The Danberrys Welcome New Writing Experience for “The Mountain”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Nashville Americana duo The Danberrys are leaping outside of their usual comfort zone with a new writing experience, one they can do together and with a splash of New Orleans flair.

Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry, normally both solo writers in their shared band, who took little input from each other for songwriting responsibilities, are now teaming up in a real way for a first ever co-writing situation.  

“The Mountain” was the first song that Ben and I truly wrote together as a team. We had always written the material for our band separately, with only minor input from each other, and this album was sort of our first dive into the co-writing realm,” said Daniel.  “We had been talking about writing something with that traditional New Orleans second-line feel, so the idea had been swimming around in my mind for a while. I started hearing the rhythm of the song in my head one day, and the lyrics to the first verse just flowed out. I played it for Ben, and he immediately sang the chorus back to me. We sat down on the floor with our guitars, and I want to say it took maybe an hour to finish the song.”

DeBerry adds, “This is the song that gave us the confidence to write the rest of this record. Our executive producer had requested from the beginning that we co-write the entire album together because we had never done that before. This song was an experiment of sorts to see if we could make it work. Being married to your bandmate can be an emotionally complex situation, and it took us years to figure out how to write a song together without having a complete communication meltdown. When we finished writing “The Mountain”, we knew we had written something special and we felt like we had established a new normal for ourselves as co-writers.”

“The Mountain,” is just an excerpt of what’s to come from their forthcoming album Shine, set for release in May.  “The Mountain” spouts an outlaw country style with pivoting riffs and beats.  It’s a dark and dangerous take on life’s ups and downs. Daniel’s vocals are propelling and weave vital, sultry femininity through the music, allowing for a welcomed contrast.  Vocalist Darrell Scott was also featured on the track, inserting worthy harmonies and soulful technique positioned alongside Daniel.  

Life’s ups and downs were poignant for Daniel in the making of “The Mountain.”  She explains the kind of darkness she was living with during the time, something she used as a driving, conceptual force for the song.  

“At the time, we were living through the tail end of what I would call a “dark night of the soul” that had lasted about four long years,” she said.  “Our mental and emotional foundations, our marriage, our faith in love, everything had been tested. The song is really a snapshot of where we were at that point in our lives, looking at our path from a bird’s eye view and re-framing those experiences as divinely orchestrated, while at the same time very much living in the grit of each moment, asking and reaching for strength to somehow make it to the other side of these huge obstacles that had presented themselves in our lives.” 

Alternatively, DeBerry found the presence of feedback from co-producer and drummer Marco Giovino supportive.  Giovino stepped in to provide essential input that would make the record stronger. He pushed for better song form and structure, really giving the album a groove and natural flow.   DeBerry additionally touched on the experience with featured vocalist Darrell Scott and his contribution to the song’s success.

“The soul that Darrell brings to everything he does is at the top of the top shelf,” DeBerry said. “Everyone who contributed to this track really got our vibe and helped us tell this story we had written in an extremely potent way.”


One Comment

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

The SteelDrivers Regroup with Third Vocalist and Fifth Album

Cat Stevens/Yusuf Reissues His First Two Albums