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The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. Anna Post -- great-great-granddaughter of etiquette guru Emily Post and author of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette -- is here to help us answer this week's question. There’s a funny catch about wedding gift etiquette: If you’re invited to a wedding, you’re expected to give a gift, regardless of whether or not you attend. If you do choose to have a wedding website, adding the site to the enclosures sent with the invitation can be a nice bridge.
With more couples marrying later in life when they're financially established, the rules concerning who pays for their weddings have changed. A blistering version of a€?Stagger Leea€? occurs seven tracks deep into Danielle Miragliaa€™s most recent album, Box of Troubles. So it is that Danielle Miraglia puts her own stamp on a€?Stagger Lee.a€? Of course, ita€™s not her own composition, but surely a cornerstone of her repertoire.
An interview with this refreshingly affable, down-to-earth performer reveals how she became the player and writer she is today. While her musical aspirations took a back seat during her college career, there was still some dabbling. When Danielle left Emerson, she felt lost for a while, describing herself as a€?unfocused.a€? She wasna€™t able to translate a degree in writing into meaningful employment.
Danielle had a fantasy about moving to Arizona and starting a whole new life out there, getting a fresh start.
Her first songs, coming off the dissolution of a relationship were (again) a€?cheesy breakup songs,a€? she said. At that point, she was a€?writing a ton,a€? and within about six months she enlarged her repertoire to six decent songs and another six months to beginning her first recording. In addition to the strong, steady thumb beat on the bass strings, Danielle also uses a hollow foot stomp, sometimes amplified. I asked her about the guitars shea€™s favored and she mentioned that the Yamaha her boyfriend got her in high school was a nice beginnera€™s guitar (he took it back when they broke up a€” song opportunity!). Danielle feels that her first two CDs were of little consequence a€” a part of the learning process a€” and that her recording career started in earnest with the album, Nothing Romantic. In a€?You dona€™t Know Nothin,a€™a€? a reaction to some right-wing radio talk shows, Danielle flashes metaphoric sharpness.
The a€?eight oa€™clock shadowa€? then displays his own ignorance, condemning abortion rights marchers on the bara€™s television.
Although I first got cold-cocked by a€?Stagger Leea€? and a€?Loud Talkera€? from Daniellea€™s latest CD, Box of Troubles, there are other standouts. Wea€™re ecstatic that wea€™ve caught up to this supremely intelligent and talented performer.
Danielle has had purists disagree with her about not following original styles note-for-note. That's why we launched #MannersMondays, a weekly series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. But in order to keep the focus on your guests rather than the gifts, registry information should never be included with the wedding invitation. I’m not a fan of fussy rules for their own sake, but this is one case where I think the extra effort is worth it. The point of the shower is that you are getting gifts; thus it’s okay, and convenience wins.
Tom Bianchi, her husband and producer on this album, uses an electric violin, a blues harp and a sinuous lead electric guitar with a wah-wah pedal to sustain the cloud of doom that hangs over this historic piece.


Her family lived in Everett until she was 8, then moved to nearby Revere, where she grew up. As kids will, she and some friends tried to form a band, even though no one actually played an instrument. She took a couple of lessons from the aforementioned frienda€™s father who was going to teach her friends to play their instruments. Using an acoustic guitar, shea€™d get together with a friend back home to play and write songs.
Her first stop was the open mic at The Kendall Cafe in Cambridge (now closed), just to a€?check it out.a€? She saw people who were very advanced and some raw beginners.
However, a€?They had grit to them.a€? Although she cringes when she looks back on her early writing, she still feels that the songs werena€™t all that bad considering her level of development. She was a fan of the late Janis Joplin and would belt her songs out, Janis-style,without giving thought to vocal dynamics or microphone control. Additionally, she studied the Stefan Grossman transcriptions (written and audio) of the guitar of Mississippi John Hurt. Shea€™s been told, a€?If youa€™re not doing it exactly the way they did it, youa€™re not doing it.a€? For Danielle, ita€™s all about enjoying it and getting into the a€?feela€? of it [we agree].
Although shea€™d seen performers like Chris Smither use this sort of device, she never intended to copy it. She later got an Ovation, then a Guild and then found her first love in a Gibson [lots of blues in those Gibsons].
Thata€™s about when we made her acquaintance (as well as taking note of her impact at the 2009 Northeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference).
She uses a nimble Mississippi John Hurt-style fingerpicking pattern for this philosophical gem. Tongue-in-cheek, she asks for a drum machine, and, in a reference to Robert Johnson, Tell me where the roads cross, Ia€™m ready to sell my soul.
Ita€™s a plus that finding out how good a writer she is now reinforces our first impression of a highly energetic blues artist. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Without a wedding website, word of mouth is your best and only option that isn’t on the tacky side. Danielle had a Casio keyboard; a frienda€™s father played guitar, so it was assumed that hea€™d show others in the group how to play their instruments.
There were writing courses of every kind, including journalism, childrena€™s writing and poetry. She figured, a€?OK, I can fit into this mixa€¦ I can pull this off.a€? She signed up to play the following week and found that others were very polite, offering encouragement. It wasna€™t until she got to the open mic of blues master Geoff Bartley at the Cantab Lounge that her mistakes were pointed out.
The practice really evolved from using a foot stomp on stage to keep rhythm and provide percussion.
It actually took another year for her to digest and learn what Geoff had taught her.A  a€?It was like I got all the food and then I processed it,a€? she told me. Some stores give out little “We are registered at this store” cards for you to oh-so-conveniently include with your invitations -- but don’t.
This is the right place to put those little store-provided registry cards to use, or to include a slip of paper with the information.
She credits two older boys, her upstairs neighbors, in helping to add to her musical knowledge.


She went back again and again and found a€?a whole new crew of friends.a€? They were a€?on the same wavelength,a€? she said.
On a gig where she needed to use a box for added height, she found herself rhythmically tapping on the box and liking the sound. Although she told me that her husband Tom hosts it now, shea€™s still listed as the host on The Burren website. Danielle developed a a€?roguea€? mixture of what Geoff taught her and the Grossman transcriptions.
Any mention of the registry on or with the invitation is like saying, “We hope you can come to the wedding. Some shower hosts don’t include registry information at all, and instead, only share it with those guests who RSVP “yes”.
Danielle and another friend, Brenda, who Danielle said, a€?has a twisted sense of humor,a€? would write songs with ridiculous lyrics. For Danielle, they included John Irving (for his humor as well as his dramatic flair), Tim Oa€™Brien (Vietnam War novelist, not the bluegrass performer), satirist David Sedaris and Lorrie Moore (a€?humorous and poignant short storiesa€? a€” Wikipedia). There was an epiphany of sorts in that they both realized life is too short to waste on doing things you have no love for.
Later, she asked a friend to follow her design to make a hollow device like a footrest that she could attach to her stool. Also, she mentioned that it seemed less desperate than standing when playing in a noisy bar.
For Danielle, they includedA  John Irving (for his humor as well as his dramatic flair), Tim Oa€™Brien (Vietnam War novelist, not the bluegrass performer), satirist David Sedaris and Lorrie Moore (a€?humorous and poignant short storiesa€? a€” Wikipedia). She finds it fundamentally impossible to repeat someone elsea€™s stylings note-for-note a€” shea€™ll develop her own version instead. Say, “If any other guests ask you [which they very well might], we’re registered at _____.” It’s also entirely likely, and perfectly okay, that guests will ask you directly where you’re registered. Though it’s not required, some shower guests who can’t attend might like to send a gift anyway, so I think it’s nice to include the information with the invite. However the world views her as a blues singer, shea€™s well-prepared for original songwriting.
Danielle also studied from an instructional DVD of Mississippi John Hurta€™s guitar style by Happy Traum and John Sebastian that combined video and tablature transcription. When she returned home, Danielle began attending open mics, kick-starting what would become her career. I would be putting together help desk manuals, and then Ia€™d write a song about how miserable I was. Thank you!” As a bride planning her wedding right now, I’ve gotten that question quite a bit lately, which means my fiance and I better hurry up and figure out our registry soon! The male of the species got off easy this time, but that doesna€™t mean she hasna€™t been watching. Then Ia€™d tell someone to re-boot their computer, which is usually the solution to every problem.
She tinkered around with some acoustic fingerstyle guitar while in high school, copying selected songs by Randy Rhodes and the band, Heart.



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