DARRIN JAMES BAND
DARRIN JAMES BAND: THE LOVELY UGLY TRUTH
“Brooklyn singer-songwriter Darrin James touches on Robbie Robertson’s gruff soulfulness, Tom Waits’ vaudevillian menace and Paul Westerberg’s ramshackle charm…” Time Out New York
Much is known about the way music impacts the brain; very little is known about its effect on the heart. That instant, visceral sensation when a song connects is universal; while sincerity and authenticity are intangible qualities, they are always present in the positive listening experience. Darrin James has been a guitarist for 15 years and a songwriter for just under a decade, drawing on his love for blues, soul, country and other roots genres to create songs with a timeless quality. “As a songwriter, I have wanted to combine honest, dark lyrics with old school blues and a fusion of styles, to express the emotions and stories of tragic or flawed characters.” Darrin has succeeded mightily at this aim, his debut album, Thrones of Gold earned a wealth of kudos in the music press – The Deli Magazine had this to say, “The man’s got Joe Henry versatility, a crackerjack studio band and a great sense of craft…from a Lovett/Waits blues into a John Prine diatribe then rocketing off with an Elvis Costello pop gem.” The title track placed in American Songwriter’s Lyric Writing Contest with the lyrics appearing in the Nov/Dec 2006 issue. “Crazy World” was used in the segment of Emmy-nominated reality TV fave The Deadliest Catch in which the crew demonstrate advanced cases of “Bering Sea Dementia.”
The Lovely Ugly Truth is the follow up album, and it’s filled with parables that illustrate moral dilemmas and regret, outlaw stories, murder ballads and even a contemporary protest song that confronts the immigration debate. “I have always loved the saddest songs the best, so that is what I write most often,” explained James, who produced the album and assembled an ensemble of New York’s finest players, including staff from Antibalas, TV on the Radio, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Beirut and Arcade Fire. The tracks were recorded between 2007 and 2009 in numerous studios in New York by Matt Gill, who has worked with bands like Fischerspooner, Aimee Mann, The Raveonettes and Aqualung.
SONS OF THE WEST
A rock and roll band from Columbus, Ohio; the heart of it all.
Catching your first live performance by The Hi-Tones is a bit like the title of one of their more popular songs, “Hit and Run” (not including the internal bleeding, of course). Everything happens so quickly, you’re left somewhat dazed and confused, and you can’t be exactly certain of what you’ve just witnessed. What you’re sure of is that it will take a little time before you go back to feeling normal after being run over by their retro brand of raw, jangly dance rock.
The multi-talented Keith Dukavicius (voted Best Underground Filmmaker of 2010 by Chicago Reader) is also the frontman for Chicago’s Swoon Method. Not content to stay behind the camera, Keith brings his unique cinematic storytelling to the world of music on their latest EP, The Music Stopped Her. Utilizing the lens of wistful British indie rock of days ago, Swoon Method films scenes with fully developed characters and story lines. On stage, Swoon Method evolves from romantic-drama to suspense-thriller, bringing a frantic energy that betrays their recorded sensitivity. The live show is the sequel to the album, ripe with more action, drama, and plot twists.