Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

ATHFEST -- photo and blurb by Andre Gallant (Athens B-H)

                         Locally grown act The Darnell Boys, comprised of a few brothers and their friends, kicked it all off, bringing their Delta blues take on every facet of Southern folk music. The Darnell Boys were all raised in Athens and attended various high schools, but one brother was missing tonight. He was on his way to India.   Well, if you have to miss AthFest, might as well leave the country.

ATHFEST -- photo by AJ Reynolds (Athens B-H)

ATHFEST -- photos by Evan Stichler (The Red and Black) click photo for slideshow

ATHFEST -- photos by Erin O. Smith (The Red and Black) click photo for slideshow

Friday, June 22, 2012

Flagpole -- Gabe Vodicka -- ATHFEST picks


The Darnell Boys

What better way to start off AthFest weekend than by enjoying some damn fine fingerpickin’? You know it’s gonna be hot and sweaty out there; the good vibes—and the beer—will most undoubtedly be flowing by five o’clock. TDB’s earnest blend of old-timey country and blues is everything great about Athens’ glorious summers rolled into one scruffy family band. (Pulaski Street Stage, 5 p.m.)

Monday, June 18, 2012


Gus Darnell                                                                                

Patrick Wiese

Elijah Neesmith                                                          Austin Darnell

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Flagpole Magazine ------- May 9, 2012 -- Article by Gabe Vodicka

The Darnell Boys

Down-Home Family Band

#The 2010 demise of beloved local hip-hop outfit Deaf Judges was an irrefutable blow to the local music community—few acts performed with the same unholy fervor, few were as convincingly human. A year and a half on, it feels like a revival up in here. Three fourths of that group have recently returned under a new creative union—the bustling and buzzworthy Mad Axes—and have put forth a fine first album in the shapeshifting, hubristically titled Debut Smash. As for the other guy, well, he’s been busy the whole time, picking away at some down-home Delta blues.
#With the Judges, Austin Darnell performed under the moniker Produce Man and was responsible for some of the group’s most energetic and well constructed lyrical salvos. With the blues-obsessed Darnell Boys, he now puts forth some equally inspired—if stylistically divergent—performances.
#“I just love music,” Darnell explains. “Old or new, it doesn’t matter, as long as it speaks to you. But it has to speak in that rare way that only really great art and music can.”
#As the name implies, The Darnell Boys are a bona fide family band. With siblings Caleb and Gus, the eldest Darnell plays a steadfastly authentic blend of blues, country and other such traditional sounds, taking cues from legends like Howlin’ Wolf, Ray Charles and Otis Redding to create a uniquely soulful sound. At the heart of the music is a shared history that cannot be substituted with any amount of outsider talent.
#“Our dad and his brothers all play music, and our grandmother plays gospel piano,” Darnell explains. “We always sang and played together at family gatherings. We’ve been playing music around [Athens] for years, but this is the first time all three of us have worked together on a project.”
#With the frequent and then permanent addition of Elijah Neesmith on upright bass, and Patrick Weise on junkyard percussion, the group began gigging regularly; its recurring shows at spots like Farm 255 proved crowd favorites. The Boys won over many an unsuspecting audience, amassing in the process a small legion of enamored followers. The band’s increasing popularity has led to its first 40 Watt performance, where the group will perform with like-minded local revivalists The Corduroy Road.
#For these three brothers, who grew up here and have spent young lifetimes bumming around town, Athens is the glue that holds The Darnell Boys together. “[Our] family moved here when I was three,” Darnell says, “and both my brothers were born here, so Athens has definitely shaped our perceptions about life and music. When we play, we want people to feel at home. Whether we’re onstage or picking in the backyard, passing a bottle around, everyone is welcome.” It’s the sort of pleasant invitational attitude you find throughout the local music scene, but these guys seem to embody it better than just about anyone else.
#Aside from Thursday’s show, The Darnell Boys are preparing for a busy summer. An album is in the works (with Chase Park’s Will Manning), and the band has a spot on the AthFest mainstage alongside Reptar, Atlas Sound and Yip Deceiver—a lineup that confirms this town’s openness to a ridiculously wide swath of musical styles. Darnell looks forward to bringing his family’s love for the artistry of tradition to the masses.
Upcoming Event

The Corduroy Road w/Darnell Boys, Big Daddy Love

  • Thursday, May 10, 2012, 9 p.m.
  • 40 Watt Club, 285 W. Washington St., Athens
  • 18+ / $8 - $10
#“The way someone like Ray Charles sings and plays,” he muses, “there’s really no word for it. It’s personal and almost spiritual. That’s the kind of music that interests me, and I hope that’s the kind of music we make.” Plus, he says, “It’s a great way to spend time with my family.”

Athens-Banner Herald ------- May 9, 2012 -- Article by Andre Gallant

Brothers work it out onstage

Published Wednesday, May 9, 2012       
Athens Banner-Herald

A Darnell Boys show is a bit like a family reunion held at a Delta juke joint.
Three brothers — Austin, Caleb and Gus — front a five-piece that sounds as if rock ’n’ roll never existed, never mind disco.
Brothers Austin and Caleb played together in Bellyache way back in the aughts, mining acoustic blues to soothe crowds.
Youngest sibling Gus would’ve played as well, but he was too young, and had to finish high school before he could join the elder Darnells out in the bars and clubs.
All three brothers, who grew up in Athens, finally joined forces about two years ago, and have solidified their lineup with Elijah Neesmith on bass and Patrick Weise keeping time.
The three brothers bring separate but related influences to the band, according to Gus Darnell. Austin is a fan of traditional blues, writes primarily in that style and brings covers in that vein to the band to cover.
Caleb is a country-blues man, a believer in open guitar tunings, and loves Lightning Hopkins and Skip James.
Gus, often dressed in a pearl-buttoned Western shirt, is the group’s good-ol’ boy, adding country music fanaticism to the band’s strident old-timeyness.
The Darnell Boys are regulars at Farm 255 and the farmers market, but this summer marks two milestones for the band: a mainstage performance at AthFest and studio time working on a full-length record.
But how does a band playing throwback music grab its audience? Easy. The old-fashioned way: the live show.
“Onstage, we are having the best time ever,” said Gus Darnell. “People really feed off of that. What we play onstage is what we play at our houses. Its what we do for fun. For us to go out and play what we enjoy comes across really well. We play what we want to play, and people pick up on it.”

— AndrĂ© Gallant, Staff

Darnell Boys
with The Corduroy Road and Big Daddy Love
When: 9 p.m. Thursday
Where: 40 Watt Club. 285 W. Washington St.
Cost: $10
Call: (706) 549-7871

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Darnell Boys

   photo by Brittainy Lauback