Danielle Ate The Sandwich

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Danielle Ate The Sandwich Releases Newest Full-Length Like A King

:: Danielle Ate The Sandwich ::
:: Twist & Shout :: June 5 ::
:: Everyday Joe’s :: June 8 ::
:: Bluebird Theater :: June 10 ::

By Brian Turk

Since 2006, Danielle Ate The Sandwich has been captivating audiences, both live and on YouTube, with a ukulele and a kitschy, punchy, comedic style that on the surface seems simply humorous, but also reveals a smartness, musical skill and deft story-telling ability that many artists could only dream of developing.

From her earliest performances there was, and still is, an honest youthful naiveté to her stage presence, her videos and her albums, but her latest work, Like A King, which will be released this month, eludes to the woman that Ms. Sandwich, the musician, has grown into.

“There are days when I feel like [Like A King] is really different, and kind of cooler sounding; more youthful in a sense that the bar crowds that I sometimes skim over will appreciate it and like it,” said Danielle Anderson in a recent interview with The Marquee. “Other times, I listen to it and it sounds a lot like my other songs. I felt more comfortable in the studio, and I think that comes through in the performance, in the singing and expression. I was also more comfortable with the band, and they’ve been around me for a while. So they know what my limits are, and what I am wanting and not being able to say. They were really good at suggesting things that weren’t too out of the box, but they were things that I never would have thought of, so the cohesiveness of the group sound pulls together a lot more, too. It’s less like I hired these people to play in the studio with me, and more like these are my friends and we’ve been playing for a while.”

Those studio friends include her touring band members Dennis Bigelow (bass) and Chris Jusell (violin, viola), in addition to drummer Jon Powers, pianist/accordianist Scott McCormick (Boulder Acoustic Society, Lee Avenue), trumpeter Ron Miles, vibraphonist Greg Harris, and steel guitarist John Macy. The mix of Anderson’s songwriting with the fullness achieved by the additional musicians gives Like A King a richer, more developed sound than 2010’s comparatively sparse Two Bedroom Apartment. But like Two Bedroom Apartment, Like A King showcases Anderson’s incredible vocal prowess that continues to be the forefront of her work.

However, even with a more refined sound, Anderson hasn’t eschewed the light-heartedness that helped to draw attention in the first place. Anderson writes, and often jokes to her audiences, with brutal honesty, and her self-disclosure on the record and on stage have made it easy for audiences to connect. “It’s actually pretty easy for me. What I worry about is offending people in my life. I think: ‘Danielle you shouldn’t do this because some of these stories aren’t just yours;’ or ‘the truth behind some of these songs isn’t just your truth,’ you know, ‘you don’t own them.’ Sometimes I am more honest on the stage than I am with the people in my life, so that can be a dangerous place,” she said.

The truth that Anderson conveys, and her use of instruments and lyrical structure, classifies Danielle Ate The Sandwich as a folk musician, but she wasn’t listening to Peter, Paul and Mary when she was growing up. “Yeah, I definitely didn’t grow up on folk music, so I have no idea how I came to be a folk singer,” she said. “Maybe it was just in me. I guess listening to Sarah McLachlan in high school was when I connected with an artist and said I want to start writing music that sounds like this. Mostly in high school I listened to Incubus. Then in college, and right after I graduated from college, I got more into Bob Dylan and Simon and Garfunkel. Well, Paul Simon particularly, and Joni Mitchell, and other classics. Most people would go, ‘Oh, you must have grown up on this stuff,’ but I didn’t find it until I was in my twenties. I still love music like that, but I get to a point with music — I don’t know if everyone does — where you listen to it and listen to it and then you are kind of tired of it. Then you go to something else, and a few years later you come back to it. I think I am on my ‘off period’ with serious, good music; music I relate to as a writer and as a human. Now I just want to listen to songs about dancing in the clubs,” she said.

Danielle Ate The Sandwich isn’t a person, but a brand. Her brilliant marketing and self-promotion  have gotten her 33,000 subscribers and almost six millions views on YouTube, and she is the business foundation of the project as well as the performer. But while the business side takes up the lion’s share of time, Anderson said that the simple joy of performing is all that is on her mind. “Sometimes I perform so much that it feels like a job, and it feels like any other day. Once in a while, though, it just feels so good that I don’t want to stop singing, and I’m into it even if the crowd isn’t into it, or even if the crowd isn’t giving me that much back. Sometimes it just feels so good for me to sing. Those are my favorite moments, when I can feel like, ‘Oh yeah, this is why I do this, because I freaking love doing this!’ It’s not about all the other stuff, like sending e-mails and ordering t-shirts, because that stuff I get wrapped up in very easily. I love the times when I am singing my songs and realize they are good songs, and I am a good singer, and this is fun,” Anderson said.

:: Danielle Ate The Sandwich ::

:: Twist & Shout :: June 5 ::

:: Everyday Joe’s :: June 8 ::

:: Bluebird Theater :: June 10 ::

 

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• Joni Mitchell

• Adele

• Richard McGraw

 

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