Daphne Denniston
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Daphne Denniston

San Diego, California, United States | SELF

San Diego, California, United States | SELF
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Married to the Dashboard Review June 2010"

Daphne Denniston
Married to the Dashboard
Written by Frank Kocher

Listening to certain roots performers' music can be compared to riding in a fast car, or a motorcycle, or maybe an SUV. Local singer Daphne Denniston is more like going down a bumpy road in the worn-out interior of a beat-up 3/4 ton pickup truck, knowing that there is a half-empty bottle of bourbon stashed somewhere in the cab. And, probably, a half-empty gun. Part of the fun is the hard-living danger.

Married to Dashboard is her latest, a great title that follows her 2007 disc Five Dollars or the Truth. Sven-Erik Seaholm produced, and the local studio musicians on board (Peter Bolland, Reverend Stickman, and others) enhance Denniston's storyboards about life on the road and the characters to be met there. For the most part her country-rock vocals steer clear of a songbird approach, but they are more the straight-up, unadorned spinning of a raconteur.

After a few tunes, the listener knows that Denniston's world is one of truck stops, dive bars, small towns, quirky people, and the wide open road. "Jake Brakes" is the lament of a truck driver's woman, using great lyrics to paint a picture of a failing relationship. On "Homefield Advantage," it describes a struggle over a man from the unapologetic viewpoint of the woman whose one-night stand starts the trouble. "Bob's Riverfront Diner," an autobiographical slice of life about a real road café, is a highlight, with verses about Denniston, her sister, and apple butter. A lowdown lover is chronicled in "Your Gibson," as she tells him off for selling his prized guitar when jailed: "I only came back for one thing/Your guitar was in love with me." Denniston lets her pipes go a bit on "The City Is Burning," as close as the disc comes to a personal love song, and handles it well.

The 13 tracks don't stray far from familiar country-roots styles, but the pacing is good, and because of Denniston's songwriting savvy, the listener is always engaged and connects to it personally. The lyrics are included, as one hopes would be the case with all such projects. The disc is the kind that gets better with repeat listens.

"Liberty County" rocks along with Denniston and a carload of cohorts trying to outrun the cops, "Hold on to your beers, boys. If I'm going down, I'm going down." Things are much more mellow on "Cigarettes from Nicaragua," as soft guitar is the only backdrop for a quiet commentary about a mismatched couple. The disc closes with a memorable country ballad, "I Can't Tell You About Montana," another sort of life story of someone who has done a lot of traveling, living, and loving.

Married to the Dashboard offers a generous collection of musical stories about blue-collar people who work, play, and drink hard, written with good imagery and insight. Daphne Denniston's uncompromising style is refreshingly different and makes this disc always entertaining. - San Diego Troubador

"Five Dollars or the Truth Review"

January 17, 2009

The cover art of this debut album, with a somewhat blurry picture of the singer, made me a bit reminiscent of a Symbolist painting by Fernand Khnopff, and it immediately attracted my attention. Curious, I asked myself who this lady with the looks of a 19th Century femme fatale could be.

I soon came to know, by going to her myspace, that singer-songwriter Daphne Denniston, who currently resides in San Diego, California, is a traveling soul who, in recent years, has wandered from state to state throughout North America and other regions. Her impressions are expressed in self-written songs, ten of which are now bundled on her first album, entitled, "Five Dollars Or The Truth.

The music of Denniston could easily be categorized as acoustic alt-country/Americana. All songs were recorded live in a home studio, and there was little or no post-production work involved, so it all sounds a bit like hearing them live in your own living room. But ultimately, those points are all trivial when reviewing a singer-songwriter, particularly in relation to the songs that he or she writes. And so it is on this CD that the diamond in-the-rough is exposed.

Opener 'Something Dangerous' is such a wonderful song that after you listen to it a few times, you can no longer get it out of your head. 'In The Winter Hungry' is strongly reminiscent of the better work of someone like Natalie Merchant. The unusual 'Psycho Magnet' seems like an ode to all the crazy people that we meet our life, and sometimes even ourselves.

In the incantation 'She's All Ghosts' you hear echoes of the young Dylan and the fatal attitude of someone like Nico, as mystical smoke hangs in the air. And the beautiful 'Musicians And Lovers' (also often a fatal combination) could hold its own next to one of the early records of Leonard Cohen.

This may prove that Daphne Denniston will be a name that is not forgotten. Whoever takes the time to carefully listen to this album will find a truly nice discovery, so grab the opportunity.

www.rootstime.be - Rootstime

"Five Dollars or the Truth Review CD Baby"

Five dollars or the truth is now pretty damn near the top of my most played list. Daphne's lyrical depth is a gift that keeps giving. I find something new every time I listen to the CD. Reminds me of when I first listened to Bob Dylan or Townes Van Zandt and realized that there was more to music than a catchy chorus line and a laser light show at the concert. The album manages to be a lyrical heavy hitter without being pretentiously artsy-fartsy by not taking it self too seriously. The backup vocals in "psycho magnet" crack me up. The album also strikes a great balance of emotions. There is a little funny, a little sad, a little let's-get-it-on, and just the right amount of fallin'-in-love. After listening to it I am left with the same feeling you get from a warm well balanced meal. I give the whole works two thumbs up, and that comes from a guy with almost no female vocalists in his music collection. Can't wait for the next album. - Zach Reeder

"Married to the Dashboard Review"

"Daphne Denniston's new album 'Married To The Dashboard,' is refreshingly different and one of the best by a female artist that I've heard recently. More proof that there are a lot of good new independent artists out there who deserve to be more widely heard." -
Roger Proud

"I had not come across Daphne Denniston before but looking and listening to the tracks on her My Space she looks like the first new find for 2010." - Maseman - On Bob Harris BBC Radio forum

"Married to the Dashboard Review AltCountry"

Daphne Denniston is a singer/songwriter who writes songs concerning life itself; contemplative and full of consolation. Married to the Dashboard is, according to the album notes, Ms. Denniston’s first Americana album. The album was produced by Sven-Erik Seaholm, with the musical backing support of Peter Bolland (lead guitar and lap steel), Reverend Stickman (bass), Bill Ray (drums), Brooke Mackintosh (percussion), as well as Daphne’s sister Carrie Denniston, who sings with her on a few tracks. The album contains 13 strong Americana arrangements. Sometimes tormented (“The City is Burning”) or raw (“Other Men's Roses”), and then other times aroused (“Jake Brakes”), the songs never fail to move the listener.

Last week reached Daphne sad news concerning sudden death of the owner of Bob's Riverfront Diner. The restaurant is the topic of her splendid alto country music song of that name. In the subdued, “I Can't Tell You About Montana,” her memories originate mostly from her dreams and warn the listener of asking too much. Daphne Denniston’s Married to the Dashboard its all at once exhilarating, comforting, melancholy and serene. She has a splendid voice, and with much feeling, Daphne sings numbers which set sail to your interior. The environment the album creates, with its fine music and personal lyrics, takes hold of you and seldom leaves you; an interesting lady, this Daphne Denniston.

January 14th, 2009
(Johan Schoenmakers)
- altcountryforum.nl


Married to the Dashboard - full band album released December 2009
Five Dollars or the Truth - solo album released March 2008



Americana/alt-country songwriter Daphne Denniston is a young adventurer, who lived and traveled throughout much of North America and the world before she picked up a guitar and started singing about her experiences. The life experience that she gathered before becoming a songwriter sets her apart from her contemporaries, and her songs ring of the truth, as harsh and beautiful as the land she traveled.

Despite her late start with making music, Daphne has developed into an accomplished guitar player who holds her own in her genre, and generally tours and performs solo for the sake of flexibility. While she never considered herself a singer, her voice has won her much praise when paired with her songs, and her country-rock vocals have been described as “the straight-up, unadorned spinning of a raconteur” (San Diego Troubadour, June 2010). Although she considers Texas her “back home state,” Daphne is currently based in San Diego, CA. She has fans and friends all over the country and the world, and she is always willing to hit the road for a show.