It was only a matter of time for a project like ‘Say Darling’ to come together…a band of old friends and road warriors – a super group of sorts – from the New England Roots Rock and Americana scene.
Grammy Nominated singer and songwriter Celia Woodsmith – of the acclaimed bluegrass band ‘Della Mae’ – and crtically lauded guitarist Chris Hersch of the Alt. Country Rock band ‘Girls Guns & Glory’ – took the opportunity to form the band they always wanted when both tenures with these international touring acts came to a close.
Country, R&B and Blues may be the backbone of the band, but make no mistake, ‘Say Darling’ rocks out. Powered by Woodsmith’s straight-from-the-depths vocalizing and Hersch’s finger-flying fretwork (and fortified by vintage Hammond organ tones and rhythm-ready drums) this gutsy ensemble embraces its roots yet keeps its feet firmly in the here-and-now.
Blending distinctive original songs with classic tunes that pay homage to a shared musical heritage, ‘Say Darling’ evokes the funky drive of Little Feat, the moving vocals of Bonnie Raitt and the instrumental prowess of the Tedeschi-Trucks Band while maintaining a firm identity of its own.
Rose Baldino and Brian Buchanan met 10 years ago, late one night backstage at a theatre in rural Pennsylvania.
Brian's band Enter The Haggis and Rose's group Burning Bridget Cleary were sharing a stage that evening, and the two bonded over a love of Irish fiddle tunes, Radiohead, and 4 AM whiskey. Their paths crossed a dozen times over the next decade on the road, but it wasn't until the Folk Alliance 2014 conference in Kansas City that they finally became musical collaborators. Burning Bridget Cleary's guitarist and drummer had their flights canceled at the last minute, and Rose (in desperation) asked Brian to grab a guitar and join her onstage. The two performed with virtually no rehearsal for over an hour, and their connection was powerful and immediate. A few months later Brian moved from Canada to Philadelphia, and as a tribute to the first tune Rose ever taught Brian, House of Hamill was born.
Brian and Rose are both accomplished traditional fiddle players and classical violinists, and despite being young, have over 25 years of writing and performance experience between them. Together, they write unusual new fiddle tunes and exciting, unpredictable original songs while also breathing new life into traditional and contemporary songs. Both are confident and unique lead vocalists, and the blend of their two voices in harmony is hypnotic and irresistible.
Whether House of Hamill is playing songs from their debut album "Wide Awake" (September 2016) or stomping through a set of original jigs and reels, their chemistry onstage is always engaging and often hilarious. Spend an hour listening and you'll leave with tired feet, a huge smile, and a new appreciation for the versatility of folk instruments in a modern context. House of Hamill is on the bleeding edge of a new generation of traditional musicians.