chronique du cd backbone Denise Marie*****
Philippe Le Guennec
Contrairement à ce que l'on pourrait penser,malgré son nom bien Français Denise Marie est bien une chanteuse/guitariste Américaine née dans la région de New York apres avoir appris les rudiments de la guitare avec son frere,quitta la ferme familiale des l'age de 16 ans, subvenant à ses besoins grace à des petits boulots, elle s'installa dans le Nouveau Mexique,ou elle cotoya "cowgirls" indiens, & une communauté Hippie. En 1995 elle s'installa à La Nouvelle Orleans véritable carrefour musical qui a l"écoute de son nouvel album est le veritable reflet de sa musique. Ses influences sont particulierement nombreuses & variées; une bonne base de blues du bayou,du"swampy jazz", du folk, & un coté bien "roots" le tout joué avec une technique de guitare impressionante aussi à l'aise en finger picking, à la "slide guitar" accords ouverts...On ajoute un sens de la compo incroyable, ce qui lui donne un style unique.Tres active des deux cotés de l'Atlantique jouant aussi beaucoup en Europe (Grande Bretagne,Irlande, Italie, Allemagne, Belgique meme en France & en Hollande ou elle a enregistré son cinquieme album l'été dernier en compagnie de son fiancé Marcel Koster (batteur,percussioniste & accordeoniste) & d'Evert Willsemsjim (bassiste/contrebassiste). Içi pas de reprise mille fois entendues, que des compos bien pensées, écrites avec beaucoup de style,certes si n'est pas un album de blues pur c'est particulierement agreable a écouter pour multiples raisons: une voix enchanteresse,à la fois douce & envoutante...De belles parties de guitares aussi bien acoustiques qu'électriques qui sortent des sentiers battus....çà s'écoute d'un trait...Notons entrautre quelques titres "backbone" ou Denise excelle à la slide guitar, & sa voix plaintive fait merveille, "i got time" belle ballade rejoint à l'accordeon par M K, "Ride the pony" tres blues, meme un morceau chanté en Français "amour eternel"shady tree est superbe aussi "the long journey home"superbe ... Pour conclure cette perle un bel instrumental joué à la guitare acoustique " the eleventh dream" .Un album qui sort du lot fait par une artiste talentueuse qui a beaucoup de style & de personnalité c'est si rare de nos jours...
The Gappy Tooth Industries Magazine, Oxford England
Issue 38 August 08
Interview with Denise Marie
GTI: Tell us a bit about your music
D: My music isn’t one style and it will keep changing. The music I’m doing right now is girlieswamp and bayoustomp. I’m really into a lot of different kinds of music but if you want a more typical description it’s a mix of blues, jazz, world, and rhythm is important to me, it has to groove…..I’m a songwriter, I play guitars, electric, acoustic and tenor (4 stringed guitar), I sing in a feminine way but sometimes I growl. My voice is changing as I get older. I also play the riqq (middle eastern tambourine) while singing. For this tour in England I’ll have my old blue stratocastor and be playing a lot of slide guitar mixed in with some other styles. I traveled with two acoustic guitars for the last several years, I wanted a change, so I’m back to the electric for a while.
GTI: You live in New Orleans. Tell us what’s best about living there.
D: There’s more then one best thing about living in New Orleans….real music of all shades, real people of all shades, the tradition of music and it being passed down to anyone who wants to learn it, someone saying “hey beautiful” whether you’re fat, skinny, ugly or old, flowering trees all year round, old wooden houses painted, purple, orange or any other color you want, porch swings and claw foot bathtubs, walking in city park, looking at the giant, ancient live oaks, breathing in the thick, heavy air that makes your skin soft and your hair curly, walking around Bayou Saint John watching the pelicans dive in the water for fish, somewhere in the distance always music, a trumpet maybe or a parade or a stereo or a band playing outside at a party or park, and always birds singing too, but also it can be really quiet, a slow pace, time isn’t going anywhere and things aren’t getting done very fast, it’s deep down in New Orleans and it’s old, sidewalks are crooked and broken and the houses are bent, graveyards are little villages of their own, then there’s gumbo at Liuzza’s by the track, mmmmm, I miss that when I travel, cat fish poboys, getting your drink in a ‘go cup’ at the bar and going into the next bar with it, checking out several bands for free on any given night, knowing your neighbors, talking to them and a feeling of a community that is saving themselves, helping each other and rebuilding their lives without the help of government because they love the place and it’s their home and there is no other place like it and if you’ve ever been there you know exactly what I mean.
GTI: Can you recommend something that we might not have heard before?
D: Music you may not have heard? hmmmmm….how about Olu Dara, The Subdudes, Rosie Ledet, Earl King, Snooks Eaglin, Katie Webster, Myshkin, Memphis Minnie, Jo Privat or Blossom Dearie.
GTI: Where would you like to visit that you haven’t been to before?
D: Brazil and Cuba. I’m working on gigs for Brazil…Cuba’s another story with me being American and all…
GTI: What’s your favorite way to travel?
D: My favorite way to travel is by bicycle. I live in New Orleans but spend half the year in Europe touring and home base is The Netherlands. I have a bicycle there, strap on the guitar on the back and go…but most of the time it’s too far to bike then I go by train in Europe, I like the rhythm of the clickety clack, plenty of time to think and chill.
GTI: What’s your favorite travel related song?
D: My favorite travel related song is ‘I’ve Been Everywhere’ by Johnny Cash
OFFBEAT MAGAZINE: NEW ORLEANS AND LOUISIANA MUSIC
'APHRODITE AND OUTLAWS'
(ORIGINALLY TITLED: MESSAGE FROM APHRODITE)
Little Hummingbird Music
Since settling in the Crescent City nearly a decade ago, Denise Marie has certainly become ensconced within her more humid environs while making her presence felt on the quasi-folk scene. Her third and best effort to date unequivocally demonstrates such as Marie towers in a class where few contemporaries fuse their surrounding sonic landscape into a signature folky-bluesy-jazzy, even a world-based identity. Throughout this artful baker’s dozen, Marie saunters between styles, from original muted-trumpet arrangements striking moods of dissonance to rollicking trad compositions (“Your Kiss”) and elegantly played guitar instrumentals. Her songs sweep across a wide gamut of emotions like the brief edginess of “Long and Loud” to the hopelessly romantic “I Gave You a Chance” that was inspired by jazz vocalist Blossom Dearie. She often drops great lines when you’re least expecting it: “Let’s get away from the merciless chitter-chatter of the bourgeoisie.” And then there’s the bomb song, “What Would Jesus Bomb?” that rightfully deserves its place alongside other peace anthems. There’s even a portrayal of death (“Suplicándole a la Muerte”) where a protagonist unsuccessfully battles the reaper, only to find peace and tranquility symbolized by cheery whistling. Once again, Marie raises the bar of personal excellence.
Westdeutsche Zeitung - April 1, 2003
Blues Week: Denise Marie excites with feminine expression
With blues in the soul one can write impressive songs. Last Sunday at the VHS Hall "Blues Lady" Denise Marie let her listeners feel that music and especially the blues are more than a simple intonation of lyrics. Her songs go way under the skin and always involve her own experiences, hopes and doubts...
Solingen Tageblatt - April 2, 2003
"Kein Krieg" - der rote Faden beim Konzert
The Leitmotif of the Concert: NO WAR
American singer Denise Marie opens Blues Week at Steinenhaus
"No War", the two small words expressed by American singer Denise Marie at the opening of the Solingen Blues Week at The Steinenhaus not only caused spontaneous applause but supplied the theme for the two hour concert. click here to read remainder of review
Rootstown Music - April 2003
The link between Jesse Malin and Denise Marie would be good old George Bush, Jr. They both showed their resentment for their president very openly, nothing new amongst musicians these days. Denise Marie originally from upstate New York, moved via New Mexico to New Orleans. One night I get a call from her from the Crescent City. Could I arrange a gig for her in Belgium. Fortunately we have Toogenblik, and they don't have any reason to complain...
OFFBEAT MAGAZINE - REVIEW
Denise Marie - Blue Tutu (Little Hummingbird Records)
Her debut disc hinted at it -- New Orleans' singer/songbird Denise Marie wouldn't be one to be stylistically confined. Three years later, her sophomore effort is even more adventuresome, and expansive stylistic palette yielding one of the year's most eclectic outings from a once folk-oriented artist. Mood-wise, the feathery soft-voiced soprano strikes many of those too -- like a lazy afternoon hanging out on a porch swing ("The Day is a Dream" or thoughts incurred while cooped up on a drizzling, rainy day ("Sinking Ships"). click here to read remainder of review
With her wispy, breathy voice and versatile acoustic guitar leads, New Orleans singer/songwriter Denise Marie handles a wide variety of genres and styles that essentially recasts the image of the conventional folk singer. Marie's debut not only underlines her writing craftsmanship but also her ability to forge an arrangement to fit the song's feel, which includes such notables as Bart Ramsey (accordion, piano), Neti Vaan (fiddle), Johnny Vidacovich (drums), James Singleton (bass), Beth Patterson(bouzouki, bass), and Soul Rebel William Terry (sax). Several songs straddle between swing jazz and sneaky, slinky funk like the inviting title song that's juiced by Vaan's bow-rampaging solo. Mystical blues like 'When You're Lonely' find Marie unleashing angst and tearing emotions; others soak in a delta flavor such as 'A Woman's World' where Marie ponders when will the world be safer for womankind. The middle tracks introduce Marie's sunnier, folksier personality while 'Blue Ain't How I Feel' and 'Thank God' succeed as jazzy ballads. The New Orleans folk scene may be micro relative to its other genres but performers/writers like Marie do keep it germinating.
- Dan Willging
'Open the Door'
This debut CD by local guitarist, singer and songwriter Denise Marie, features 13 original songs set to a variety of rhythms. Accompanied by an array of local talent including John Vidacovich and James Singleton, Denise Marie delivers something for everyone. From the bluesy 'When You're Lonely,' to the country 'New Mexico Skies,' to the Latin-flavored 'Elegant Gypsy,' the listener is treated to her masterful guitar playing, versatile voice and poignantly honest lyrics. If you get the opportunity to catch her live at one of the many local venues she performs, don’t pass it up. In the meantime, grab this CD and take home a piece of original work that makes New Orleans' music scene the unique melting pot that it is.
- Leona S.
'ALL OVER THE PLACE'
New Orleans' Denise Marie redeems the realm of women musicians. She's not whiny. She's not breast-implanted. She's not half-nude on the cover of Rolling Stone. She might be called a folk musician, but there's no beaded-necklace whispery soprano in her. She's an impressive guitarist, and whips out surprisingly inventive licks. She plays swing, jazz, blues, countrified rock, feather-light funk and even the occasional Latin-infused folk tune. She writes great songs. And she's very, very feminine, in a very appealing way, and that's okay. Her voice is light and high, but it sounds like it's winking at you, sweet and dangerous. On her debut album of all original songs, Open the Door, Marie enlists the help of a slew of local (as in New Orleans) musicians, padding her already solid compositions with superbly arranged instrumental commentary. 'New Mexico Skies' returns to the familiar Southwest folkiness of our fine region, where Marie used to live and play. 'A Woman's World' is politically charged, feminist blues, if you can believe it (and you will). The lovely 'She Dances Like a Hooker' makes more allusions to New Mexico, and Marie's blunt title refers to herself, sung with flirtatious glee. For those who trumpet the virtues of Women With Guitars everywhere, Denise Marie will fuel your fire. And if you've been pretty disappointed with the feminine side of music lately, well, you can shut up now.
- Sarah Meadows
To be honest I had never heard of this songbird. Denise Marie is based in New Orleans where for the past several years she has been creating a danger zone on stage playing solo as well as with her band Dreamdanger. Or perhaps she creates a cozy harbor, a warm nest, where everyone feels at home.
Judging from her CD she does like a friendly atmosphere. The CD features truly laid back music, that not for one second goes beyond that curve. Denise sings with a sensual voice that lies excellently on the musical bed spread by Johnny Vidacovich on drums and James Singleton on up-right bass. She handles the acoustic guitar herself and nails the songs between many styles. There is a very jazzy ambiance on the whole CD ('Do you feel the same way too?'), but with the same subtle accents there are links created to folk ('New Mexico Skies'), blues ('A Woman's World'), the very swampy ('When You're Lonely'), Carribean ('Walking Through Your Dreams') and Spanish territory ('Elegant Gypsy'). The guest musicians who provide these accents so elegantly are: Javier Gutierrez, Bart Ramsey, Beth Patterson, Eric Lucero, William Terry and Neti Vaan.
She is a songbird to place in the same sweet cage as Madeline Peyroux.
- Marc Nolis