Austin Music Minute

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May 15, 2023

Some Of Us Are Brave

By: Laurie Gallardo

It wasn’t as if Danielle Ponder didn’t like her job. Her work as a public defender in her hometown of Rochester, NY reflects a soul that’s passionate about supporting her community and using her voice to do so. But that voice is also strongly connected to music. Ponder grew up with music. When it’s in the blood, it’s not about to go away. And it was definitely calling Ponder back.

“We formed a family band when I was 16 and when I would come back from college breaks, I would play with them,” Ponder recalls. “I was in a band in law school too and part of me knew that I loved being on stage. But I always had this fear of being a starving artist. I grew up with a father whose income wasn’t always stable so, I wanted a solid job. But through law school and even practicing, I would still play. I can’t believe how much I was doing. I would do a small tour in Europe, come back, and on Monday I’d be in court like nothing happened. But it just got to the point where I was like, “Man, I can’t do both.” And the choice could never be giving up music, I am absolutely in love with the stage. I knew it was time to completely surrender. This is what I need to be doing.”

And surrender to it, she did. After quitting her job, Ponder began to write the songs that would eventually be on her debut LP, Some Of Us Are Brave. And Ponder’s voice is still a powerful tool elevating the unseen and underrepresented. The title track itself is an homage to Black women and their unique stories.

If you haven’t gotten your tickets to Danielle Ponder’s performance tomorrow night, Tuesday May 16 at Antone’s, you better hurry. Austin’s very own Chief Cleopatra opens the show. Doors at 7 p.m.

Chief Cleopatra. Photography: Moriah Pierson.