If Mark Darling's name conjures visions of a Jane Austen romantic lead, the association is artistically befitting. The music made by Darling and his drumming kid brother, David, is swooningly romantic, sweepingly dramatic and stunningly poetic. Like a delirious, forbidden encounter between Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley in the afterlife, the Darlings' music soothes, caresses and titillates one minute, then stings, teases and torments the next. Mark's aching, honeyed voice soars gracefully over his gentle strumming while David's tasteful, understated drumming adds just the right amount of rhythmic drive. Though both musicians are self-taught, there's a vaguely conservatory quality to their mannered compositions. The chances to catch this duo are disappointingly few and far between, so don't miss this one at the Lion's Lair this Saturday, January 5, with fellow romantics Bela Karoli.
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