Classic Soul Vibes from Rochester. - Danielle Ponder: Poor Man's Pain
posted 05 Jun 2020 by Krister Axel
Every nuance, every note ending, is both artfully crafted and casually raw.

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Danielle Ponder is a soul singer from Rochester, NY, with a vocal intensity and power that demands attention. "Poor Man's Pain" was written about the plight of Willie Simmons, a man who is spending life in prison for stealing $9 in 1982.

With a classic style that brings to mind the old-school majesty of Aretha Franklin, along with the modern vibe of Macy Gray, "Poor Man's Pain" showcases a live-sounding band-feel with twin electric guitars, a buttery electric bass, and acoustic drums. But the star of this show is clearly Ponder's voice, as her performance exhibits an impressive vocal range and natural tone, as well as a unique quality of vibrato and melodic control. Every nuance, every note ending, is both artfully crafted and casually raw. By calling attention to the ubiquity of social injustice, Ponder crafts a narrative that is timely, compassionate, and deeply resonant.

I'm calling out to the heart of the city
Who's going to listen to a poor man's pain?
And I'm reaching out, reaching out again
To anyone who will see me as I am
Freedom, won't you call out my name

This song is featured on our Soul playlist.

About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist