Archive for the Those Darlins Category

Weekend YouTube: Inbox Videos Pt. 2

Posted in Hayes Carll, The Bridge, Those Darlins on February 12, 2011 by AmericanaPulse

The following clips are all videos that have popped up in my email inbox in the last week or so.

We start with what the promo email called a “revealing” video from Those Darlins’ upcoming CD Screws Get Loose.

Hayes Carll’s new album, KMAG YOYO, comes out on Tuesday (It’s pretty darn good, by the way).  He talks about the album in this clip.

Finally, a video from The Bridge off their new record National Bohemian.  The album is produced by Steve Berlin from Los Lobos.

Free Music Monday: Tift, Heathens, Ritter, Darlins…

Posted in Band of Heathens, Bill Monroe, Josh Ritter, Those Darlins, Tift Merritt on September 13, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

The sign Those Darlins are standing in front of says “SALE,” but today I’m here to offer you free music. Lately, my inbox has been full of announcements from big-time Americana artists telling of free downloads they are offering on their websites. Simply follow the links ahead and download (completely free) live tracks and new tunes from Those Darlins, The Band of Heathens, Tift Merritt, and Josh Ritter.

Those Darlins have been working on the follow up to their self-titled debut album and will soon release a 7″ vinyl single as a preview of the new project. You can listen to two songs from the 7″ and download the new song “Night Jogger” at their website.
As I learned recently from our friends The Gobbler’s Knob, The Band of Heathens have offered another free download on their site. This time, it’s their version of the Flying Burrito Brothers’ classic “Sin City.”
Tift Merritt’s record label is offering four songs for free download on their site. Go here for live versions of “Mixtape” and “Engine to Turn” from her new album and studio versions of “Broken” and “Feel of the World.”
Finally, Josh Ritter and his wife Dawn Landes are sharing their version of a Heady West tune called “500 Miles” (not The Proclaimers’ song) to commemorate the beginning of their European tour. Get it here.

To end the post on a completely unrelated note… Today is the birthday of the father of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe. Monroe was born Sept. 13, 1911 in the small Western Kentucky town of Rosine.

Today, Monroe is known for giving birth to a style of music that is distinctly American and Appalachian. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, and a National Medal of Arts recipient. He served as an undeniable influence on any number of musicians who came after him, and helped launch the careers of other bluegrass luminaries such as Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Don Reno, Vassar Clements, Jimmy Martin, Del McCoury, and many others who served apprenticeships under him as members of his Bluegrass Boys.
Bill Monroe passed away in 1996, but his music and his influence continue to live on.
Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys: Blue Moon of Kentucky (Buy Album)

Top 20 of 2009: 9-7

Posted in Buddy and Julie Miller, Neko Case, Those Darlins, Top 20 of 2009 on January 2, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

I’ve fallen a little behind over the Holidays, but I’m going to try to get back on track and get the list finished up soon. We’ll start back today with #9.

#9 – Written in Chalk by Buddy & Julie Miller

Based solely on critical acclaim and awards, this would be the number one album on the list… hands down. Buddy & Julie nearly swept the Americana Music Awards in September. The husband and wife team captured awards for Duo/Group of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year for “Chalk” (with Patty Griffin). Buddy also walked away with the Artist of the Year trophy as a solo prize. I obviously liked the CD when it came out back in the spring, but it was amazing to see just how this thing took off. It was the most played album on Americana Radio this year.

The album is not simply a Buddy and Julie Miller duet project as the title would suggest. They do, however, sing together in a few places… including the wistful “Ellis County” and the lustful “Gasoline & Matches.” There are other collaborations here as well, and they are what makes this album stand apart from Buddy and Julie’s 2001 self titled release (also an Americana Album of the Year winner). Patty Griffin lends her angelic voice to the previously mentioned “Chalk” with Buddy and “Don’t Say Goodbye” with Julie. Emmylou Harris and The McCrary Sisters pop up in a few places too. I’ll share one here with you featuring a duet with Buddy Miller and Robert Plant… two iconic voices.

Buddy & Julie Miller (feat. Robert Plant): What You Gonna Do Leroy? (Buy Album)

#8 – Those Darlins by Those Darlins

What can you say about Those Darlins? The band is fronted by three country gals with a punk rock spirit who go by the names of Jessi, Kelley, and Nikki Darlin (not their real surnames). They are known for raising ruckuses, inciting riots, and causing general chaos whenever and wherever they perform. In fact, their recent tour to support the release of their self titled debut album was called the “Dare America Tour.” During shows they openly encouraged their audiences to abandon all inhibitions and enjoy themselves as much as possible (they talked about it a bit when I interviewed them back in August). This record is about as fun as music can possibly get.

Musically, Those Darlins are a near perfect blend of X and The Carter Family. They even cover the Carter Family’s “Cannonball Blues” on this album. I described them once before as sounding like a female Uncle Tupelo or a slightly unhinged Loretta Lynn. The girls (along with their drummer, Sheriff Lin) have as much fire as Loretta ever did, and their Middle Tennessee roots (they hail from Murfreesboro, TN) lend a certain authenticity to their twang. I don’t know if Loretta ever got drunk and ate an entire chicken, but I like to think that she could have.

Those Darlins: The Whole Damn Thing (Buy Album)

#7 – Middle Cyclone by Neko Case

Neko Case utilized one of my favorite publicity gimmicks of 2009 to promote the release of Middle Cyclone. She made a financial donation to an animal rescue organization called “Best Friends” for every blog that posted the lead single from the album. She garnered a ton of attention for the album (and the single “People Got a Lot of Nerve”), and raised $4,000 for a very worthy cause. Of course, Neko has never needed any gimmicks to get my attention with her music, but I’m glad I was able to help expand her audience a bit with this one.

In what was, at times, a surreal interview with public television personality Tavis Smiley, Neko described this album as being mostly comprised of songs about “love and nature.” Many of the songs here actually do come off as love songs to the natural world. Neko sings of magpies and killer whales… owls and glaciers, and even titles one song “Never Turn You Back on Mother Earth.” The track I’m sharing here is one of those nature tracks as well. In “This Tornado Loves You,” Neko plays the roll of a tornado trying to express itself to a human. Yeah… I don’t really understand it either, but it’s a good song… and a good album.

Neko Case: This Tornado Loves You (Buy Album)

My Interview with Those Darlins

Posted in Those Darlins on September 2, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

The funloving foursome you see above are Those Darlins… Jessi, Kelley, & Nikki Darlin along with drummer, Sheriff Lin.

Those Darlins brought their unique blend of punk and country to Knoxville last week for Tennessee Shines. Roughly one hour before they took the stage at the Bijou Theatre… Jessi, Kelley, and Nikki stopped by the WDVX studios to talk a little bit about their debut album, what to expect from one of their performances (be prepared for anything really), and a few other projects they are involved in.

I recorded their visit, and would like to share it with you here. Just ignore the parts where we talk about there being a show “tonight” …as the show already happened last week. Stay tuned through the whole thing to hear a track from their self-titled debut at the end.

Those Darlins Live in the WDVX Studios (Buy Those Darlins)

As an extra special bonus… here’s the video for “Red Light Love” that the girls were talking about.

Notes for the End of a Vacation

Posted in Ben Gibbard, Jay Farrar, John Hartford, R.E.M., Those Darlins on July 30, 2009 by AmericanaPulse
Unfortunately, my vacation has come to an end. I am, however, happy to be back home in Knoxville after having some fun in Cooperstown, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. last week. We went to the Baseball Hall of Fame, several of the Smithsonian museums, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, a brewery, a cider mill, and a handful of wineries. All in all, a fun and relaxing trip.

Oddly, it was the first vacation I’ve taken in quite some time that didn’t have some sort of musical bent to it. My wife and I usually plan our vacations around some concert or another, but we couldn’t seem to find anything this time. Unless you count the piano bar insanity at The Howl at the Moon Saloon in Baltimore. If you’ve never been to one of these fine establishments, just picture two guys playing piano and taking requests from a room full of revelers who are all partaking of their favorite alcoholic beverages. They played everything from Garth Brooks to Weezer to Vanilla Ice in the couple of hours I was there. Needless to say, I sang along with every song and had a pretty darn good time. It’s not the kind of place I usually frequent… but it was certainly fun.

Anyway… some musical notes from things that happened while I was gone…

***The coolest thing I read about this past week was the upcoming collaboration between Jay Farrar of Son Volt and Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. The collaboration holds a great deal of interest for me since the two artists seem to come to their music from different starting points. Farrar is much more the Cosmic-American troubadour while Gibbard mostly plays the role of the navel-gazing indie popster. Regardless… they are two of my favorites, and I can’t wait to see what their pairing yields. You can read all about it over at Paste’s website.

I should also say that I’ve been slowly absorbing Son Volt’s latest release American Central Dust over the last few weeks. It didn’t really grab me on the first few listens (nothing here really has the raw power of something like “Drown”), but has started worming its way into my ear a bit more and more. Jay’s steel guitar has settled down a bit on this release, and he seems to play more in the country than the rock on this effort. Give it a second listen if you have to.

***Paste also had a great conversation starter that went up on their site Monday. Editor Josh Jackson listed his Top 20 R.E.M. Songs of All Time. The top two from my Top Five didn’t make the cut, but it’s still a strong list overall. The greatest thing about it is that you can listen to all twenty songs on Paste’s website. It’s a great R.E.M. primer if you’ve never explored their music before.

***I should also mention that I first came across each of those two links over at USA Today’s Pop Candy Blog. Whitney Matheson, the blog’s author, is a former Knoxvillian (current New Yorker) who posts several daily updates on anything and everything pop culture related from music to movies to comic books to an almost unhealthy obsession with moustaches. My wife turned me on to her site about a year ago, and her daily “Morning Buzz” posts have become required reading in our house ever since.

Music only makes up a small portion of what Pop Candy covers, but I do have to give Whitney credit for introducing me to Those Darlins a few months ago when they played SXSW in Austin. I probably wouldn’t even have opened the recent email I got from the band if I hadn’t read the positive reviews from Pop Candy. I accepted their invitation to attend a Darlin’s show in Knoxville back in May, started playing their music on WDVX shortly thereafter, blogged about them, and started pushing our Music Director to listen to their album. Now, Those Darlins are in heavy rotation at WDVX and will be featured on August’s Tennessee Shines concert broadcast along with Vienna Teng, Shawn Camp, and Guy Clark.

Check out Pop Candy if you get a chance. Whitney also weighed in on the R.E.M. debate with her personal Top Ten.

***By now you’re probably wondering what the picture at the top of today’s post has to do with anything.

As I mentioned earlier, I spent a good deal of last week in Washington D.C. taking in the sights of our nation’s capitol. On Wednesday, my wife and I toured the National Gallery, The Smithsonian Museum of American History, and The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

The Air and Space Museum had a rather large exhibit dedicated to Orville and Wilbur Wright, the brothers from Ohio who designed and built the world’s first successful airplane. The exhibit had a replica of their famous aircraft that took that first flight in Kitty Hawk, NC, design models from some of their earlier attempts, and a bevy of other artifacts.

Included in one of the displays was the mandolin pictured above. It seems that Orville Wright was known to pick a little from time to time, and that particular mandolin was his instrument of choice. I don’t know why that instrument struck me so… but I like the idea of Orville and Wilbur sitting around a campfire at the end of the day and picking out a tune.

As a tribute to Orville & Wilbur Wright… here is a tune from John Hartford that would not have been possible without their contributions.
John Hartford: Steam Powered Aereo Plane (Buy Album)

Notes on Those Darlins, Todd Snider, Chris Gaffney, etc…

Posted in Chris Gaffney, Those Darlins, Todd Snider on June 2, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Time for another quick notes column… as it seems that’s all I have time to do these days.

First off… an overdue recap of some recent live shows I caught here in town.

***Those Darlins came to town a couple of weekends ago and brought a little bit of fire along with them to Knoxville’s old city. I’ll admit to not knowing much about the group before their show, having only really heard the promo single the band sent me and a few songs from their set over at Daytrotter.

After the show… I’m hooked. Kelley, Jessi, and Nikki Darlin (pictured above) scorched the stage with a high energy set full of songs about drinkin’, partyin’, and just being wild in general. All three girls played guitar (or ukulele), took turns at lead vocals, and they created strong three-part vocal harmonies on every song. Blend the heavier side of Uncle Tupelo with the sass of Loretta Lynn, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of where Those Darlins are coming from. Their music an enjoyable, rough-edged, high-energy mix of punk rock and honky tonk that left me wanting more.

I’ll catch them again the next time they come to town. In the meantime… you can hear more on their myspace page and check out their live sets on Daytrotter and HearYa. You can also pre-order their full-length debut album at their website.

***Todd Snider was also in town last week to do a couple of short sets on The Blue Plate Special and Tennessee Shines. There’s not a whole lot else that needs to be said about Todd… other than he’s still the same smart-ass that he’s always been, and I love it. The new album is out next week.

*** The Chris Gaffney tribute album, The Man of Somebody’s Dreams was finally released last week. I’ve been spinning this thing for about six months now, and am glad to see that it’s finally making its way out to the public.

Chris Gaffney was a songwriter and musician who was known mainly as a member of Dave Alvin’s Guilty Men and The Hacienda Brothers. He passed away last year after a short battle with liver cancer. You can read my post about him over at Star Maker Machine that I did for the “In Memoriam” week. The album is a loving tribute to Gaffney that was put together by Alvin and many of Gaff’s other friends including Alejandro Escovedo, Boz Scaggs, Los Lobos, James McMurtry, Tom Russell, John Doe, Robbie Fulks, and many others. It’s well worth checking out, and all proceeds from the album go to benefit Gaff’s family and the non-profit group “Hungry for Music.”

You can purchase the tribute album at YepRoc’s music store.

The song I’m sharing today comes from Gaffney’s 1995 solo album Loser’s Paradise and features guest vocals from Lucinda Williams.

Chris Gaffney: Cowboys to Girls (Buy Album)

Today’s Notes Brought to You by Rhett Miller

Posted in Rhett Miller, Those Darlins on May 21, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

**Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know how I feel about the Old 97’s. They are one of my favorite acts around, and a lot of that has to do with their charismatic frontman Rhett Miller. Should I, then, find it odd that I never seem to enjoy Rhett’s solo material as much as I do his work with the band?

Probably not, since he seems to go out of his way to ensure that a Rhett Miller solo album has a totally different feel from an Old 97’s record. The solo albums generally tread a more pop-laden path. The excursions always produce a couple of gems, but ultimately leave me wanting to revisit my 97’s collection.

With that, I bring you the news that Rhett Miller is releasing his new, self-titled, album in June. There’s a review posted at Twangville that has me eagerly anticipating the release and willing to give Rhett’s solo career another chance. You can hear “I Need to Know Where I Stand” from the self-titled album over at Twangville.

**I know I’m not the first person to post this next tidbit either… but Paste Magazine is in a bit of financial trouble. So much trouble, in fact, that the magazine is asking readers for donations just to help keep them afloat. I’ll admit to not reading Paste as much lately as I used to. I even let my subscription lapse in the new year… so I guess I’m partly responsible for their current situation. Even so, I still don’t want to see them go away.

I’ve been reading Paste since the very first issue, and the magazine has introduced me to so many new artists over the years that it’s impossible to count. We’ve already seen No Depression and Harp cease publication along with countless others. I don’t want to lose Paste too.

**This weekend is shaping up to be another solid couple of days for live music here in Knoxville, and I hope to tell you about a few artists who will be making their way through town in a separate post a little later. For now, though, just let me make brief mention of a group that I hope to catch Saturday night at Barley’s.

Those Darlins are from Murfreesboro, TN just outside of Nashville and first came to my attention during the SXSW festival in Austin when they were featured on USA Today’s Pop Candy blog. They were described as “honky-tonk punk (with a) sassy attitude and sweet harmonies.” I had to know more. Saturday night, they’re coming to town with their music that reminds me a bit of a slightly unhinged Loretta Lynn circa “Fist City.”

Here’s a track from their upcoming album that’s due out next month.

Those Darlins: Wild One (Buy Album)