Category Archives: Country

Those Darlins – Those Darlins – CD Review

Nikki, Jessie, and

Before I even start this review you all should know that this band hit me hard in the ears with something good.  Ever since my introduction I have been a fan and I really like to support these girls hense all of the posts in recent months.

I guess that is one of the cool things about having your own blog, freedom to do what you want.  Well what I want is to help out three ladies from the Nashville area be heard.  I know they should have no problem doing so but it does not hurt to help.

Next week Those Darlins return to Cleveland on July 14th and you can bet your grits I will be there.  Do yourself a favor and get up to the Beachland Tavern to check out this great up and coming band.  I would not talk about them so much if I did not think they were all that.

 So what that said, here is the review of the debut release by Those Darlins:


Tennessee’s best kept little secret no longer remains hidden as Those Darlins have released their debut self titled album on their very own label Oh Wow Dang! Records. Kelly Darlin, Nikki Darlin, and Jessie Darlin who make up Those Darlins do their own thing their own way. The result is a band that spills out some great tunes combining pop with rock, punk, and country.

Hailing from Murfreesboro, TN the musically inclined trio of women have already made their way around the US playing shows small and large. With their constant touring with acts such as Dan Auerbach, The Features, and even playing a stage at this year’s Bonnaroo, the girls have finally released their debut album for all to hear.

Having already been a huge fan, I was excited for their music to spread to a larger audience. I think it will not be too difficult for that to happen thanks to this release.

So what is it about this band that has more or less turned me into an obsessed fan? The girls mix the perfect blend of garage rock, punk, and even some country rock style all into a sound I just can not get enough of. They have enough sass to knock your grandpa to the floor, the looks that guarantee instant crushes, the smiles of angels, and can party down like no other. I’m pretty sure they can all kick your ass too with out any help.

Their Appalachian sounds seems to clash with a punk attitude as well as female strong ideals.  This mix becomes smashed into a fine sounding bar-rock jam fom three good looking gals who drink their whiskey from the bottle. Think Wanda Jackson and Patsy Cline  meet Joan Jett with even a taste of some Kathleen Hanna.

The classic covers of the Carter Family’s “Who’s That Knocking At My Window?” as well as “Cannonball Blues” proved Those Darlins have a rendering for the country genre but when you move throughout the album you can clearly hear that their musical roots are not just from Nashville

Opening track “Red Light Love” does not even suggest they are a country act as they play a more bar-rock song. What I like about this one so much is I can actually feel them smiling as they sing this fun song.

“Wild One” is more or less the girls’ anthem/reminder of being wild and crazy. This song is Wanda Jackson with punk rock authority and provides a fair warning to all the folk out there that have a more than a musical liken for Those Darlins. This was the first song I had heard from the band and was the reason became so fond of them.

“The Whole Damn Thing”, to me, was the funniest song on the album as the girls sing about getting hammered and eating an entire chicken. To make things even more amusing the song continues with the consumed chicken being forgotten about.

Almost reminding me of something Johnny Cash might have written during his raging days was “Glass To You”, a drunken slur of a track. I almost felt bad for the girls in this painful song as they declare they are having “whiskey blues” and have “been drunk since half past noon” because of their man. Having more than one vocalist sing throughout just keeps it unhappy.

“Snaggle Tooth Mama” is a boot-stomping country jam with some fun intermitting guitar and bar room piano playing that by the end of the track will have you singing along. “222” is a tough track about all about boys, parties, and fun. Coincidentally one of the studios that the girls recorded at was in NYC at Jeff Curtin’s basement studio called 222.  Jeff Curtin also took on the drumming duties for most of the tracks on this album.

“DUI Or Die” was more of a tale of an alcohol infused evening out all ending with sirens and jail bars as well as blaming to booze. “Drunk driving, I’m guilty, and I’m blaming the booze” pretty much summed up the song in a comical way also giving hint to all the ladies who want to avoid DUIs but going home with someone and letting them drive.

Even though some of the songs suggest a country rock like style, they add much more rock and roll and punk rock finesse giving for a fiercer sound. Having the girls split up vocal duties just keeps their songs that much more interesting. Their debut album is an instant classic to my ears and I am sure it will be for many as all of the songs are very catchy, musically and lyrically. This is not a band you will forget about after just one album. These girls are going places.

Seeing them live is a whole experience in its own. Big crowds or small crowds these girls play their hearts out, drink the big boy drinks, and will force you to have a good time. When they take the stage one might think they do not have the capabilities that make up what Those Darlins are all about – loud music and good times. The moment the guitars are strummed and the vocals start it’s clear that something fun is about to happen.

Need some proof? Here, check out these videos:

Those Darlins Dare You To Have The Best Summer Ever

I’m sure a couple of you by know that I think that Those Darlins are just an OK band.  It’s not like I post a lot of posts about them or anything…

Who am I kidding?  I am all about Those Darlins.  Out of nowhere they were introduced to my ears thanks to the good folk at Thirty Tigers and I could not help but to like them.  There was just something about their take on rock infused with country that was ever so appealing to me.  I turned into an instant fan.

This past Saturday their debut album was released on LP on First Vinyl Saturday..  I might have purchased 2 copies…  They were available to Music Saves in Cleveland and Shake It Records in Cincinnati so I know great independent record stores have them. 

I’m currently in the works of finishing a review of their CD that very well may be one of my favorite releases of the year.  I know we are only 6 months into the year and anything can happen…

Today I received an email from Those Darlins I thought would be best to just share in its entirety.  It’s an announcement from the girls to you:

America…

We’re coming to get you.
We dare you to just say yes.

Those Darlins will soon be roaming this great nation, bringing all Americans together the only way we know how: sheer freak spectacle.

But don’t just come see the spectacle, be the spectacle. We want you. We dare you. We, in fact, need you.

Have a drink, have a dance. Don’t worry about the environment being intolerant, too cool, too lame, too country, too anything. EVERYONE is invited; you’re one of us.

It’s Summer 2009, and, damnit, be here with us in the now. Don’t let the economic downturn ruin your appetite for some basic human relief: a good time.

Say yes… we already have. And we are bringing gifts (records, drinks, maybe even a kiss from our merch-man Byron) to the folks ready to lead the charge with us at every show.

Grow some fur, burn your laurels, let us see your inner spirit animal.

And, until then, enjoy Red Light Love, and make a date with us to make this the best summer ever.

SUMMER TOUR DATES

“Buy the ticket, take the ride.” – HST

6/25: Atlanta @ Drunken Unicorn
6/26: Athens, GA @ AthFest
6/27: Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge $
7/07: Arlington, VA @ Iota Club & Cafe
7/09: NYC @ Mercury Lounge +
7/10: Brooklyn @ Southpaw **, ++
7/11: Philadelphia @ Johnny Brenda’s
7/13: Pittsburgh @ Club Café
7/14: Cleveland @ Beachland Tavern
7/15: Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room
7/16: Indianapolis @ Radio Radio
7/17: Chicago @ Schubas
7/18: Minneapolis @ 7th St. Entry
7/20: Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
7/21: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown Front Room
7/22: Des Moines, IA @ Vaudeville Mews
7/23: Kansas City, MO @ The Record Bar
7/24: St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway
7/25: Memphis, TN @ Hi-Tone
9/18 & 19: Bristol, VA @ Bristol Roots & Reunion Festival

$ W/The Black Lips – VINYL RELEASE PARTY
+ W/Heavy Trash (Jon Spencer) CD RELEASE PARTY
** W/So So Glos BROOKLYN RELEASE PARTY
++ W/We Are Country Mice BROOKLYN RELEASE PARTY

BUY THE DEBUT ALBUM EARLY NOW!

OPTIONS To Buy The CD Early Before Official 7/7 street date:

1) VINYL (W/CD of FULL ALBUM) at INDIE RETAIL STORES NOW! — it really is the most beautiful package. Hope you get to indie retail soon while they are giving away a pair of Blublocker sunglasses with the purchase of the vinyl and you get the CD as well inserted in the package.  (Editiors Note: Rumor has it that the first pressings are PINK!)

2) Buy the VINYL (W/CD) or the CD digipak at www.thosedarlins.com

3) iTunes: Now available at iTunes HERE

Download This! – Those Darlins – “Red Light Love”

The Avett Brothers w/ Special Guest Samantha Crain & the Midnight Shivers – Akron Civic Theatre – 06/19/2009 – Concert Review

Friday night in downtown Akron was one of those nights to remember for many thanks to The Avett Brothers.  It was one of those nights that anyone who came to the show will think of for years to come with help from their amazing performance.  Intimate at times as well as a full on rock show, everyone who had a ticket to that show left satisfied.

North Carolinian brothers Scott and Seth Avett once used to fill the quaint Kent Stage in Kent, OH but thanks to their success as a folk rock band they needed a bigger place to play.  With help from the Kent Stage crew the boys left that smaller stage for the classy Akron Civic Theatre, a stage I think suited them perfectly.

Having no idea that there was even an opening act, I was thrilled when the curator of the Kent Stage announced that Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers were taking the stage.  Having just recently been introduced to the country rock act I found myself even more excited to be at the show.

Samantha Crain and crew took the stage and received a warm welcome just after eight o’clock.  After a few songs in it was clear that the crowd had accepted them into their ears, thanks to her unique singing style and country rock, and were cheering loudly after each song.

During one moment after a song Samantha Crain stated she missed a note and declared “everyone hits a wrong note” and continued on how she is hard on herself for doing so even though she knows it happens.  The crowd all seemed to agree with what she said and not once did I hear any wrong notes played.  Then again I only had heard a couple of songs prior to seeing her set live.

Samantha Crain admitted it was only the second show her and the band had played with The Avett Brothers and thanked them for the opportunity to share the stage.  Admitting she came from a small town in Oklahoma she basically confessed to living the dream.  Seeing her jump around excitedly on stage as she strummed her acoustic guitar just proved how excited she was to be up on that stage.

Shortly before the Avett’s took the stage, die-hard fans started screaming out “Happy Birthday Scott!”  Clearly many of the fans knew that one of the members was celebrating their birthday in Akron that night.

With the curtains still drawn The Avett brothers along with Bob Crawford started their set off with “PGFA”.  Everyone in the house went wild upon hearing the music begin and once the curtains were opened it was clear to everyone how great this band truly is.  With an array of instruments behind the trio everyone’s attention was focused on the amazing folk-rock playing from the banjo, the stand up bass, and acoustic guitar as well as dual signing that had just begun.  To add to the stage’s appeal there was a giant backdrop of a ship that resembled Scott Avett’s art.

While standing in literally the middle of the venue I felt that I had the best place to hangout at for the night while taking in all that The Avett Brothers dished out.  Their songs, as my friend Seth said it best, gave me that feeling that many in the past had to have felt when the Beatles first started playing their music live.  I was heavily sucked into each song they played and had a smile on my face that lasted pretty much until I got home that night and finally fell asleep.

Throughout the set Joe Kwon would join the trio and add cello to some of the songs.  The brothers would share singing duties and seemed to swap out guitars during every song and at times even during some of the songs.  It was really interesting to see Seth Avett swap guitars and narrowly miss continuing the song but he is a pro at what he does and there were no interruptions.

Playing through songs such as “Please Pardon Yourself”, “Die Die Die”, and “It Goes On & On” The Avett Brothers sounded as amazing as I thought they would.  I missed many the opportunity to see this band live in the past and regretted it each time.  Finally though I found myself at one of their live shows feeling privileged to be in their presence.

In between songs fans were screaming out requests to the stage in hopes that their favorite song would be performed spur of the moment but The Avett Brothers thanked them for their requests and continued on.  Seeing them smile up on stage as they performed just proved how great of a time they were having as well.  At one time a fan screamed that she loved them and Seth Avett responded “we love you too.”  The band even played a new song from their upcoming album to be released in September.

That one new song the band played just made my night.  It was titled “I & Love & You” off of their upcoming late summer release I & Love & You.  With Scott Avett taking the drumming duties as well as signing out the I and love and you with his hand as the crowd sang along I found myself getting chills.  It was a great feeling and a great love song.

After the band played “Skin & Bones” they exited the stage.  Fans screamed and applauded the amazing performance while at the same time were still hungry for more.  Luckily the Avett’s were not quite done yet and returned to the stage moments later with a couple of extra helpers, Kent’s very own folk star Jessica Lea Mayfield and her bearded brother David.  It was the perfect end to an amazing evening.

The Avett Brother’s live show turned me into a bigger fan than I already was.  I really think the live experience just intensified their talent.  While leaving the historic Akron Civic Theatre I heard no complaints at all and everyone was just in a great mood.  I do not think I have ever attended a show quite like the one I did on that warm Friday night.  I can not wait till the next time these boys come back to a city near me.  I know I will be there in a heartbeat.

The Avett Brothers Setlist (as taken from the band’s web forum):
PGFA
Solomon
Paranoia
Please Pardon Yourself
Die Die Die
PGFR
Down With The Glistening Shine
Gift For Melody Ann
Song Of The Dying Sailor
Greensboro Woman
Salina
It Goes On & On
I & Love & You
At The Beach
Murder In The City
Swept Away
Talk Of Indolence
Matrimony
Skin & Bones

Encore (with Jessica Lea & David Mayfield)
Talk Of
Will You Return

Drive-By Trucker’s Patterson Hood Takes The Wheel For A Solo Journey

When you partake in a festival with hundreds of bands sometimes it is easy to miss someone you really wish you could have seen perform. With Bonnaroo that was all too common for me as I felt like I was in a relay race going from one tent to another taking in what performance I could before heading to the next stage for a new fix.

I missed a lot of acts because of the favoritism and just plain old bad timing.

Patterson Hood sadly was one of the acts I missed at Bonnaroo.  I just was unable to fit him in to my personal schedule on the second day of the festival.  The lead man of the Drive-By Truckers played a small stage at Bonnaroo showcasing some of his new material from this second solo release Murdering Oscar (and other love songs).  I am sure it was amazing.

I have not heard any of his new solo material yet so I was left with an empty feeling of how great it could have been to be in the crowd listening to him play.  I would also have loved to have seen Sugar‘s bassist David Barbe play along side the country/rock artist.  I used to be a huge Sugar fan in the 90’s.

Luckily the good folk at Thirty Tigers sent me an email with infor about Patterson Hood’s latest release along with a MP3 of one of his new songs to share with all my wonderful readers.

Download This! – Patterson Hood – “I Understand Now”

PATTERSON HOOD TO RELEASE
MURDERING OSCAR (and other love songs)
June 23, 2009

“For more than a decade, Hood has been transforming all that preys on him into songs that are loud, rowdy, and angry, but also humorous, intelligent, and compassionate.” – Pitchfork

“Hood is a supremely talented songwriter.” – Popmatters

Athens, GA – Patterson Hood will release Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) on June 23, 2009 on Ruth St. Records./Thirty Tigers.  The second solo record from the leader of the Drive-By Truckers has been 15 years in the making. The album was produced by Hood and long-time DBT producer David Barbe (Sugar). Most of his DBT band mates join him on the album as well as Don Chambers, Will Johnson and Scott Danbom from Centro-matic/South San Gabriel. This is also the first time Hood’s father David Hood, famed Muscle Shoals bass player, joins him on a record.

The album was recorded at Chase Park Transduction Studios in Athens, GA and will also be released on 180 gram vinyl. The vinyl release will include three exclusive bonus tracks.  An a cappella version of “Range War” will also be available exclusively with iTunes. “Pollyanna” and “Pride of the Yankees” are available to preview on his Myspace page: www.myspace.com/pattersonhood.

Tour dates:

Joining Hood on tour will be Brad Morgan (drums), John Neff (guitar/steel), Scott Danbom (keys/fiddle), Will Johnson (guitar) and David Barbe (bass), who has not toured since his days with Sugar. Will Johnson will open the shows.

June 12 Manchester, TN Bonnaroo
June 18 Nashville, TN Grimey’s in-store
June 18 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge
June 19 Louisville, KY Headliner’s
June 20 Chicago, IL The Metro
June 22 Philadelphia, PA World Café Live
June 23 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 24 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
June 25 Washington, DC The Black Cat
June 27 Athens, GA AthFest
July 8  San Francisco, CA Independent
July 10 Portland, OR Wonder Ballroom w/ The Gourds
July 11 Seattle, WA No Depression Festival

Advance tickets are on sale at  http://pattersonhood.baselineticketing.com

Track listing:
1. Murdering Oscar
2. Pollyanna
3. Pride of the Yankees
4. I Understand Now
5. Screwtopia
6. Granddaddy
7. Belvedere
8. The Range War
9. She’s A Little Randy
10. Foolish Young Bastard
11. Heavy and Hanging
12. Walking Around Sense
13. Back of a Bible

BONUS TRACKS (on vinyl only):
Uncle Phil and Aunt Phyllis in the Month After the Election
Playboy Mansion
Sam’s in the Ground

www.myspace.com/pattersonhood
www.pattersondhood.com