Danielle Miraglia is a regular in the Boston music scene. There are many opportunities to see her sitting in with any number of bands or with her own band but it’s a true pleasure to hear her in a listening space with great acoustics where you can hear the nuances of the lyrics and the finger picking and boot stomping that she’s known for. Her foot stomping is such an integral part of her act that she brings a special handmade stomp box with her to her solo gigs.
To learn more about Danielle Miraglia, visit her website.
Here’s a good example of what Danielle does best!
For people who didn’t know you or your music, how would you describe yourself?
I pick with my fingers, stomp with my left foot on a wooden box. My songs tend to be about the dark stuff with a bit of hope and light thrown in. Always looking to connect and give people an experience. (Self-descriptions always read like a bad Tinder profile.). Just show up. It’ll be a good time!
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up?
As a kid of the 80’s, I listened to the popular music of the time. Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Prince & all artists associated with Prince. I’m still obsessed with him to this day. When I started playing guitar at 13, I was listening to metal bands like Guns n Roses, Ozzy etc. What changed everything was being introduced to classic rock music from the 60s and early 70s – the golden era of popular music. Janis Joplin, Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Tina Turner…these artists opened me up to what became the meat of my playing and singing style. They led me to the blues.
It’s pretty obvious that you’ve studied some of the famous and infamous blues artists throughout history. This isn’t exactly the kind of music that a young girl growing up in Revere, MA would gravitate toward. How did you discover this music and what was it that captivated your musical sense?
It’s like you read my mind. See above for answer on what led me there. What makes me gravitate to it is that it’s as honest as music gets. Both in feel and in content. There’s nothing contrived in old blues music. It’s all real and not pretentious. It can be deeply sad, but also often tongue in cheek. With the blues, you get everything from suicide to sexual innuendo to murder.
Are there specific techniques that you learned from any of these blues greats?
My finger-picking style is mostly influenced by Mississippi John Hurt and Big Bill Broonzy. I learned the technique for playing the bass-line and the melody at the same time from MJH. And I think my heavier thumb is somewhat influenced by BBB. But it also just felt natural to me to pull at the low strings a little harder and make em’ pop. That could also be the r&b/funk artist wannabe in me.
You studied creative writing at Emerson College. How did that course of study help prepare you for a life as a performing songwriter?
I was doing mostly prose writing at Emerson. Working on a novel excerpt and short stories. It helped with some of the basic story-telling techniques. Show don’t tell. Make sure every event moves the story along. All of this had to be translated over time to songwriting, which sometimes has the same rules, but also is much more open to varying techniques. I still apply the rule that every verse should bring the story along or serve a purpose. But also, being repetitive works in songs, but doesn’t usually work in prose-writing.
How does your recent CD Glory Junkies compare to your other recorded efforts?
Glory Junkies is the closest I’ve come to making a record that sounds like something I would actually listen to. No one really likes to listen to themselves and honestly, I haven’t listened to it, since it came out, but the vibe and production is much more true to me than anything else I’ve done. It’s mostly a full band. The songs have a rock groove to them – a little more Stones influence showing up on this one.
Your touring schedule is impressive. You’re here, there, and everywhere. Do you have any tips for other travelng musicians about how to keep on keepin’ on “on the road”? Are you a blasting music to the max on the radio kind of person or a keepin’ in quiet and watching the road cautious driver kind of tourmeister?
I listen to comedy podcasts constantly while driving. This has gotten me through many long drives. But I have to say, before there were podcasts, I did a lot more of my writing while driving. So I’ve been trying to designate time to just having silence, so my mind can actually form its own thoughts. That’s when song ideas come. But I do occasionally listen to music loudly. Lately, I’ve been finding a song at a time. I’ll find something I like and will listen to that one song on repeat.