Denise Marie









Denise Marie
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.

-Dan Willging

February 2005

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. click here to read remainder of review


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. click here to read remainder of review


Denise Marie - Blue Tutu (Little Hummingbird Records)
October 2001

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

OffBeat Reviews

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


Virgin - Employee Picks
'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.


Santa Fe Reporter '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

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