Monday, February 28, 2011

Anais Mitchell, Darlingside Hooker Dunham Theater and Gallery

by Nancy Nutile-McMenemy
February 26, 2011
Twilight Music played host to contemporary folk singer/songwriter Anais Mitchell and folk/rock/classical quintet Darlingside Saturday February 26 at the Hooker Dunham Theater and Gallery in Brattleboro VT.

Barry Stockwell, Twilight Music Series
Down a little alleyway, surrounded by contemporary sculpture is the intimate Hooker Dunham Theater and Gallery. The venue holds 99 and was full Saturday evening.

When you walk in you smell fresh brewed coffee and tasty homemade treats like cookies and brownies. While waiting for the doors to open you can browse the gallery exhibit which currently is showing Image - Imagination: Photographs by Bob Cantius and Paintings by Anna Bayles Arthur.
Doors opened, folks settled and Barry Stockwell welcomed the crowd with news of upcoming shows and exhibits and briefly mentioned a new venue opening in Putney VT called "The New Stage" located in the United Church of Putney on Kimball Hill. He proceeded to introduce one of the area's favorite singer-song writers-Vermonter, Anais Mitchell.



Mitchell opened with "Tailor." When she finished the song she said "I love this place, Barry is a true treasure and (he) runs a beautiful series." There's a nice video of this song on YouTube from her European Tour.

She followed that up with an English ballad "Willy of Windsbury", Mitchell is currently working on an English Ballad CD with good friend Jefferson Hamer, it should be released soon.


She really got the crowd going when she played a few from her folk opera Hadestown, that was released last year to rave reviews. She invited the crowd to sing along on "Wedding Song" and "Why we Build The Wall". Then took requests from the audience for "Flowers, eurydice's song", "Way Down Hadestown" and started, stopped then decided to play "When the Chips Are Down."
She told the crowd she's been in the studio all week recording her new CD and asked if she could play one, a song "based on a story my dad wrote" she told the crowd. The title is "The Shepard" and it was amazing. A great tale about a farmer and his wife and the tough choices that face farm families with sometimes tragic consequences.

She then said she wanted to try one and to picture tribal drums and tribal singers in the background, she told the crowd it was a 12 minute track and no one seemed to mind, it actually was a cobination of two songs "Wilderland and "Young Man" and another great addition to her new CD.





She closed with crowd favorite "Our Lady of the Underground" also off the Hadestown CD and encouraged the crowd to lend their voices to the song.

She was called back for an encore and dedicated "Old Fashioned Hat" to "my man who's playing in a band in KC right now."



Mitchell has three CDs and an E.P out, for more information you can visit her website: http://www.anaismitchell.com/store.html
Hyms for the Exiled (2004)
The Brightness (2007)
Country E.P. (2008)
Hadestown (2010)
Hopefully her English Ballad CD with Jeff Hamer and her new solo Cd will be released very soon.

Darlingside, the co-headliner, is a Northampton, MA-based "string rock" quintet made up of band members: Sam Kapala (drums, vocals), Don Mitchell (guitar, vocals), Auyon Mukharji (mandolin, violin, vocals), Harris Paseltiner (cello, guitar, vocals) and David Senft (bass, guitar, vocals). They took the stage after a brief break and opened with "Good Man". They followed with a song that Paseltiner described as a "product of Dave spending a year in Boston after graduating..." "The Catbird Seat." If you visit their website you can read the engineering notes that go along with the songs on their current e.p. entitled EP1 released in 2010. 
They played a new one "My Love" and told the audience to check out their new video that they will be posted on their website.

"Surround" and "All That Wrong" were lively and tight and "Blow the House Down" showcased the group's tight harmonies; there is a video of this song currently up on their website.


They told the audience that they are gearing up to leave the comforts of New England and are heading south. They received the news Friday from picktheband.com that they will be performing at South by Southwest March 18 in Austin TX. 

The encore was a cover from their "sister band in England" a song by Muse entitled " Knights of Cydonia." The song has very interesting lyrics "Come ride with me through the veins of history
I'll show you a God who falls asleep on the job
How can we win when fools can be kings?
Don't waste your time or time will waste you" but the band's rendition and enthusiastic work on their various instruments really made the song great.

This is one new band to keep your eye on.

For more information, visit www.anaismitchell.com, www.darlingside.com and www.hookerdunham.org.

More photos may be viewed at:
Anais Mitchell
Darlingside