudges lurk around the corner where people were walking by--shadows and ghosts. A negative of the same image is on the back. So there you have it, black and white, positive and negative, spirit world and human one--all elements of the lyrics and music inside.
Just a few days after her arrival in town, the 34-year-old singer-songwriter sits in a bright floral polyester dress and sips iced coffee. "The album deals with the shadow self, or the psyche, and the higher self, that's your spirit," she says. "Those things both kept coming out."
French describes her music as "Tori Amos meets Tom Waits." Her soft, soothing voice has nothing to do with the latter. But the freak show carnival world so often inhabited by Waits has a strong presence here, as does Waits' proclivity to throw a microphone on things like the sound of a creaking chair. But French's music is her own, and with Shadows, her ethereal voice mixes with the grungy, confusing elements of earthly living. The album seems to be about someone lost in an unknown land, where madness lurks around each corner, tugging at her, yet she's still being led to her own path, where things will begin to make sense. It's like a story--one in which the characters dance drunken waltzes and play drinking glasses, singing saws, musette accordions and violas.
French actually made a short film to the music of one of the album's best tracks, "Avalon," and she hopes to do the same with all the songs. "Avalon" opens with an almost industrial sound, like she's singing inside a clock that's ticking with stomps and handclaps. "Time to Kill" is also a lot of fun. With its pumping tuba, accordion and "drunken babbling" (listed as such on the liner notes), it's like something you'd hear in a Tim Burton film. French bemoans the fact that she can't boast much to Americans about the addition of guitarist Martin Tielli of the Rheostatics on her album, but she assures us he's one of the most highly respected musicians in Canada.
While several musicians play on Shadows, French's live shows are generally just her and her guitar. It will be interesting to hear how these layered songs sound in their simpler form. "I wish I could have a band more often," says French. "It's nice to have that energy flow. But there's something to be said about stripping it down to the bone."
French grew up in Calgary but has been touring in Reno since 1998. She says people were incredibly welcoming to her here, and Reno became the "home in her heart." Going mostly on faith and intuition, she decided to move here. Recently, she's been having dreams about death and birth, closing one part of her life and opening another. "But I feel like I'm doing my purpose," she says. "I can't say where I'm supposed to go; that's up to the universe. But life's too short not to do what your heart wants to do."
Carson Times (Carson City, Nevada)
[+ Show ]
Canadian singer finds pleasant venues in Northern Nevada November 17, 2006 Some people have a ...Canadian singer finds pleasant venues in Northern Nevada
November 17, 2006
Some people have a home away from home, but in this case we have our very own "bi-local" musician. That's Danielle French's way of describing herself.
Although French is a Canadian citizen, she loves the area so much she works hard at trying to maintain a dual residence whenever possible. She said she considers our area to be her "adopted home."
French found Carson City and Reno gigs when she was searching for venues to perform her music. In Calgary, the distance was vast between gigs, with "several hours of travel time between every show," French explained. So she came up with a sensible solution. "I decided to do a tour in the states," she said.
But what started out as a practical decision became an event that found French her newly adopted home.
"People supported me and we made a connection," she said. Since that time, she said she has considered herself "bi-local" -- even to the point of setting up a home in the area whenever she's able.
One of the venues she found, and continues to return to, is Comma Coffee in Carson City.
The coffee house is known for concerts, art shows, and events, in addition to its food and drinks. The location touts being, "the comma"» the pause... the breath... the break between two thoughts," on its Web site, seems to match well with French's desire to, "go with the flow of the universe."
French describes her music as "Sarah McLachlan meets Tom Waits."
Searching for words to further explain the sound, she said she'd once heard that her music has a "beautiful strangeness, but it's accessible."
She writes and performs her own songs, and occasionally does covers when they fit.
"I only cover songs I wish I'd written," French said.
French says she'd "love to make enough money to live off of music," and she hopes to create a situation where she can live here full time.
[+ Show ]
October 27, 2006 You know you’re in for a good show when those who heard only the sound check pic...October 27, 2006
You know you’re in for a good show when those who heard only the sound check picked up all three of the artists CD’s before it even started.
Danielle French performed at the Main Street Café Thursday night in promotion of her third independent CD, Shadows. She performed a collection of her own music from her last three albums as well as a few riveting covers.
The modest crowd of 10 made for a comfortable, connected and intimated show. All eyes were constantly on Danielle as her musical performance seemingly enchanted the listeners. Her music was not confined to her lips, voice, fingers or guitar as her toes tapped, hips swayed, head bopped, neck thrust and feet stomped. It was her entire being that performed that night and the audience took every last drop of it in.
The material on Shadows has been described as “beautiful strangeness” by some of her listeners, but whatever you like to call it, each song from the album was rewarded with a warm round of applause.
French said that she wanted to maintain the realness of the recording process while creating Shadows.“ I wanted to put something real into it. Mainstream music is so perfect. I included the counting in of songs, amplified the sounds of a creaky chair and kept the off elements of recording in the tracks. This is the shadows side of the industry,” French said. “People feel like (the music) is familiar, like from a dream. You have to embrace the shadows to create light. It’s about exploring,” French said.
She has worked with artists such as Matthew Good, Burton Cummings, Don Kerr and members of Sarah McLachlan’s band to name a few. And French is proud to announce that one of her songs from Shadows will be featured on the upcoming season of the TV show Falcon Beach.
French grew up in Okotoks and currently lives in Calgary. She has performed in Nanton before and was encouraged to come down and do another show. Although French’s recordings are fully produced, she prefers to tour as a solo act. She will be heading south this week to do a US tour and is excited to stop in Reno, which she describes as “my place; they really love me there,” French said.
Canadian Musician Magazine
[+ Show ]
Danielle French ~ Piece July 2003 Cruising through the ether with fellow artists like Jane Siber...Danielle French ~ Piece
Cruising through the ether with fellow artists like Jane Siberry, singer Danielle French is possessed of a diverse and slightly surreal talent. Piece is her second album (her debut, me, myself & I, was released in 1995), written and recorded over the course of four years and finally released in 2003. Produced by French with help from Chris Brett, the album has a wide-open sound, with loose arrangements and soaring vocals, drawing a line amongst all the obvious influences but creating a wholly original work.
Written between 1993 and 1998 by French, with the exception of a song from Howard Redekopp and a cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill", Piece features contributions from Burton Cummings (guest vocals on the moody To The Death), ex-Rheostatic Don Kerr on drums and Paul McLeod (the Skydiggers) on vocals. French has played an opening slot at Lillith Fair, appeared on television show Rita And Friends, won awards for her songwriting and even written, directed and danced in her own short film, Avalon. She has also recorded and toured as part of Grrrls with Guitars, and informal group that performs in a "songwriter-in-the-round" format and has released a compilation CD.
French often shows up for tours in her customized Dodge minivan, which she has converted into a camper. At last year's Burning Man festival in the Black Rock Desert, NV, she pulled up, dropped green Astroturf, a mailbox and a white picket fence and puttered around in a housecoat all day, much to the delight of the assembled revelers of the ephemeral city. With her sense of humour, French is truly a strange and unique talent.
[+ Show ]
Danielle French ~ Piece Summer 2003 The long anticipated new release by Canadian artist Danielle...Danielle French ~ Piece
The long anticipated new release by Canadian artist Danielle French is amazing. Almost ten years in the making, it is a work rich with emotion and demonstrated with passion. With contributing artists by the likes of Burton Cummings, former Rheostatics percussionist/producer, Don Kerr, and Ontario singer/songwriter Paul Macleod, (to name a few) prove her songs are as varied and versatile as the artists that support her.
From the solid introductory track "As the Crow Flies", and the catchy and uplifting "Till we meet again," she has proven her ability as a strong songwriter. French also expands her creative versatility on the Burton Cummings duet "To the Death", vocal abilities on (my favorite) convincing interpretation of Kate Bushs’ "Running Up that Hill". I enjoyed all 10 of these songs. They kept my interest, and prompted me to press play again, and listen more intently each time.
For those of you in the know of Danielle's former record Me Myself and I, will no doubt be thrilled with Piece. For those not yet, this is an excellent place to start. Watch for show dates, she is as interesting and dynamic live as she is on disc. Impressive…
[+ Show ]
Danielle French ~ me, myself & i 1995 Canada has produced some remarkably original women singer/s...Danielle French ~ me, myself & i 1995
Canada has produced some remarkably original women singer/songwriters, and this excellent debut - despite its indie status - may well auger the arrival of another. french is a careful, melodic, and thoughtful songwriter - and a closely intimate singer- and some of the material is perfectly radio-ready, especially Passing Time. Other songs, including Don't Cry (My Love), Scarlett Wishes, and Fallen Angel, deserve attention. Production and performance, by a sterling crew of Vancouver players, is up to major label standards. Fans of such differing artists as Jane Siberry, Jann Arden, and Sarah McLachlan would all enjoy this if they had the opportunity to be exposed to it.”
Danielle performs primarly original music (although she often throws in a Kate Bush, or Tom Waits cover for fun!). She performs in a wide variety of venues from folk festivals and opening act slots, to coffee houses, campus events, clubs and theatres. She has toured extensively over the past 15+ years throughout North America ~ three of which she actually lived out of her mint green, flowery-curtained Dodge Maxivan! Set lengths range from one to three 45 minutes.
Most recently, Danielle has been encorporating a full band in her live performances to enhance her perfoming opportunities and provide a rich texture to her material.
life is too short
means to an end
not my lover
the weight of it all
time to kill
as the crow flies
till we meet again
to the death
not a moment to late
i will not fall
From 'me, myself & i':
back in your arms
rain me down
me, myself & i
blame it on mercury
all in good time
running up that hill ~ Kate Bush
time ~ Tom Waits
in your eyes ~ Peter Gabriel
this flight tonight ~ Joni Mitchell
the tide is high ~ Blondie
luka ~ Suzanne Vega