The Danberrys — Dorothy Daniel & Ben DeBerry. Photo by Boudica Photography

The Danberrys Shine in Dark Times

The Danberrys’ new album, Shine, finds the husband and wife team of Dorothy Daniel and Ben DeBerry able to create the next chapter in their musical journey while finding the way forward during troubled times.

“When we wrote this album we were going through a lot of personal and professional turmoil.,” Daniel says. “I was dealing with anxiety and other problems. Our relationship had been on the rocks, and our band had crumbled and was reforming.”

That’s when the couple received a phone call from Brian Brinkerhoff; the independent manager and producer wanted to executive produce and finance the Danberrys’ next album. “He reached out to us at a time when we really didn’t know how we were going to make another record,” DeBerry says.

While the Danberrys’ first three albums had hewed close to the traditional folk-bluegrass line, the couple wanted a bigger and more expansive sound even though they weren’t exactly sure how to capture it. That’s when Brinkerhoff introduced them to drummer and producer Marco Giovino (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller).

“We were writing really big songs about emotionally charged topics, and they felt like they needed more than just an acoustic guitar,” Daniel says.

“We knew we wanted to do something different, but we didn’t know what direction to go in,” DeBerry adds. “We wanted to rock, but we didn’t know what it was going to look like.”

After refining their songs, Daniel and DeBerry headed north to Giovino’s Boston studio where they worked with several top-notch Beantown musicians who meshed perfectly with the couple from Tennessee.

“When they started playing the music, it was overwhelming for me,” Daniel says. “It sounded exactly how I had dreamed the songs should sound.”

The resulting album propels the Danberrys into new territory both lyrically and sonically. It addresses the pain and sorrows of confronting tragedies through the transcendent experience of finding new hope in dark times. It’s also the first album from the couple to feature all co-written songs (a process encouraged by Giovino).

Originally scheduled for release on May 15, the album was delayed by the pandemic. But both Daniel and DeBerry say the current state of our nation and the world makes the album seem even more timely.

“A lot of the songs are about overcoming hardships and feeling lost,” DeBerry says. “There are so many things that are going on right now that it seems to address.”

“The album is about healing and putting one foot in front of the other during very difficult times, and keeping your eyes pointed upward and outward,” Daniel says. “So I think it’s very relevant right now. We were writing about things that were very personal to us but the way we write I fell it’s kind of serendipitous that it’s coming out right now.”

The Danberrys’ Shine is available on most streaming platforms. Vinyl editions, as well as merch, can be purchased at their album store.