NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Darlingside was born when five musical friends gathered in a Pioneer Valley basement in 2006 with a mandolin, a cello, a violin, several guitars, and a drum set. Together, the charismatic quintet forged an exhilarating sound at the intersection of rock, classical, and folk music. Darlingside brings its vibrant "string-rock" sound home to the Berkshires with a concert at MASS MoCA on Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m.
Darlingside’s genre-bending sound and unquestionable originality are borne of an unlikely hodgepodge of musical backgrounds: Harris Paseltiner began playing classical cello when he was six, and appeared twice on NPR with his classical piano trio. Auyon Mukharji earned a travel fellowship after college to study and write about the traditional music of Brazil, Turkey, and Ireland. Don Mitchel toured nationally as a boy alto, picked up the guitar in high school, and honed his singer/songwriter talents by playing for sunset boat cruises in Maine. Dave Senft began singing and arranging vocal music in college, where he became musical director of his acappella group, and spent two subsequent years learning guitar as a street musician in Boston and abroad. Sam Kapala got started on drums at the age of seven - his intricate style fuses jazz, funk, hip-hop, and rock.
Darlingside’s thoughtful, mature blend of so many musical styles has an unexpected root as well. The band shared the story of their van, named Chauncey, with Bespoke Traveler: "The CD player in our van doesn’t work, so many long hours in the van translate into many long hours of discussion, and, often, musical collaboration or debate. Traveling as we do provides new experiences from which inspiration is drawn, as well as the downtime to contemplate and process it." The five friends combine their vocal, instrumental, and songwriting talents to "produce songs you can’t deny in ways you’ve rarely heard," in the words of Dave Coffey of the University of Massachusetts’ The Daily Collegian.
Rising to prominence in the Northampton music scene, the group released a self-recorded EP, titled EP 1, in 2010. After this impressive debut, Darlingside attracted the attention of producer Nathaniel Kunkel (Sting, Crosby/Nash, Maroon 5) who would produce the next three EPs and, in 2012, a full album titled Pilot Machines. Nate Greenberg of The Ampeater Review puzzles over the fact that Darlingside’s music cannot "fit cleanly into any of the numerous hip subgenres in vogue todayŠ I can’t shake the feeling that this music has widespread appeal. It’s music that my hip college sister, jazz aficionado father, and eccentric grandmother who Š generally only listens to the Beatles, children’s songs, and feminist spoken word poetry, would probably all enjoy."
Darlingside takes the stage in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m. on the third floor of MASS MoCA.
Full bar plus dinner and snacks from Lickety Split are available before and during the show. Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 on the day of the show, and $10 for students. MASS MoCA members receive a 10% discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office, located off Marshall Street in North Adams, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays).
Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413-662-2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.