The Darnell Boys (Flagpole Magazine's Best Live Band + Best Americana Band, 2014) headline RLC Bluegrass Thursday with special guest Amy McCarley. 6pm open bluegrass jam; show starts at 8pm!
$7 Adv – $10 Door
Doors @ 6 PM (pre-show bluegrass jam)
As the name implies, The Darnell Boys are a bona fide family band. Siblings Caleb, Gus, and Austin play a steadfastly authentic blend of blues, country and other such traditional sounds, taking cues from legends like Howlin' Wolf, Ray Charles and Otis Redding to create a uniquely soulful sound. At the heart of the music is a shared history that cannot be substituted with any amount of outsider talent.
Voted Best Live Band and Best Americana Band by Athens' Flagpole Magazine in 2014, Darnell Boys consists of Austin Darnell on vocals, harmonica, and rhythm guitar; Caleb Darnell on vocals and lead guitar; Gus Darnell on vocals, rhythm guitar, and (sometimes) harmonica; Elijah Neesmith on bass; Patrick Weise on misc. percussion and singing saw.
If good things come to those who wait, alt-country fans will have their patience rewarded on June 10, 2014, when singer-songwriter Amy McCarley releases Jet Engines, the highly anticipated follow-up to her 2011 self-titled debut.
McCarley, who was named one of 12 North Alabama artists to watch by The Huntsville Times in 2011, has shared stages with artists like singer-songwriter Kevin Gordon and bluegrass legend Claire Lynch; earlier this year, she performed on WDVX’s popular Blue Plate Special. A skilled musician – she spent time in Houston studying classical guitar at Rice University – the Alabama native traveled to Nashville to make her sophomore record, seeking out Grammy-winning guitarist Kenny Vaughan (best known for his tenure with Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives) and George Bradfute, the “Tone Chaperone” of Nashville’s Tone Chaparral Studios – located in a house formerly owned by country crooner Jim Reeves -- where Jet Engines was recorded.
“Pretty much everything you hear on the record is live,” McCarley told The Huntsville Times in 2013, adding that, “[Recording] was magical. We just went in there and went for it. And I think you hear that.”
Jet Engines, which sizzles with the energy of a live performance, is an engaging journey across the spectrum of roots music, from the Bakersfield-influenced “Here I Am” to the smoldering Americana of the album’s title track to the undercurrent of alt-country in the primal “Hands Tied.” Rockabilly-tinged toe-tapper “Radio On” recalls the stellar throwback records made by k.d. lang & The Reclines in the ‘80s as McCarley’s earthy alto deftly two steps through the tune.
The record’s introspective opening track, “Everybody Wants To,” was voted by The Huntsville Times to be one of 2013’s 13 Best Songs from North Alabama Artists alongside songs by Americana darlings The Civil Wars and rockers Alabama Shakes.
McCarley firmly embraces country music’s rambling tradition on “Head Out of Town,” which features some sweet slide guitar from engineer and co-producer George Bradfute. Anchored by Kenny Vaughan’s blistering guitar, “Woods on Fire” is a stellar honky tonker, while “Fool’s Lament” shows her talent for writing evocative and heartbreaking lyrics.
Though Amy McCarley has already taken her home state by storm, with the release of Jet Engines, she’s ready to take off onto the national Americana music scene.