Danielle Nicole

Danielle-NicoleWhen it comes to an ability to belt out blues that bring your bones to a simmer, vocalist and bassist supreme Danielle Nicole is cut from the same soulful cloth as Etta James, Koko Taylor and Shemekia Copeland. In other words she is the vocal personification of everything blues fans love about the genre. She can be soft and sweet. She can be nurturing and wise. But mostly she can be wild. And over the years wild women and the blues have gone together like candy bars and cavities.

Wild Woman’s Blues

Nicole (born Danielle Nicole Schnebelen) hails from the storied city of Kansas City, Missouri, a locale long known for being a hotbed for music. In particular, the genres of jazz and blues have benefited from the fruits of this legendary city.

Over the decades, KC has given the music world bebop pioneer Charlie ‘Bird’ Parker, blues shouter Big Joe Turner, Saxophone giant Lester ‘Prez’ Young and renown composer Burt Bacharach.

Danielle Nicole and company seem determined to keep KC’s spirit alive. It only makes sense that she and her band mates would embody everything about the bluesy soul of her hometown, from her gut-shredding howls to the rhythmic sway of the band’s funk-laden beat. Simply put, Danielle Nicole and the boys sound like the blues. To do it any other way would be an affront to Kansas City’s proud tradition.

Trampled Under The Heavy, Funky Blues

Another proud tradition in the world of the blues is that of family members teaming up to dazzle the crowd with their prowess at an early stage of their development. This is how Stevie Ray and his brother Jimmy did it as well as a host of others.

Danielle NicoleFor Danielle that family band was Trampled Under Foot, Danielle’s second band after a brief stint in a group called Fresh Brew. The band’s moniker would suggest an influence from legendary blues-inspired rock group Led Zeppelin (Trampled Under Foot was a standout track on the band’s Physical Graffiti album). Of course, it’s just as likely that the unusual name was intended to describe the feeling of being crushed by the weight of their heavy, funky blues. The next step along the way to stardom was for the three piece to become a five-piece. Soon they completed the lineup with Jan Faircloth on drums and Mike “Shinetop” Sedovic on keyboards.

When the family’s father Bob – himself a blues guitarist in a local outfit dubbed Little Eva – introduced his three offspring into jam sessions, the band found the kind of success that proved an effective training ground for the young family act. In 2013, Trampled Under Foot’s fifth album Badlands soared to the top of the Billboard blues album charts. Additionally they served as the opening act for George Thorogood in Montreal and have won a number of prestigious awards. Among them came a victory in the International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards in the categories of Contemporary Album (for Badlands) and Best Instrumentalists – bass category for Danielle’s four-string wizardry. They were also nominated in the for Band of the year.

Recommended Album
Although she wasn’t an entirely unknown talent at the time of release for her solo debut Wolf Den, the album nonetheless feels like the dazzling coming out of a previously well-kept secret.

Nicole is in her element here in a way that feels breathtakingly natural and elegant. She is at home singing the soulful blues, whether it has the sinful touch of “I Feel Like Breaking up Somebody’s Home” or the subtle warmth of “In My Dreams.”

With heads-spinning variety and a consistent punch, Danielle Nicole’s album is very much a Wolf Den. And Nicole has just the right kind of bite to be right at home here.

Wolf Den

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Trampled Under Foot’s triumphs set the stage for Danielle to go it alone so, after ditching her cumbersome and not especially blues-friendly surname, Danielle did just that, embarking on a solo career and subsequently reaching number two on the blues album charts with Wolf Den.

All of this may seem as though she’s poised to recapture the top spot on the charts, but in truth Danielle may be ready for even bigger victories. An acclaimed singer and bassist who has won the admiration of critics, fans and fellow musicians alike, Danielle angelic, if rough-edged voice is destined to soar into the hearts of unsuspecting blues fans.