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all words: Andy Hess
all photos
The Internetz

I felt at home Sunday night at The Black Cat.

Having grown up in the South, there’s something about country music — Johnny Cash not Rascall Flatts — that makes me nostalgic for the farm even though I grew up in a very urban Memphis.

Those Darlins and openers The Pine Hill Haints turned The Black Cat into their personal Grand Ole Opry as people gather, er, crammed into The Backstage to bear witness to the roots influenced, for lack of a better term, alternative rock.

For being 20-degrees outside with plenty of snow on the ground, I was expecting a small gathering. Instead I find myself crammed near the merch table in the back. Poor planning aside, openers The Pine Hill Haints slowly won over the crowd during their all too brief set of northern Alabama cow punk — complete with washtub bass — and howling at their full moon in the form of a giant fabric supreme pizza.


By the time Those Darlins took the stage around 10:30, there were plenty of people buying into their whiskey soaked songs. The Murfreesboro, Tenn. quartet played a good number of gems from their quite great self-titled debut — including “Red Light Love”, “Wild One” and “The Whole Damn Thing”. They even threw in a few covers for good measure.

This tour has been titled the the Excuse to Have Fun Tour. I’m glad these women (+1 dude) gave DC a chance to let loose (on a Sunday no less!) for a change. Because we all know it’s been a while.