Are you ready to howl, Phoenix? Then you’ll be in the right place if you’re at the Rhythm Room on Nov. 21 as the Kansas City-based blues and soul singer Danielle Nicole comes to town to showcase her new album Wolf Den.
Nicole will be on the road through mid-December, playing a homecoming show in KC right after the Phoenix show, and playing subsequent dates with the likes of Devon Allman, Mike Zito and Samantha Fish. She was nice enough to take time out from her busy schedule to answer a few emailed questions for us; read below to see what she had to say, exclusively to AXS.com.
AXS: You played the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Columbia, Missouri this year, and that’s right in your home stomping grounds. What was your experience there like, and what other artists did you check out or get to meet?
Danielle Nicole: It’s very close to Kansas City to a touring musician; only 110-miles. It was a great time! I love that they moved it into the park and it was made to feel more like a field festival with family. The headliners were Dr. John and Buddy Guy so I was super torn but got to see them both for a bit. It was great!
AXS: You come from a musical family and you worked with your brothers for over a decade in Trampled Under Foot. Can you recount for us the situation when it dawned on you that you were destined to be a musician?
DN: Absolutely! Kansas City used to have two big festivals back in the ‘80s-‘90s: The Spirit Festival and the Blues & Jazz Festival. I saw BB King for the first time there but it wasn’t until I saw Etta James perform that I knew music was it for me.
AXS: Was your recent gig with Buddy Guy your first with him? Do you have a story?
DN: Actually I got to support Mr. Guy and his band in April 2015 for the first time. We did four dates on the West Coast. I was seven-months pregnant and probably seemed unapproachable (ha ha!) The band was very nice, were absolutely KILLER and I even got to meet Mr. Guy. He was in a great mood and very welcoming.
AXS: Besides material from your album Wolf Den, what other songs might fans hear on your current tour? Do you have favorite covers you sprinkle into the set?
DN: I tend to keep my sets ever-changing and mostly original. However, I have been known to cover some of my favorite tunes up to and including Sam Smith, Bob Dylan and of course some Led Zeppelin!
AXS: Wolf Den came to fruition in New Orleans. How do you think the album would have been different if you had of recorded it, say, in Chicago?
DN: I think it definitely would have changed how loose and swung the record is had we recorded it anywhere else. Had we recorded it in Chicago with Chicago players and the Chicago producer, I think the music would’ve naturally been tighter and perhaps more traditional. I think wherever you record, the environment surrounding you naturally seeps into the art, in whatever form it is, if you are embracing it fully.
AXS: You’ll be playing the Rhythm Room in Phoenix soon. Do you have a favorite memory of something that’s happened in Arizona, on stage or off, on a previous visit?
DN: I played the Rhythm Room once before with my previous band, Trampled Under Foot, and I had a blast! I can’t wait to bring my new band. What I love about the room is that it has a juke joint feel. It’s very hard to match that kind of intimacy. But with a mix between the venue and the crowd I’m sure it’s going to be a blast!
Follow Danielle Nicole here.