After the success of our first Indie Spotlight series featuring the Stephanie Eason Band, ATC is excited to introduce a new Spotlight and a new artist to our readers. This Indie Spotlight is featuring Detroit native Danielle Car. As usual, we’ll begin our feature with a quick biography to introduce you to Danielle!
Having grown up in and around Detroit, MI as a first generation Italian-American, one could say the country music deck was stacked against me. I’ve seen it as a challenge to be embraced and a goal (as the first female country/rock artist from Michigan) to be accomplished. Growing up, our two family passions were food and music. You could always count on salami and fresh Italian Bread in the kitchen, and music on the stereo in the Carlomusto house. Yes, I’ve chopped off the “lomusto” part and shortened my last name to “Car” because nothin’ says yee-haw like a multi-syllable, ethnic last name, eh? Be it Dad playing Pavarotti and ABBA or Mom blaring Kenny Rogers and , great music was an essential part of my childhood. All of us kids were encouraged to play and sing music as well, with the guitar and violin being my self-assigned instruments. While I enjoyed my brother’s frequent renditions of Crazy Train on his hot pink Ibanez guitar as well my adolescent foray into the Queen fan club, Glen Campbell’s version of “It’s Only ” was ultimately what I gravitated toward. The soaring strings and atmospheric rise of Campbell’s voice sealed the deal for me. Writing my own tunes became a natural progression. I wanted to write tunes that moved others the way that song moved me. I believe that all performers should write their own new tunes, especially when they’re just starting out. It’s imperative for folks to get to know me and what I’m feeling, not what some other dude has in mind. He can’t possibly write the soundtrack to my heart, that’s my job.
My discovery and subsequent passion for Dwight Yoakam nudged me to start performing live and in 2003 I hit for a little self-taught crash course in Music Row. Singing at the Nashville Palace and seeing the inner workings of the were an absolute honor, but Motown kept calling. In 2004, I began fronting the of S.E Michigan’s biggest honky-tonk, the Diamondback Saloon. It was there that I learned to entertain. Sometimes, it’s not just a pretty voice folks come for…where I come from, you’ve got to entertain. From Workin’ Man Blues to (yeah, I play a little banjo too…very little) to playing the fiddle behind my back for Boil Them Cabbage Down, I did it all 4 nights a week for 5 years! Opening up for everyone from Eric Church to were definite highlights of playing in the bar and I wouldn’t trade those years for anything in the world, but I was tired (literally) and ready to set out on my own.
So here we have it: 30 years, a couple hundred cannoli, and a lifetime of music on the stereo has brought me to my first EP. These 5 tunes are my little appetizer, my ham & cream cheese roll-ups if you will, with a main course coming soon, God willing! My new release, Danielle Car: The EP is a bit of a departure for what many would characterize as a Detroit sound. No synths, no garage, no . I sing what I know: blue collar, no frills, catchy tunes…well, maybe a couple of frills. Having grown up around an area known worldwide (undeservedly so in most cases) as the very definition of urban decay, I think my tunes carry the same confident anti-swagger our citizens do. We know who we are, what we are and we own it. I think that honesty lends itself perfectly to country music. Motown is now No-town to many, but many of us have a connection to these streets and factories and wouldn’t have it any other way. These tunes are a bit of what I’ve seen and lived over the past few years. I’m riding the momentum to see where it leads me. Hopefully, it leads me to your ears!
(Thanks again to Danielle for taking the time to write this for our readers!)
Look for the second installment of our Spotlight next week as we review Danielle’s EP and to get ready for the holidays, we’ll be reviewing her Christmas song as well!