In November of 2014, I published a post entitled “South Carolina’s Musical Heritage” where I imagined The Oxford American had chosen me to curate a cd of songs produced by natives of the Palmetto State. I complained that a few of the songs in the Oxford Southern Music series were “a bit too archive-y” and that my cd would not suffer from that preciousness. You could listen to my compilation without reaching for the fast forward button to skip some pocket-comb-and-tissue band from the 1930s inserted into the mix to establish the curator’s erudition.
Here’s what I came up with:
Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs’ “Stay”
The Swinging Medallions’ “Double Shot of My Baby’s Love”
The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See”
Eartha Kitt’s “C’est Bon”
Dizzy Gillespie’s “Salt Peanuts “
James Brown’s “Doing It to Death”
The Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby”
Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Again”
The Brotherhood Gospel Singers’ “Mary, Don’t Cry”
The Reverend Gary Davis’s “Prodigal Sun”
Julius Cobb’s “Great Big Change in Me”
Uncle Walt’s Band’s “Gimme Some Skin”
Alphonse Mouzon’s “Funky Snakefoot”
Blue Dogs’ “Walter”
Danielle Howle’s “Oh Swear”
Well, last night, I finally got to meet the last name on that list – not last because least but last because youngest. Danielle Howle is truly a treasure. She’s blessed with incredible chops; a gift for melody; a soul capable of alchemizing suffering into poignant but not sentimental art; a sharp, dry wit that makes her stage banter funnier than most of the stand-up acts I’ve seen recently. Oh, yeah, and charisma. Obviously, you can’t learn charisma, you can’t will charisma, you can’t ask the Lord Almighty to grant thee charisma. You either got it or you don’t. And she gots it in containership loads.
See for yourself as she and keyboardist Alex Goyette playing at the Listening Room at Summerville’s Homegrown Brewhouse:
To say I’m a fan is obviously an understatement. Check her out whenever you can, Also, her opening act George Alan Fox and Jesse Pritchard were also killer.