Danielle Hicks has had quite a ride. Born in Georgia, Hicks left for New York at a young age and spent years there playing in different groups and pursuing lots of different musical avenues. She made her way to Savannah a few years ago after her sister persuaded her to relocate, and she set off on a journey to find her place in a world that was much bluesier than she’s previously been a part of.
That journey ultimately led her to California, where she recorded her album Honey with veteran producer and engineer Jim Scott (perhaps best known for his stellar engineering work on Tom Petty’s Wildflowers).
“It was just such an amazing experience,” Hicks tells Connect of working with Scott.
Her collaboration with Scott was perhaps the musical culmination of a lifetime of consistent and dedicated work. Hicks grew up with a father who was in bands, so she grew up in a creative environment.
“My parents had me very young, and my dad has been in a band since he was probably 16 or 17. I came along when he was only 18, so he was actively in a band. My whole childhood, my dad was in southern rock bands,” she says, adding that she thinks much of her initial musical influence came from that time.
It wasn’t until moving to New York, though, that she began discovering other styles and musical worlds.
“That was a whole new flood of influences, through being up there in art school. And of course, southern rock not being the prominent [genre],” she says. “I got more into pop up there, and I did a pop demo and had some shows around the city. But then I went kind of beyond my roots, and dove into blues and old rock and roll, soul and R&B.”
Her musical interests have shifted so much now that Hicks jokes that she has to “depend on people” to keep her up to date on the latest pop music.
“My husband and I are excited when we discover a 70s record that we haven’t heard before,” she says with a laugh.
Being in New York was perhaps the catalyst for her blues and soul-influenced music, but it wasn’t until she found her way to Savannah that things really took hold.
“When I came back down to Savannah, that’s when it really happened. When I left for New York City, I said I’d never live in Georgia again. But then my sister got into medical school in Savannah, and she said, ‘I think you’d love it here.’ Believe it or not, it was Savannah that really inspired me to play blues and soul,” she says.
“It was hitting up clubs like Live Wire and Bay Street Blues.”
Hicks’ return to Georgia was also the starting point for her band, The Resistance, which she’s been playing with regularly for several years. That band features Ben Keiser, with whom she’ll be playing a Quarantine Concert on Sat., April 18.
Hicks says she’s excited to play the show, and is greatly appreciative of the steps that the team (lead by organizer Michael Gaster) have taken to adhere to social distancing guidelines and create a safe working environment.
“Michael really eased our minds on all the precautions they’re taking, so I’m grateful for the crew at E3 Media and Michael Gaster & Associates for developing this outlet for us to touch an audience, especially during this time.” she says.