By Bobby Reed | Published January 2021
Americana and blues practitioner Danielle Miraglia wisely avoids fuss and clutter on her latest album, Bright Shining Stars. Fingerpicking and strumming on acoustic guitar are central to her sound, with percussion frequently provided by the infectious stomp of her foot. Three of the 11 tracks here are solo recordings, reinforcing a truism that the artist frequently has proven on Boston-area stages: A charming voice and fluid guitar prowess are all an artist needs to keep a listener rapt. The other eight tracks are duo cuts, pairing Miraglia with players who share her less-is-more aesthetic: electric guitarist Peter Parcek, viola player Laurence Scudder and harmonica wizard Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt (who happens to be the president of the VizzTone Label Group).
Miraglia showcases her command of the blues with versions of the standards “C.C. Rider,” “It Hurts Me Too,” “Walkin’ Blues” and Janis Joplin’s “Turtle Blues,” as well as the witty “You Can Love Yourself,” penned by Keb’ Mo’. She saves her most dynamic vocals for Bob Dylan’s blues number “Meet Me In The Morning,” peppering her delivery with subtle growls.
Miraglia’s original compositions here include the “Pick Up The Gun,” a reflection on senseless gun violence, and “Famous For Nothin’,” a commentary on shallow, 21st-century fame. The program concludes with the title track—penned by Miraglia’s husband, Tom Bianchi—a gentle, melodic, memorable anthem for optimists.