Darlingside, band with Concord roots, to play True Brew
The venue came together by happenstance – through a friend of a friend, as these things go – but it’s fitting that the band Darlingside is playing at True Brew Barista tomorrow night. The music these five friends produce is a rich, authentic blend that’s warm, a touch bitter and more than a little addictive. At the risk of extending the coffee metaphor too far, they even have a song called “Sweet and Low,” which actually references the pink packet of fake sugar.
There is nothing fake, though, about a Darlingside show. The band creates its own music collaboratively and organically, mixing a variety of styles and an eclectic collection of instruments, including violin, cello and mandolin.
“We describe our music as sort of the intersection of folk and rock and classical,” said drummer Sam Kapala, who grew up in Canterbury and Hopkinton and was one of the first graduates of the Concord Community Music School to have come up through the whole system, starting at age 3. “We have violin and cello, and each of those guys plays other instruments as well, so we can go from being kind of a power rock trio to a folk band.”
Kapala, who now lives in Portland, Maine, is excited to bring the Boston-based band back to the city where he got his start. “It’s a lot of fun to come back to Concord and see old friends and see new faces coming out too,” he said.
The band was formed while all of the members were
studying at Williams College in western Massachusetts. All but Kapala were in an a capella group at the college. After jamming together for a while, they decided to try to make a go of it as a real band. After the youngest two graduated in 2009, all five of them rented a house together in Northampton, Mass., and started doing local gigs. They recorded their first full-length album together in the house before moving out in 2011.
Now living separately, all five band members have stayed together. Each brings something important to the band, Kapala said.
Auyon Mukharji can play traditional instruments from Brazil, Turkey and Ireland. Harris Paseltiner has been playing the cello since it was taller than he was and has performed twice on National Public Radio. Dave Senft taught himself guitar while working as a street musician in Boston. And Don Mitchell got his start as a boy alto in a group that toured the country.
As for Kapala: “I’ve been a drummer through and through.”
Kapala started taking drum lessons at the music school when he was 6 or 7 and later played in jazz ensembles with faculty members Dave Tonkin, Richard Garzina and others.
Along with a diverse mix of backgrounds and talents, the band, which put out its first full-length record in July, has wide-ranging taste. “Our influences are all over the map, from uber-hip Brooklyn guys to classical heavyweights. . . . We love bands like the Grizzly Bear and the Nationals. But we also like old-school stuff like the Beach Boys and the Beatles for their vocal harmonies,” Kapala said.
Their eclectic sound has helped them build a fan base that is equally eclectic. “We’ve had real success with a wide range of age groups, from high school kids to their grandparents,” Kapala said. “We credit that to our vocal harmonies and the fact that we’re not just a rock band. We try to keep things very dynamic and interesting. We’re not just a full-on assault all the time.”
The band will be joined by singer-songwriter Heather Maloney for tomorrow night’s show, which begins at 7:30 and is a 21-plus show. Tickets are $10. For information on the bands, visit heathermaloney.com and darlingside.com.