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The first time I heard the Murfreesboro, TN trio called Those Darlins they hit me as a group of pals who started playing songs together just for kicks—which I think is the reason a lot of rock and country bands start out. But the performances drip with a spirit of fun and camaraderie that you rarely hear these days, and while that could also describe a loose jam session or a hootenanny this group doesn’t sound like that.
For better or worse the trio’s sound is rooted in country, but the songs also rock. And while some of their original tunes are fairly silly—“I got drunk and I ate a chicken / I ate a chicken I found in my kitchen / Not just a leg and not just a wing / I’d like to let you know that I ate the whole damn thing,” they sing on “Whole Damn Thing”—but a three or four spins of their eponymous three-track debut on Oh Wow Dang Records and a four-song set for Hear Ya Live Sessions has convinced me that their numbers are sturdier and catchier than I first assumed and they’re not bad players either, particularly the nimble guitar playing of Jessi Darlin (they all share the same last name, Ramones-style) on “Wild One,” a tune inspired by “You’re Running Wild” by the Louvin Brothers.
Those Darlins open up for Dan Auerbach at the Metro on Friday night .
Julia Hülsmann Trio, The End of a Summer (ECM)
Brooks O’Dell, I’m Your Man—The Anthology 1963-1972 (Kent)
Kenny Burrell Trio, A Night at the Vanguard (Argo)
Various Artists, Eccentric Soul: The Young Disciples (Numero Group)
Synval Silva, Synval Silva (RCA/Victor, Brasil)