Tricky Britches is a high-energy string band hailing from Portland, Maine. From their roots of playing heel-stomping old-time fiddle tunes they have progressed into a fusion of classic bluegrass, country, and folk rock. The band consists of Tyler Lienhardt on Fiddle, Seth Doyle on Mandolin, Jed Bresette on Bass, and Ryan “Bear” Wilkinson on Banjo.
Under one roof in New England’s Pioneer Valley, Darlingside came together with five songwriters, a mandolin, a cello and violin, guitars and drums, a chorus of voices, and a van named Chauncey. Holed up in their home between a cornfield and the Connecticut River, they forged a seamless, exhilarating sound at the intersection of rock, classical, and folk music. The band just released their debut full-length album Pilot Machines and are currently shaking rafters along the eastern seaboard with their vibrant live shows.
Darlingside, Tricky Britches Unite at Passim for Evening of Strings and Songs
At first glance, it may seem that Boston-based Darlingside and Portland’s Tricky Britches have very little in common. Darlingside is a string-centric band with a fierce indie-rock streak, while the Britches turn to bluegrass, old-time music, and classic country for inspiration. But each brings the kind of intense live performance, tight instrumentation, and careful attention to lyrics that rightfully garner attention from critics and fans. Sharing a stage at Cambridge’s Club Passim on Tuesday, November 13, the two acts form a bill that is not to be missed by folk fans, string enthusiasts, and harmony lovers.
Darlingside continues the release celebration for their debut full-length album, "Pilot Machines," available now on 7”, LP, and CD. The record is lush, variously melancholy and whimsical, and thoroughly collaborative, with writing, arranging, and performing credits simply listed as Darlingside. Given their diverse musical backgrounds, including individual stints as a classical cellist, student of traditional music, street musician, sound engineer, cruise singer, and more, it is clear that the band benefits from both varied points of view and an ability to meld these talents and outlooks into a cohesive sound. Darlingside is a band that shares a musical vision, one that is clearly expressed through the twelve new songs on "Pilot Machines."
While Darlingside is now based in Cambridge, the Tricky Britches have also built a strong base of followers in the area due to their high-energy live show. The Britches rely on many of the same instruments as Darlingside (fiddle, mandolin, guitar) but to a different end – a bass and banjo, juggled among the four musicians who also share singing and songwriting duties, round out the bluegrass group’s instrumentation. The band draw on bluegrass standards and the occasional classic country and rock hit, but it is their original songs and arrangements, tasteful and fresh yet with clear roots influence, that have made them hits at festivals including the Ossippee Valley Music Festival and the Saddleback Mountain Bluegrass Festival.
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