Darrin James Band – Thrones of Gold

Thrones of Gold Cover

As a resident of Brooklyn’s uber-trendy Williamsburg, it might have been quiet easy for Darrin James to get wrapped up in current fads of the music scene. Despite lacking the indie façade or better yet “Arcade Fire-ness” that the pretentiously cultured neo-hipsters wet themselves over, the earthy roots rock that characterizes James’s music has the quality of something real and something tangible.

While the majority of the album is straight roots rock, the title track, Thrones of Gold, blends a little more country and soul. Conjuring the heartland – let’s call it Americana, let’s call it music for the everyday blue-collar man (or woman) – his course vocals and folky twang are a force to be reckoned with.

A few months back, I hopped the L to the Lorimer stop to see the Darrin James Band play at Pete’s Candy Store. I dug the place, as it really agreed with my tastes: reasonably priced beer, a free folk music rag to read while I waited, and none of those thrift store frequenting, one pant leg rolled up posers that infest the rest of Williamsburg Arriving at 10:07 p.m. on a Wednesday and waiting another twenty minutes for the previous act to finish up, Darrin’s crew got the closing slot, following a tremendously talented female singer/songwriter who had the placed overflowing with people. Playing to a mixed bag of late 20 to early 40 year olds, they all have jobs and you could just sense the internal debate: “Man, the train runs so slow after 11, should I get out of here, well, maybe I’ll just hand around for one song.” The venue was very intimate, like a wide hallway with two-chaired tables lining the walls and only a narrow walkway in between. 45 minutes, a couple of refreshing beverages, and a great performance later, almost the entire crowd was intact (with just a few jumping ship). And yeah, getting back on the train took forever, but I’m pretty sure everyone who stuck it out, myself included, thought it was worth it. So, catch Darrin playing in Brooklyn and NYC, as well as select dates throughout the Northeast.

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