Monday, September 24, 2012

Any Woman's Blues #24 – Danielia Cotton

Happy Monday, & welcome to a somewhat belated Monday Morning Blues—it is actually still morning here in Portland, at least as I begin typing this! It’s the final Monday of September (unbelievably enough), so it’s time for this month’s edition of Any Woman’s Blues.

Some may say that Danielia Cotton’s music belongs more in a discussion of soul, funk or rock than in a blues series—but the fact is, all of these genres spring from the blues an an ultimate source; & at various points in the past, no distinction was made between what we now call “soul” music & what we now think of as “blues”—the category “rhythm & blues” included Ray Charles & Ike & Tina Turner right alongside Howlin’ Wolf & John Lee Hooker.

& however one might quibble about genres in terms of Cotton’s music, there is one main point that can’t be disputed: this is powerful stuff indeed. Indeed, Cotton’s singing has been favorably compared with Tina Turner’s & Janis Joplin’s (two truly great artists who also formed a synthesis between blues, rock & “R&B.”) Cotton came from a musical family—her mother is jazz singer Wenonah Brooks, & jazz singers Jeannie Brooks & Carol Brooks-Meyners are her aunts. Danielia Cotton was given an acoustic guitar as a gift when she was 12 years old, & she took to the instrument quickly; she also began singing with her mother & aunts in a gospel group around this time. Her great vocal abilities won her a full scholarship to Bennington College, where she focused on theater, & she studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London during her senior year.

Music became her career, however; Cotton released a self-titled EP in 2004 thru Hip Shake Music, & then she released her debut full-length album, Small White Town in 2005 on the Thirty Tigers label. This was followed this up with Rare Girl on Adrenaline in 2008 & the Live Child EP in 2009 on Cottonwood. A new album, The Gun in Your Hand, is scheduled for a release next month.

In the context of her own band, Cotton plays rhythm guitar, & switches between a Gibson jumbo (acoustic) & a Fender Telecaster Thinline (semi-hollow Tele!) depending on the overall sound she’s seeking. I do notice she's playing a Rickenbacker on the cover of Small White Town.

Hope you enjoy this powerful music!

Image links to its source


  1. Wow! Just Wow! That first video took me right back to 1969 - they sounded so much like Mountain, and Ms, Cotton's voice sounded a lot like Leslie West's. That second video reminded me a lot of Tina Turner's second coming. Great stuff, John!

    1. Hi Roy: Glad you enjoyed this! She's really good, isn't she!


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