Gifted Louisiana-born singer and songwriter, Brauninger McDaniel, recently won the International Singer-Songwriter Association’s (ISSA) 2020 Gold Female Vocalist of the Year award.
Brauninger, over the years, has mastered the unusual ability to fuse her music with elements of blues, jazz, and country styles, an art that has given her music a distinguished flair and won her many fans throughout the Middle Tennessee area.
Brauninger, who also won ISSA’s award for Female Songwriter of the Year, was elated to add another feather to her cap. “It’s quite an honor and very rewarding,” McDaniel told the Tribune. “It’s a realization that the hard work is playing off.”
It seems Brauninger was always destined to be a musician. Her interest in music dates way back to her childhood. “I started playing and singing when I was a child,” she revealed in an interview with the Scene. “I was pretty much surrounded by music as a child, but it was my Uncle Erman who was really the big figure in terms of my musical development. He taught me piano.”
Indeed, Brauninger is surrounded by music. For decades there’s been debate about whether we inherit our skills or learn them; nature versus nurture. However, for Brauninger, it seems to be a combination of both. Music runs in her family. Her uncle, Erman, is a famous violinist in New Orleans. Her nephew Wes Morgan is a well-known gospel vocalist, and her brother is also a talented performer, while her parents are also ardent music fans.
Brauninger’s cover of King’s early ’70s classic “It’s Too Late” is her most recent single. She has also signed with the 50/50 Global Muzic label, in partnership with BMG Publishing and Sony Orchard Music. However, the biggest news regarding the single was her collaboration with B. Taylor, a well-known and highly regarded artist, producer, and songwriter who has worked with top acts in R&B and hip-hop. The results are a satisfying, well-done update of a classic.
Brauninger never fails to acknowledge the impact New Orleans has on her distinct music style. “I heard so many wonderful jazz and blues and R&B singers in New Orleans, even some country and Cajun, zydeco sounds,” she recalls. “For me, it’s not so much a question about what type of music as it is about telling the story, about communicating to the audience. But the great thing about jazz and blues is that it’s designed for you to be yourself, to express things in your own way and yet also tap into the traditions and rich sounds.”
With the innate motherly instinct of carrying along one’s young, Brauninger ensured that her three children share in her moment of glory. “Did I tell you that one of my sons, Christian Shoemaker plays guitar and plays sometimes with me? Also my nephew Joey Morgan is on bass and Chris Schaffner plays saxophone”, she remarked with excitement.