words & photos: Ellen Gurley
Growing up in a family with a story, Danielle Engle began writing at a very early age. She and her twin sister, Rochelle, were both blessed with beautiful singing voices and were born in a world that was smothered in trauma but scattered with constant reminders of promise. This juxtapose led them to music. Singing and playing with words was the way for them making them infectious with good energy and generous with the laughter. They literally lit up any room they entered. That beautiful narrative continues today and Danielle (now referring to herself as Dani) is fronting the local band Radio Lola bringing with her not only the gift of gab but the ability to take you on a journey and keep your attention.
Backed in complimentary form by Chris, Sean, and Kevin, Dani’s lyrics are hers alone. She doesn’t sound like anyone else yet she doesn’t own this style. I’ve heard them call themselves “soul on steroids” but I’m thinking they qualify as blues or rock. Either way, there’s a provocative, emotional seesaw that happens with the listener in which one goes from happy and satiated with the content of one song to longing and woke in another. You can’t tell at the start of a song if she is being sexy or angry so you’re forced to listen to the lyrics, so that you can keep up (because you want to).
Sometimes the group solidifies a track by beginning with the text and then finding the musical backbone while other times the craft happens more organically while in their practice space off the cuff. It’s a beautiful thing to see that in the making. I think it’s safe to say that everyone does vocals except for the drummer, but what do I know? All of the members of Radio Lola have been in other bands (some more seasoned than others - Sean, I believe you were just called you old). And I think it’s safe to say that they may be in other bands in the future. The have to have music. That’s what brought them together - not (just) because Dani wanted some capable support. Radio Lola is today. Where will they go from here? Charlotte, we have the front row seats. Let’s watch see. And as for sister Rochelle, My City Magazine promises to keep up with her, too, as she is working on the presentation of her brand.
• Dani Engle (lead), Chris Hendrickson (guitar), Sean Nowak (drums), Kevin Snyder (bass)
• Like Radio Lola on Facebook, keep up with them on Reverb Nation, and book them by calling 704-975-3150.
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