credit: Hannah Betts
Bravery can take many forms. For Danielle Ponder it took the shape of a leap of faith: leaving her successful day job working in the public defender’s office in her hometown of Rochester, NY to devote herself full-time to sharing her powerful voice with the world. The singer-songwriter’s mesmerizing eight song debut Some of Us Are Brave reinforces that her faith was not misplaced, and her leap has been rewarded with a safe landing. Written and recorded over three years, the album is a refreshingly original, shiver inducing mix of pop, R&B, blues, rock, and moody trip-hop topped by Ponder’s celestial voice— an instrument that can plumb melancholy depths with a heartsick murmur and scrape the sky with hurricane force wails. The sixth of seven children, Ponder had always been musical but chose to pursue a career in law after her brother received a 20-year sentence due to a three strikes law. But even as she became a tireless advocate for justice in her community—first as a public defender and later as a diversity, equity, and inclusion officer in that same office—the music was never far from her heart as she played in bands and wrote songs, first between classes, then between cases.
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