Mother’s Little Burden is not for those who want superficial true blue moon June rhymes and mushy meaningless platitudes. The lyrics are tough, sometimes ironic, and the sharp sword of satire is used without pity when Danny Antonelli deals with political subjects like racism and murder and treachery and deceit and stupidity and betrayal, basically with all those wonderful human traits portrayed in Dante’s Inferno. But there is a bit of longing for heaven as well, with songs that explore love and what love means and where love can perhaps be found. Light shines brighter when the background is dark!
The words: sometimes angry, sometimes bitingly ironic, sometimes dreamy and romantic, but always pictures that are personal, pulled out of the depths of the psyche, like secrets revealed to a psychoanalyst in secluded door closed sessions. And in secluded door closed sessions is exactly how the writing and the recordings took place, in his home studio, in the basement, surrounded by walls of books for soundproofing, late at night, the songs were recorded. And once a recording was finished, without auto-corrected voice, without the slick technical attributes of the high-end pop music business, that was it. The songs were never played live. The performance of the night was usually a one take or two take affair. Capturing the unique moments was the goal.
Number one records in Portugal and France and Belgium sealed Danny Antonelli’s reputation as a go-to lyricist gun-for-hire. Working with pop and metal bands behind the scenes in the studio making sure the words had meaning as well as fit perfectly into the melodies is a specialty skill that not many people can boast of having. And by doing this work in Germany, in English of course, he gave many German artists access to the wider international market.
Although Danny Antonelli is basically an introvert and does not like being on stage and appearing in front of the public, he did just that for two years with his Americana Country band Mustang Ranch. Mustang Ranch played the legendary Indra club in Hamburg, where the Beatles first played back in the 1960s, as well as other German venues. He wrote all the songs for the band and a vinyl album, She Left Me, was the result. (A digital download version the vinyl album is available from all the usual places.)
But live performance is not his forte. So he retired to his music room and spent his nights dreaming up songs and recording them. Danny Antonelli released a 44-song country music album ’til Fire and Brimstone Fall last year, and the country music album by Nikki Ryan, All Those Stories, in which Danny was the writer on all the songs was released the year before that.
Writing is what Danny Antonelli does well. Not only songs, but radio plays and books of collected short stories as well as a novel (available on Amazon). And so Mother’s Little Burden can be seen as very personal stories set to music and narrated by the writer directly for you.
Mother’s Little Burden
Mother’s Little Burden is a collection of 44 songs, political, philosophical, self-reflective, challenging words which cut deep into the darkness of a tormented soul, and yet a romantic texture is revealed because... love.
Disc 1 is electric, with a meaty beat and sometimes screaming guitar lines that are both melodic and haunting. Disc 2 is acoustic, with fingerpicking guitar or strummed guitar and occasionally a tune will have a piano or some plucked strings, but the arrangements are kept to a bare minimum so that the words can come through.