A singer-songwriter and an anthropologist, Denise Glover's life work is centered on people, communities, stories, love, and social justice. Musical influences include Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Mark Knopfler. Originally from New York and New England, the Pacific Northwest is where Denise has made her home for over 20 years.
Denise has released two solo albums, Pathways (2016) and Gaps in the Stories (2018) with producer Julian Smedley. Her music is moving, thought-provoking, and inspirational, with relaxed and conversational vocals. Having lived and worked in other countries, her perspective is broad, yet grounded in every day experiences. The genres of music she writes within are folk, bluegrass, Americana, and country.
Denise performs solo, in duo formation (she and Julian Smedley, she and Cary Black), trio formation (she, Julian Smedley, and Cary Black or Greg Glassman), and sometimes as a larger group including 4 or 5 musicians on CD recordings (Julian Smedley, Cary Black, Don Share, JP Wittman, David Lange, Bob Knetzger, Jeff Bush, Ben Smith, and Allan Walton). Having a variety of formations is exciting and allows for flexibility based on venue.
Denise is also in the bluegrass-y band Rosin in the Aire and in the multi-genre trio The 3Ds (Celtic, jazz, folk, Americana).
--with Greg Sweet of KSJU/KSVR (simulcast) in WA on Oct 21, 2016
--with Ken Cartwright of KYAC 94.9 in Mill City, Oregon: KYAC INTERVIEW JAN 28, 2016
--a longer interview on KUPS 90.1 Tacoma, WA with Kyle Chong of "Stories of the South Sound"
"The music of singer-songwriter Denise Glover, from Seattle, emphasizes rootsy original material with poignancy and soul. Besides singing, Glover plays guitar and mandolin. Her bandmates include Julian Smedley (guitar, violin, viola), Cary Black (bass), Bob Knetzger (Dobro, pedal steel) and Jeff Bush (percussion). The band gives us a passionate acoustic folk and Americana repertoire emphasizing prolific contemporary messages, thoughtful arrangements, graceful instrumentation, and relaxed vocals. Opening with “Gaps in the Stories,” we hear about forgotten ones searching for meaning and relevance. It’s a stark reminder that life isn’t perfect, but one must stay optimistic and keep on believing. Other songs on the album perpetuate this theme. “Mary the Forgotten One” tells an alternate history of Mary Magdalen. Whether based on a dream or reality, “Medicine Man” calls for restoration of light to dark hollows. Several of Glover’s songs pose provocative questions. “Crazy Ideas” taps thoughts that are based on fears, and “Nothing” asks for clarification of another’s intentions. “Papa Francesco” questions whether the Pope will “be Francis in practice or only in name?” Glover’s songs have concise expressions that evoke qualities of life. Song crafting is an art, and Denise Glover has succeeded. While I’d like to hear a little more up-tempo material, her solid approach has a reflective, poetic quality and potential for widespread appeal."
-- Joe Ross, Roots Music Report, Jan 18, 2019
"I love 'Mary the Forgotten One!' Your voice, the lyrics, the rich, Celtic instrumentation. So beautiful! Thank you again for sharing this song. Maeve and I are honored!" (I wrote this song based on Elizabeth's books.)
-- Elizabeth Cunningham, author of The Maeve Chronicles, Dec 2018
Excerpts: "Glover's second solo CD is even better than her superb original. She seems more relaxed vocally....Glover has lightened her vocal down a bit, and it seems to be a more natural place for her delivery. It is only a slight adjustment, but it works to bring home the rhythmic pattern of the words....The CD title and opening song "Gaps in the Stories" is based on a line from Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Warm, modern guitar with a big bass moves the words as she half sings and talks the lines, not in a cute place, but to bring the emotion of the words home about the power of corruption and how we will rise..."Any Old Time" is a Rodgers tune that Glover takes full country, but lightly, and with a lonely crying softness that nails it... "Bailey is about a fifteen-year-old who was lost in a school shooting in Benton, KY. She incorporates a person she never knew and ties her love together with this tragic loss. Smedleys' fiddle opens with the bass as the vocal line moves slowly and quietly like a processional. Moving piece that works both the direct personal and universal love and loss....Very impressed. When does this go on the road?"
--Chris Lunn, Ancient Victory's News 11(4): Winter 2081-19
"Gaps in the Stories is Denise Glover’s second full CD release utilizing the gifted music producer Julian Smedley (also, a multi instrument accompanist on the album). The maturity of Glover’s songwriting and wonderful voice blossom in this full bodied work. Aching songs that question love as well as one’s responsibility in the world. An irreverent and funny song about the Pope and another about a Tibetan Medicine Man. A tribute that will break your heart to a young girl killed during a school shooting in Kentucky. All but 2 of the songs were penned by Glover and they reflect her earnest commitment to Roots and Folk Music. Listen carefully as you hear the sound of both a viola and violin in the background with a flat top guitar and mandolin picking so effortlessly. The beautiful sounds of a dobro haunt some of her songs. This is serious work by a serious artist and her talented collaborators. I loved all the songs in this collection. My favorite is a song I can’t get out of my mind called “How Easily We are Fooled” with a steel guitar rolling in and out of the song like a gentle wave. I know you will enjoy this great selection of new songs by Denise Glover."
--Gregory Sweet, DJ, Host of Friday Afternoon Mix, KSVR & KSVU FM, Skagit Community Radio, Mount Vernon, WA, Dec 2018
"Listen to Denise Glover's PATHWAYS album. Be amazed at some of the surprising (fascinating) uses to which musical, verbal, conceptual (social too) sophistication can be put. Country. Really. (Got me...)"
--Benjamin Boretz, Music Professor (Bard College), Jan 2017
"Remember when one would listen to an entire album, not just a couple of songs? Read the words, learn the words, sing the songs? Play it again and again? This work of music by Denise Glover will take you to that wonderful place, inviting you to discover delightful musical compositions and captivating lyrics that tell many stories to ignite visions and creative thought. Take this journey with this talented artist and the other musicians who make this CD one of the most meaningful assets to your music library. Perfect time of year for a bit of new music to get the ideas flowing. A snowy or rainy day at home? Your favorite time of day for music can seem the perfect recipe for discovery. Maybe there is a story to tell a song to sing in all of us? Pathways by Denise Glover, singer-songwriter, musician, recording artist! I have been fortunate to have been listening to Denise sing and play my entire life, this step taken is another dimension entirely!"
--Dawn Glover (winner of biggest fan award), March 2016
Excerpts: "A CD of well-crafted original songs... Glover is excellent at holds and curling a phrase or line ending... [In "Pietracatella"] Glover's fine mandolin and Smedley's guitar quietly start and are immediately followed by David Lange's accordion lead, and then to JP Wittman's lonely, lovely fiddle. Glover sings in a loping ballad style in this pastoral picture that reminisces about coming home to her ancestral land... Glover holds, extends, and builds her vocals in gorgeous fashion. Not pushy, just conversational... [For "Suspended"]: This is a very strong entry in the modern folk ballad arena. [For "Along the Path"]: The juxtaposed concepts of want and need, emptiness and fullness are explored. Glover takes this song thoughtfully, never pushing, moving through the introspections. [For "A Song for Firefighters"]: a superb song... Other bluegrass bands and country groups and folk soloists will find good tunes here to put in their set lists... Glover is a singer, songwriter, and interpreter to be taken seriously."
--Chris Lunn, Ancient Victory's News 9(1): Spring 2016