Danielia Cotton
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Danielia Cotton

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Rock


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"LeAnn Rimes debuts confessional new music at Sundance Film Festival"

LeAnn Rimes debuted several new songs at a packed show at the ASCAP Music Café here at Sundance on Jan. 25. Dressed casually in a sweater, black pants, and black velvet boots, Rimes assuredly ran through a 45-minute set accompanied only by keyboards and a guitar.

Although she’s been in the headlines more lately for her love life than her singing abilities, Rimes’ voice is a pure, powerful instrument. Ever since she burst on the scene as a 13-year old in the mid-90s and was hailed the next Patsy Cline, Rimes has displayed a rare talent among contemporary singers. Now 27, the Grammy winner has grown into her pipes.

Nowhere was that more evident then on “What Have I Done,” a raw, emotional song she premiered at Sundance, written by her, frequent collaborator Darrell Brown and David Baerwald. I would have never thought that the gritty Baerwald and mainstream Rimes would be too odd a pairing to work, but if “What Have I Done” is any indication; they capture lightning in a bottle together. Rimes did not say if the song referenced her recent divorce from Dean Sheremet, but it wasn’t hard to read between such lines as “What have I done/I broke the sweetest heart of the only man who ever loved me” and “There’s a hurt in me that I don’t understand.” It’s a gutwrenching tune. On the lighter side, she also performed the up-tempo “God Takes Care of Your Kind,” which she co-write as a revenge fantasy after a girlfriend went through a divorce from a scoundrel.

Rimes is working on two albums, she revealed. Up first will be a covers album produced by Vince Gill. Second will be an album of new material, some of which she debuted at Sundance.

She closed the Jan. 25 session at the Music Café. Among the artists also playing during that day’s concert were pop dance group 2AM Club, whose RCA debut comes out later this year, as well as singer/songwriter K.S. Rhodes, soulful rocker Daniella Cotton and the combo of Vertical Horizon’s Matt Scannell and Richard Marx. The duo played together on Tuesday after playing individual sets on Monday.

Aside from writing surefire melodic pop songs with airtight hooks, Scannell and Marx definitely knew how to work a crowd. Marx told the story of being recognized on Main Street on Monday by a woman who came running up to him and declared her love. He thanked her, after which she asked when had he lost his British accent. “She thought I was George Michael,” Marx grimaced. Scannell then asked if he’d been coming out a bathroom, referencing Michael’s sex scandal a few years back.

The two also managed to play some music between cracking jokes, including a number of songs made famous by each on their own, as well as some new songs, including a great one called “I’m Not Running,” where their voices blended seamlessly together. The pair released an acoustic collection last year and will release a live set recorded earlier this year soon, as well as an electric set in coming months. - HitFix, Melinda Newman

"Event Coverage at Sundance ASCAP Music Café"

On Monday, January 25, music superstar LeAnn Rimes performed a powerful set at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café. Joined by one of her longtime co-writers Darrell Brown on keyboards and guitarist Peter Hutlinger on guitar, Rimes enraptured the audience with her crystal clear voice and emotional songs. The next day L.A. rock band Carney, lead by brothers Reeves and Zane Carney, blazed onstage with their theatrical classic rock attack. The diversity of those two acts reflected the eclectic nature that has always been a trademark of the Music Café. Adding to the mix on days four and five were k.s. Rhoads, Danielia Cotton, The Rescues and Vedera, who all delivered incredible performances in front of packed rooms.

Click to view slide show
All photos by Erik Philbrook
ASCAP Filmmaker & Composer Breakfast brings together some of the best of the fest

On Tuesday, January 26, ASCAP hosted a special, invite-only Filmmaker & Composer Breakfast exclusively for Sundance Film Festival filmmakers and their film composers - as well as other ASCAP composers who were in Park City for the Festival. The ASCAP Filmmaker & Composer Breakfast provides a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers and music creators to connect in a warm and friendly setting. Breakfast attendees had a chance to win Digidesign's all new Mbox from Avid Technology, Inc. (which includes Pro Tools software), and the lucky winner was Nicholas Greer, composer of the music for the festival documentary 8: The Mormon Proposition. - ASCAP, Erik Philbrook

"Artist Spotlight"

“Blues-inflected guitars, a thick rock groove, and the New Jersey native’s big, gorgeous howl.” - Billboard

"Building a Better Lilith Fair"

ots of people are griping about the Lilith Fair lineup for Target Center on Sunday. Here’s your chance to build a better Lilith.

More than 100 artists agreed to play some dates on the traveling female festival this year. There are 33 candidates for five slots on the main stage (founder Sarah McLachlan is grandmothered in as headliner) and 80 performers for four spots on the second stage.

After studying the list of eligibles, here is my fantasy lineup, which is heavy on big voices and/or high energy needed for an eight-hour marathon capped by the luxuriously mellow McLachlan:

Main stage: Gossip, Metric, Brandi Carlile, Mary J. Blige, Miranda Lambert, Sarah McLachlan.

Second stage: Daniella Cotton, Ke$ha, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Janelle Monáe. - Minneapolis Star Tribune, Jon Bream

"Lubriphonic and Danielia Cotton hit Silverthorne"

Eclectic music will be rolling off the mountains today as two bands take the stage at the Silverthorne Pavilion lawn.

The concert begins at 6 p.m. with the funky sounds of roots music blended with rock 'n' roll. Lubriphonic, a self-proclaimed “rock jam band” based out of Chicago, Ill., is comprised of five members: Giles Corey, guitar and vocals; Johnny Cotton, trombone; Joewaun Scott, bass; Rick King, drums; and Ron Haynes, trumpet.

Lubriphonic got its name late one night while the band was drinking together with a friend after hours. No one in the band was too interested in finding a name for the band, so when the name was suggested the band went for it.

“Nobody hated it, and it sort of made sense because we were getting ‘lubed' at the time, so we kept it and moved on,” Giles Corey said.

Corey characterizes the band as energetic, entertaining, empathetic and earnest. The band members all have blues and soul music backgrounds, which helps formulate their own take on rock 'n' roll.

Lyrically, Corey said, he gets his inspiration for songs from his life and the lives around him.

“I've lived what I sing about,” he said. “I can't do it any other way — otherwise I feel really schmaltzy.”

Christine Mahorney, pavilion coordinator for the Town of Silverthorne, said Lubriphonic's unique style of music will enrich the audience's evening.

“I think it's rare these days that bands will perform live with trumpets and other brass instruments,” Mahorney said. “It was an opportunity to host a great band and introduce some of our younger audience members to a style of music and instruments they may never have heard live before.”

Taking the stage at approximately 8 p.m. is Danielia Cotton. Her band's self-described “black-rock” sound is created through Marc Copely, lead guitar, backing vocals; Winston Roye, bass guitar; Clancy, drums; and, of course, Cotton, lead vocal, electric and acoustic rhythm guitars. Subbing for Copely at the Silverthorne show is Ben Butler.

Cotton's music comes straight from her heart and soul. The music bleeds out of her with each chord she strikes. She writes most of her songs and all have very deep, personal meanings to her.

“I try to just pick moments that are important and powerful,” Cotton said about her lyrics. “(I) never pick ones that I can't revisit healthily. They are stories from my life that we thread together into little moments.”

Cotton performed at the pavilion last year and was chosen again because her performance created a dynamic response.

“She opened a lot of ears to a powerful voice (last summer) that, personally, I don't think we've heard since the likes of Janis Joplin,” Mahorney said.

Last year Cotton brought some people in the audience to tears after her rendition of Prince's “Purple Rain.”

Previous years' concerts were held inside at the Silverthorne Pavilion but moved outside after a trial run last year. Town feedback indicated people really enjoyed being able to watch a concert outdoors on a lawn like they do in Denver and larger cities.

“Our goal when putting these (concerts) together was to give folks a full opportunity to enjoy summer evenings outdoors on the grass, and we felt in order to do that we needed more than one band,” she said. “It was important for us to have a robust evening that would give guests an opportunity to really sink into the atmosphere and not feel like it ended too soon.”

Tickets are available to purchase the day of the show. Adult tickets are $5 and children under 12 get in free. Admission to the lawn starts at 3 p.m. Attendants are encouraged to bring a blanket, lawn chairs and a cooler of food and refreshments. Outside alcohol is not allowed at this event. - Summit Daily-Breckenridge, Erin Tracy


Danielia Cotton starts her second album, “Rare Child” (Cottontown/Adrenaline), by announcing, “I’m a little black girl who’ll rock your world,” and she sets out to do just that in an old-fashioned, demographics-defying way: with blaring, guitar-charged, Southern-rooted rock that links her to Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Black Crowes, Janis Joplin, Aerosmith and the rockier side of Bonnie Raitt. She’s a belter who can hold back or work her way up to a gospelly blues-rock shout, and in the songs she writes with her band’s brawny guitar rifffs, she grapples with the road, salvation, holding on and letting go: “The truth will set you free, but it always feels like it tears you apart,” she sings. She’s a throwback, but a gutsy one. - New York Times, Jon Pareles

"Artist Spotlight"

“Blues-inflected guitars, a thick rock groove, and the New Jersey native’s big, gorgeous howl.” - Billboard

"ABC Music Lounge on the Road: Lilith"

I can really tell we are getting close to the end of this tour because I am starting to lose all sense of time and place.. haha I believe we are in New Jersey today but then again, I keep hearing our show was in New York? Either way, it was an excellent day filled with meeting fellow artists, great shows, and good food. Huge green trees surrounded the venue and we lucked out with the weather as well ! It was warm with a nice cool breeze.. My set wasn't until a later 6:30 pm but I was surprised that many of my lovely New York fans came out to see me ! Thank you guys for making my day :) Believe it or not, I didn't get to see this performer, but just from what I heard.. the local winner, Daniella Cotton rocked! I could hear her loud and clear from my tour bus, this lady can sing !! Another artist I caught recently who I am just loving is Sara Maclachlan's background singer and bassist Butterly Boucher! Her set is so different from all of the other artists who have been on Lilith and her song with the lyric 'I can't make me love you'.. is probably my new favorite song. She performs this with Sara acoustically and it's phenomenal. My giddy, girl crush moment of the day was briefly meeting the talented and charming Sara Bareilles by the dressing rooms. If you haven't seen this lady live, you are missing an amazing show. Her voice is simply flawless and her banter in between songs is sweet and humorous. I feel so lucky to have encountered such talent on this tour and feel lucky to have been a part of it. Tomorrow is Hartford! Looking forward to seeing Toby Lightman and her band! Until then, goodnight :) - ABC Music Lounge, Marié Digby

""Livin' Live" Cover Story"

Car horns blare loudly in the background as Danielia (Dah-NEEL-yuh) Cotton talks on her cellphone while bustling through the streets of New York. She’s just finished a two-hour karate class — part of her training for the New York Marathon. She’s a personable whirlwind of energy and laughter and it comes as no surprise, particularly considering the charismatic intensity of her performances, when she admits, “I like doing things at an intense level.”

Cotton’s music is an eclectic bag of her rock, soul, gospel, jazz and singer-songwriter influences. Her 2005 debut album, the Kevin Salem-produced “Small White Town,” compellingly chronicled her experience as “one of the few little black kids in a town of little white kids listening to rock ‘n’ roll” in her hometown of Hopewell, NJ — and the seminal impact of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt and Todd Rundgren can be discerned throughout, most affectingly on revealing tracks like “Devil in Disguise,” “4 a Ride” and the anthemic “It’s Only Life.” Her polished, funky 2008 follow-up, “Rare Child,” earned widespread acclaim for gospel-inflected rockers like “Testify” and personal anthems such as “Bang My Drum.” Cotton’s gritty, roof-raising voice can evoke Tina Turner at her best, and has earned her a devoted following if not record-breaking sales.

She favors music that takes listeners on a journey, whether she’s performing or listening to other artists with “signature voices” who put their lives “out there and sing about it emotionally” such as personal faves Pink, the Eels, Oasis, My Morning Jacket and Kings of Leon.

“I only cover things that I really feel like I can jump into the same way I do my own thing,” she says. “I like stories that I can tell with emotion and really go someplace great. I love music that really makes you feel something.”

Currently, she’s focused on honing new material, which, fingers crossed, she’d like to record before September. “I’ve been working with some writers that I really respect and really editing the work, making it the best that it can be,” she explains. “I think sometimes in the past I just went, ‘Oh, this is good!’ and recorded it. … These songs have benefited from a really intense editing process.”
She’s hoping to test-run new tunes at a Manhattan music hall before taking them into the studio. Hopefully, she’ll try out some when she plays Levitt Pavilion Thursday, where she also promises she’ll also pull out her band’s over-the-top cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”

“I record [albums] because I have to, but if I had my preference I would record live. I like the studio because it’s fun, but there’s nothing like live performance where you get an audience response … I get something from it just as much as the audience, if not more.” - Pasadena Weekly, Bliss

"Old, New, Borrowed, Blue"

“This is a wonderful [Lilith Fair] bill. Danielia Cotton's 2009 live set, "Live Child," showcases her straight-ahead bluesy take on folk." - Wall Street Journal, Jim Fusilli

"iRock Artist of the Week: Danielia Cotton"

Do you believe in reincarnation? After listening to this week’s iRock artist, it seems like Jimi Hendrix has been reborn 40 years later—this time as a sultry soul rocker from New Jersey. That’s right, Jersey got its groove back. Danielia Cotton is single handedly redefining the black rock that Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and Tina Turner laid down many years ago. Not only does Danielia have an irresistible vocal tone but the funk rock-driven guitar that she hammers away in “Make U Move” really gets you groovin’ to the beat. Danielia implements many different influences in the country-esque tune “Bang My Drum” with gospel style vocals helping push the song along. Between both tracks, Danielia finds her sound and knows how to get the listener hooked from start to finish. Take a listen below and spread the word about this fantastic OurStage artist— she definitely deserves it with all the hard work she’s put into her music.

After many months of listening to the rock artists on OurStage, I haven’t come across a musician as authentic as Danielia Cotton so I knew that she would be the best artist to feature on this last post. Without further ado, I bid you all a fond farewell and leave you with something I hope you all can appreciate. Keep supporting underground music—only you can help these young artists find their path into the limelight. - OurStage.com, Internet Warrior


"Live Child" EP - Cottontown Records 2009
"Rare Child" - Adrenaline 2008
"Small White Town" - HipShake Music 2005
"Danielia Cotton" EP - HipShake Music 2004



Growing up in rural Hopewell, New Jersey, Danielia Cotton stood out. Not just because she was only one of about seven African-American children in her junior high school, but because of the compelling power of her shockingly big voice, which stopped people in their tracks from early on. Danielia’s natural gift—raw, searing vocal chops combined with a deep, buttery tone—draws from the two different rich traditions that she absorbed early in her youth. On the one hand, she couldn’t get enough of what her friends and neighbors were listening to: AC/DC, Zeppelin, the Stones. On the other, she was her mother’s girl: daughter of a jazz singer and member of the church gospel choir, grooving to Mavis Staples, Etta James, Billie and Ella.

The happy collision of these two traditions is her 2008 album, Rare Child, produced by Brad Jones (Jill Sobule, Over the Rhine) and co-produced by Joe Blaney (Shawn Colvin, Soul Asylum) and Danielia herself. A major hit with critics, the sheer joy and pain she evokes in these self-penned tunes instantly draws the listener in. She pulls, stretches and grips her lyrics with a strength that is startling considering this lovely young woman’s seemingly happy-go-lucky demeanor and petite frame. Appearances asides, like male counterparts Jimi Hendrix, and Sly Stone or crossover icon Tina Turner, Danielia not only has embraced the notion of Black Rock—she has re-defined it.

Pure self-determination and raw talent got her to a place where she’s been able to play at clubs and festivals including Lillith Fair, Allgood, XPN festival, Sundance, and Wakarusa, and open for some of the biggest names in rock, R&B and blues such as the Allmans, B.B. King, Derek Trucks, Bon Jovi, Lynyrd Skynyrd, 3 Doors Down, and Robert Cray.

Her latest disc, Live Child, is a riveting, unvarnished document of her live set – a companion piece to Rare Child – that won “Best Live Album” in the 2009 Independent Music Awards. Cotton relishes her independence as well as her eclecticism: “Once you sell your soul, I think it’s very hard to get it back.” And in her songs one can indeed hear something rare: an unfettered artist singing out her life story. No sellout, just soul.