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Tom Waldenberg, and Darrin Kobetich (2/25/17)
February 25, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$5
Tom Waldenberg and Darrin Kobetich
Saturday, February 25, 2017 ~ 7 pm
Tom Waldenberg writes honest lyric-driven songs. The ten original songs on his debut record Almost Dawn explore times of transition, and how people move forward into uncertainty.
“I want to grow as decent in your eyes, as you are perfect in mine”, Tom Waldenberg sings on At My Table, from his forthcoming 2017 LP Almost Dawn. That sense of self-reflection – through all the ups and downs of life – imbues the ten tracks that Waldenberg recorded with veteran engineer and producer Ron Flynt at Jumping Dog Studios in Austin, TX.
“I chose the title Almost Dawn after much deliberation. Too much deliberation, probably,” Waldenberg says with a laugh. “It suits the sense of movement in the songs, that something is about to happen, good or bad. The songs were all written either right before I moved to Austin, right afterwards, or around the time I got married. So the sense of change, of a new beginning, is a common theme.”
Almost Dawn includes nine Waldenberg originals, as well as a co-write with close friend and fellow Austin songwriter Walker Pickens, who lends harmony to several songs. The record features some of Austin’s finest musicians, including John Bush (Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians, The Spin Doctors) on drums, David Carroll (Bill Kirchen, Hayes Carll) on upright bass, Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen) on all things stringed, and producer/engineer Ron Flynt on keys and electric bass.
Those players push the songs into unexpected territory. Waldenberg and the band move fluidly between styles, recalling Tom Petty and Townes Van Zandt in equal measure, even hinting at Beach Boys-style percussion and harmony on Outer Banks.
“There’s a sense of transition in these songs,” Waldenberg says. “I’m in the tail end of my 20’s now, and these songs are a culmination of one phase of my life. Like plenty of other people, I’ve had relationships end, family members pass away. I’ve lost close friends and made some new ones. I got married this year, which is the smartest thing I’ve ever done. So with this record I wanted to strike a balance between the melancholy of looking back and the hopefulness of seeing what’s next in life.”
Fort Worth, Texas-based solo acoustic guitar master Darrin Kobetich classifies his sound as “ambient delta raga thrash grass,” but that’s just scratching the surface.
Originally from Long Island, New York, Darrin grew up listening to a lot of music, (including bluegrass, Italian and Greek music, rock ‘n’ roll). His musical journey started out with four chords he learned from his father at age 12. Soon he was hooked on Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Rush, Jimi Hendrix, etc.
Moving to Weatherford, Texas, in 1980 Darrin formed his first real band, an instrumental power trio, a year later. Inspired by German guitar phenomena Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker, he honed his chops playing covers and experimenting with improvisation. Spent a few years in various metal bands before joining the New Orleans-born thrash metal outfit Hammer Witch in 1989. They released a cassette before disbanding in 1994.
Darrin then formed an experimental metal band, Amillion Pounds, which was fronted by his brother Adam. It was during Amillion Pounds’ run that Darrin composed his first acoustic songs, influenced by Jimmy Page and Leo Kottke. By 2002, he was completely immersed in the acoustic guitar, inspired by the likes of Michael Hedges and John Fahey, as well as Middle Eastern and other world music.
Amillion Pounds disbanded in 2004 and the following year, Darrin and Adam founded the Electric Mountain Rotten Apple Gang to play bluegrass and mountain music. The Gang eventually evolved into the Blackland River Devils. Darrin has provided music for theatrical presentations at Hip Pocket Theater, and performs with Darryl Wood in the experimental guitar-and-electronica unit The Panic Basket. He’s self-released five CDs, the latest entitled. “Free”.