Danielle Ponder returns to expand on her illustrious debut record with the arrival of Some Of Us Are Brave (Deluxe) which just released on September 15th via Future Classic. She will also be performing her only show in California next month at Ohana Fest in Dana Point, CA on October 1st. A public defender turned singer/songwriter, it’s been a decade since she took a leap of faith to pursue the path of an artist. Today, Ponder is one of the more versatile and rapt soul singers to pick up a microphone and her first album remains an ardent testament to the timeless prescience of her voice.
The first half of Ponder’s debut album finds her wielding powerhouse vocals and an incisive eye for threading Black experiences with oppression alongside individual heartbreaks. Its stunning opening track “Some Of Us Are Brave” unfurls into a soaring plea for empathy and a promise of guidance, one committed and rooted in celebrating Black beauty and identity. “All we want is to be ourselves, shine our light with no problems,” she sings. “I do believe that the power in me frightens you / That’s your problem, that’s your problem.”
Such unabashed pride and love take a more personal appearance on “So Long” — “I won’t hide, no, I won’t play small / I stay grounded, I can never fall, you won’t shake me” — she asserts over rotund bluesy bass. While the heart-wrenching lament “Only The Lonely” touches the very depths of a soul wracked by heartbreak, offering an elusive peace in being able to walk away. But hope sustained by tender love remains an enduring message across the record and nowhere is that more true than on the ecstatic gospel ballad “Darker Than Blue.”
The second half of Some Of Us Are Brave (Deluxe) features Ponder’s latest single “Roll The Credits” — a murky and rapturous invocation of love’s ubiquity — as well as a number of live versions of the album’s songs. These include an explosive and irresistible remix of “Some Of Us Are Brave” by Georgia Ann Muldrow that transforms it into a brooding and kinetically anthemic dance track. There are also two live recordings done at the KCRW studio that include a poignant performance of “Fray,” and a stirring extended play of “Roll The Credits” from London’s The Jazz Cafe.
See Danielle Ponder at Ohana Fest in Dana Point, CA on October 1st.
Danielle Ponder tour
September 14 – September 17—Louisville, KY—Bourbon & Beyond
September 29 – October 1—Dana Point, CA— Ohana Fest
October 6—Rochester, NY—The Essex
October 7—Rochester, NY—The Essex
October 19—Brooklyn, NY—Brooklyn Steel*
October 20—Boston, MA—House of Blues Boston*
October 28—Atlanta, GA—ONE Musicfest
December 5—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
December 6—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Live at The Moody Theater
December 8—Dallas, TX—The Factory in Deep Ellum
December 9—Houston, TX—House of Blues Houston
*Supporting The Teskey Brothers
†Supporting Black Pumas
Words: Steven Ward
Listen to Some Of Us Are Brave (Deluxe) the new album from Danielle Ponder below!