Monday, September 3, 2012
Album review: Jank City Shakedown by Somebody’s Darling will leave you craving more
This is an album to be proud of.
DALLAS Some Texas hand-crafted country music goes down smoother than a pour of the finest whiskey on a sweet southern night. When it is made with the right amount rhythm mixed with just a dash of emotion, the music has the potential to get you drunk on its sound, leaving you craving more.
Dallas roots country outfit Somebody’s Darling is that bottle of whiskey, and their sophomore album, Jank City Shakedown, is the pour that has you asking the barkeep for more. And unlike the bartender, Somebody’s Darling won’t cut you off because the album is 10 songs long – plenty of time to drink it all in.
The Americana-influenced five-piece is no stranger to the Dallas music scene. Admitting that they have an “unhealthy commitment to poverty,” Somebody’s Darling has performed more than 400 shows since the band’s inception in 2007 and show no sign of slowing down.
After launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording of Jank City Shakedown, the band is currently on a 19-city tour crammed into a brief three-and-a-half weeks. They come home to Big D on October 6 to celebrate the release of the record at Club Dada in Deep Ellum.
Lead singer Amber Farris, who was inspired to learn to play the guitar after seeing legendary country mom-and-daughter duo The Judds perform at Fair Park, lays it all on the line on the new album. Her powerhouse vocals are stripped down bare, exposing a rawness and a vulnerability that is a rare find in female musicians these days. Much like the greats who came before her (Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge, for eample), Farris has the ability to command attention and maintain it with her unrefined, yet tender, bluesy vocals that can fill a room with booming bravado and have an audience ready to inch closer at the slightest hint of a whisper – all within the same song.
Farris’ fellow bandmates, guitarist David Ponder, drummer Nate Wedan, pianist Michael Tralley, and bassist Wade Cofer, provide a favorable and properly balanced amount of rhythm and blues that complement the delicate grittiness of Farris’ unmistakable voice. The lead singer is only as good as the musicians supporting her, and Farris is fortunate to have men behind her who enrich the musical experience, which they demonstrate greatly on Jank City Shakedown.
Dallasites be proud, Somebody’s Darling represents the city well with the band’s down-home, hand-spun soulful alt-country. There isn’t any over produced, un-relatable tracks on the their new record; this is heartfelt, local record for Texas listeners.