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"Well, I have different voices that I like to use, because sometimes I sing kinda quiet, and then sometimes I sing real loud, and sometimes I sing real high, right? Like a little child, because I like to sing in the range where children can sing... And that's because I like to sing in a way that, um, I imagine my heart is singing, right... And so we're all singing together as children. But I can't sing low. That's something I never do."
—Daniel Smith, answering the question, "Why do you sing like that?"
Daniel Smith was raised in a family of musicians--his dad, Lenny, has about 180 songs to his name, including the one hit "Our God Reigns". In college Daniel began rebelling against his upbringing--then had a spiritual reawakening in his senior year and pulled a 180. This reawakening inspired him to write a group of songs, for which he recruited his siblings and friends to help him perform. He called the project Danielson to signify his newfound realization that all believers are sons and daughters of God. In 1994, Daniel submitted the recorded album as his senior thesis; he received an A. Then he got a recording deal and never looked back.
Since then, Danielson has earned attention for their bizarre sound (did we mention how high Daniel Smith's singing voice is?) and their just-as-strange stage presence. Members of the band initially performed in nurse's uniforms, to symbolize the healing power of music. For a period, they played in choir robes and chain mail (to symbolize royalty) but soon even Daniel agreed that these looked ridiculous. For solo shows, Daniel would dress up as a tree bearing "the fruit of the Spirit". Since 2006, the band has been wearing custom uniforms, meant to look like a cross between the service industry and the scouts.
Over the years, the band's lineup has changed, and Daniel changed the name to reflect that. When more of Daniel's siblings joined, the band was called the Danielson Famile. For shows and albums with a greater focus on Daniel Smith solo, he performed as Brother Danielson. And the largest ensemble, with more of a rock influence, was called Danielsonship. And then Daniel decided this was too confusing, so he went back to just calling everything Danielson.
- A Prayer for Every Hour (1994)
- Tell Another Joke at the Ol' Choppin' Block (1997) As Danielson Famile.
- Tri-Danielson!!! (Alpha) (1998) As Brother Danielson, Danielson Famile, and Danielsonship.
- Tri-Danielson!!! (Omega) (1999) Ditto.
- Fetch the Compass Kids (2001) As Danielson Famile.
- Brother is to Son (2004) As Brother Danielson.
- Ships (2006)
- Trying Hartz (2008) A 2-disc retrospective.
- Best of Gloucester County (2011)
Provides examples of:
- Angrish: "Pottymouth".
- Band of Relatives: Of course. Even the members who aren't related by blood or by marriage are close enough they may as well be family.
- Book Ends: The first Tri-Danielson!!! album opens with a crowd cheering and shouting "Tri-Danielson!" The second album closes exactly the same way.
- Distinct Double Album: Tri-Danielson!!!
- Epic Rocking: "Joking at the Block" is a twelve-minute raga, and "Deeper than the Gov't" is 9 minutes long, but split into three tracks.
- Flipping the Bird: "Btwn. the Lines of the Scout Signs"
- Inherited Illiteracy Title: All over the place. "Famile", "Hartz", "Idiot Boksen", "Thanx to Noah"; child-like spelling to accompany child-like music.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Tri-Danielson!!!"