If there is magic in the music of Mama Kin (the stage name for songwriter Danielle Caruana), then she comes by it naturally. She is the granddaughter of a magician whose own mama, the magician’s assistant, kept her father’s trade secrets as close to her hip as her garter. Caruana does the same at times with her musical intention, letting the listener fill in the back stories. And could it be magic that makes Caruana’s voice sweep from the dark smokiness of a sixty year old cabaret singer to the joyous hopefulness of last night’s bridesmaid soaring along with the Sunday choir, all within one breath?
Mama Kin presents an almost theatrical funky pop musical style, yet one that is nailed to the earth of the songwriter tradition by the gritty reality of living, loving, losing, finding family, and finding self—all without escaping the playfulness we develop when we learn to laugh at our struggles with all of these things. Her smoldering vocals brighten with laughter as quickly as a collector’s coin turns over at a pawn shop. And like the items in that pawn shop, Caruana’s songs are a divergent assortment brought together by a common purpose.