Last Night: Those Darlins | Rock Candy

Last Night: Those Darlins

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Not at White Water.

Those Darlins
March 15, White Water Tavern.

Those Darlins, the fearsome girl trio hailing from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, opened their set last night with a smirk, as lead guitarist Kelly Darlin pranced around the stage with the sexual composure of Jeannie C. Riley making a television appearance. But before we had a chance to feel like we were stuck in a tourist revue in downtown Nashville, the Darlins howled and shredded with the abandon of Wanda Jackson in a pair of ripped-up stockings.

The girls are all accomplished enough guitarists, regularly swapping around Epiphones, Telecasters and a Hofner bass. But towering blonde lead guitarist Kelly outshone her mates, with occasional stage antics reminiscent of Dwight Yoakam or other hammy country greats -- I'm speaking of that move, in particular, where they hold up a guitar like it's going to punctuate their sentence.

Their set ranged from country-pop anthems to an obligatory instrumental rockabilly number. They dedicated a song, "to all the cowboys out there," and spun off a snappy cover of Velvet Underground's "Lonesome Cowboy Bill." Everyone got sweaty when it came time for an oversexed version of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates' "Shakin' All Over," which found the band running around the stage and sprawling themselves every which away as if throwing a tantrum.

Despite being on their way to Austin to play five exhausting showcases (and I was assured this was an easy feat compared to last year's seven), the girls played like we needed to be impressed, and generally tore shit up. Since they've been through Little Rock before, and it's SXSW week, thankfully the crowd was pretty hearty for a Monday night, and it should always be. The rapture of Those Darlins commands it. 

-Natalie Elliott

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