“The Reason I Breathe” by J.D. Danner

April 9, 2007

As all of our readers know, our Tunes For The Troops section is a place where we highlight artists who’ve written and performed songs in support of our troops. Not only does that allow our troops to hear these wonderful tributes, but it also gets the artist some exposure as well. Anthony and I have found some wonderful songs and J.D. Danner’s “The Reason I Breathe” is no exception. I think when you hear the song, you’ll agree.

While listening to some of the musical tributes to the troops on the America Supports You website, I ran across one song that really struck a chord in me. Dealing with the deployment of my loved one in Iraq, this song, “The Reason I Breathe” by J.D. Danner said it all for me. It sums up my feelings about why I’m doing what I’m doing, keeping things going here at home, while Marty’s deployed. I’ll tell you a little bit about J.D. that I took from her website, J.D. Danner Official Website and then close with the interview I had with her this afternoon over the phone. JD sounds a little like Pat Benatar and Melissa Ethridge with that same gutsy, bluesy from the heart sound. I think she’s got a sound that all of our readers here at ASM will enjoy and relate to.

J.D. discovered at an early age that she expressed herself best through music. By the age of five years old her grandmother had taught her how to sing and play the ukulele. Two years later, J.D. started piano and guitar lessons. She later went on to form her own band called No Trax, covering blues, rock and country. The band quickly found local success playing in clubs, festivals and basically anywhere anyone would listen.

After college and a brief gig in the corporate world, J.D. decided pantyhose and deadlines was not the life for her. So she burned her pantyhose, picked up her guitar and has been performing in South Florida as well as nationally ever since.

In 1998, J.D. independently released her debut CD titled, Stimulating Sacrifice and won critical acclaim from the press along with a large local fan base, selling more than two thousand copies in the first month after it’s release. Her lyrics hit on many different nerves with a musical blend of rock and blues making this CD an appeal to fans across the board.

After touring the southeast and New York City, J.D. decided her next project would be a Gospel CD. Joyful Noise, a collaboration of traditional blues roots gospel, was released in 2001 and J.D. spent most of that year performing in churches and Christian coffeehouses. During this tour she was privileged to share the stage with the legendary rock idol, Dion at a Youth Praise and Worship music series.

In 2003, Nashville producers Keith Ridenour and Dennis Blischak were so impressed with J.D.’s debut CD that they decided to record a project with her which lead to the CD, Maybe It’s Just Me.

In keeping her commitment to community, the first single off the CD is titled, “Shelter From The Shame”. The release lead to the start of Project Shelter From The Shame, which was an awareness and fundraising project including a music video and concerts to help stop violence against women and girls.

J.D. has taken on another cause close to her heart. She penned the song, “A Brand New Angel” as a tribute to her friend, Martha, who lost her battle with breast cancer last year. She presented the idea of a CD fundraising project the American Cancer Society and was invited to perform at their 2005 Relay For Life events in several cities throughout Florida. In memory of Martha, a portion of the single CD proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society.

J.D.’s latest endeavor is a 2005-2006 military base tour to entertain the troops and their families, with her most recent show at the US Naval Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has teamed up with a nationwide organization called Operation Homefront, which supports the troops by helping the families they leave behind. J.D. recorded a special mix of her song, “The Reason I Breathe” for this project and has pledged a portion of the proceeds from this CD single to Operation Homefront.

J.D.’s gift for songwriting combined with her smokey vocal styling and passionate live performance makes her an artist not to be missed. With the release of her new CD and her new tour, she may just change the world – one song at a time!

I had the pleasure of speaking with J.D. on the phone this afternoon about her song and the inspiration behind it. I asked J.D. what her inspiration was for “The Reason I Breathe.” She said that initially the song had been written for a friend of hers to give to her parents, as a thanks to them for being there for her through the trials and tribulations of her life. The song also fit what she wanted to say to the troops, who were fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq and their families at home, who were keeping the fires burning for them.

“I wanted to do something in support of the troops and I felt that music was the best way that I could do this, because it’s what I do. The song was already written, and I just changed a couple of lyrics to make it fit the troops and their families,” J.D. said.

Because she wanted to do something for the troops, to show them support, J.D. began searching the internet for groups that do so. When she found Operation Homefront, it seemed like the perfect fit for her, because not only do they support the troops, but they also support their families at home as well. J.D. contacted them and sent them her CD, which they loved and their partnership was born. A portion of the sales of “The Reason I Breathe” is donated to Operation Homefront to assist in the continuing of their efforts.

J.D. has had the pleasure of performing at 10 military bases across the United States by teaming up with AAFES. Her most recent performance was at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, at the US Naval base there, where her entire band was able to accompany her. She plans to visit more military bases and continue to share the gift of her music with the troops.

The message that J.D. would like to send to the troops with her music is this:

“The Reason I Breathe” is a long-distance love song, to let the troops know that the people they love at home are there for them and are continuing to hold down the fort and keep the fires burning at home.”

J.D. has heard from many of our troops and their families, both spouses and parents, who’ve raved about her song. Some couples have even shared that they’ve used “The Reason I Breathe” in their wedding and sent her pictures of the happy event.

Be on the lookout for another tribute song to the Troops from J.D. that will be called, “Thanks To The Brave,” which should be coming out at the end of June. Once it’s complete, we’ll be featuring it here at ASM.

I’d like to Thank J.D. for her wonderful song and for taking the time out of her day to speak with me this afternoon. I hope that everyone will take some time and visit J.D.’s website and her MySpace page, J.D. Danner Official Website and J.D. Danner Band MySpace, listen to this extremely talented artist and purchase “The Reason I Breathe” and at the same time, support and their great cause. In J.D.’s online store, you can purchase not only her music, but T-Shirts as well. One in particular is a shirt that says, “My Soldier Is The Reason I Breathe.” It’s one that I’ll be ordering. I’ll be making a video to go with this song in the next couple of days and will post it here once it’s completed. For now, you’ll just have to listen to this fantastic song! Enjoy!!

The Reason I Breathe


3 Responses to ““The Reason I Breathe” by J.D. Danner”

  1. JOAN MAGAZZOLO on April 19th, 2007 8:43 pm

    I loved the song, the music and the lyrics were very touching. I would like to commend J.D.Danner on having such a great talent. I would also like to commend Terri on putting the pictures together with the music. I am very happy to see that we have some great Americans supporting our boys. That what makes America so great, and I am proud to be an American. Thank you both, and all our brave men and women overseas.

  2. Terri on April 19th, 2007 9:07 pm

    Thanks Joan for visiting A Soldier’s Mind. Welcome! Thank you so much for your kind words as well. I know for myself, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing than supporting my special Soldier and ALL of our troops.

  3. A Soldier’s Mind » Thanks To The Brave by J.D. Danner on September 22nd, 2007 3:36 pm

    [...] in April, I did a story about a wonderful recording artist from Florida, J.D. Danner, who had written and performed the [...]

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