Like the many roads she’s traveled over the course of 1/2 her life, the journey of darlenYa's new album 'CURVES AHEAD' is a winding one. A road that while you’re sure it continues, each curve can bring an unexpected turn of events, new life challenges, lessons learned. (TO HEAR CLIPS of the new album, click on the top left album above.)
darlenYa’s past musical endeavors have included as many styles as cultures she’s encountered. From the jazz & blues sounds of New Orleans, to the celtic rhythms of Ireland, the ancient sounds of indigenous chants, ranchero from Mexico and improvisational didgeridoo.
CURVES AHEAD is yet another evolution bridging the gap between styles, sometimes within the same song. More than that, it is a journey. darlenYa takes you by the hand and on a journey through the enigmatic terrain that has been her teacher. It has sounds of New Orleans jazz, soul, funk, reggae, samba & calypso; there are chickens, waltzes, dramatic instrumentals, a Zapatista song and a song for the water. It is an embodiment of her world.
* Seth Bernard (Earthwork Music) calls it “Unprecedented”
* Magnificent. A truly amazing album. A delicious stew.
This non-paralleled singer-songwriter is back with an all-encompassing musical project that will turn some heads. darlenYa knows no bounds in blending a delicious stew of genres into her music: rock, jazz, calypso, samba, folk, you name it. If as darlenYa suggests “music is food for the soul,” then this is a real feast. - John Sinkevics (Local Spins)
* Tony Roth calls it 'EPIC"
* You have given us everything! - David Roll
* Nan Yarnelle calls it "Totally engaging".
* Innovative and mind elevating and pure fun CD. Soul food for sure. Nourishing. - Robbie Anderman
* Quel grand Bonheur de te ré-entendre ! Ta voix et tes chansons me manquaient. J'ai retrouvé sur ce disque tout ce que j'aimais de toi. Merci de l'avoir fait. - Eric Robitaille, CBC Radio, Canada
* A marvelous banquet for the soul, so global - so encompassing: jazz, african, arabic, the McGuire Sisters, heavy metal, hindu, mexican, native american, dixie land, honky tonk - a potpourri of what music is all about. Every note, every instrument, every musician so fulfilling! - Mom
* I just LOVE your new album....it's starts so wonderfully and gets real groovy, really fast. Such maturity in so many ways. And fantastic instrumentation and arrangements. It's a real sound journey through cultures and countries and eras...gorgeous and raunchy and you! You should be so proud! - Tannis Slimmon (award winning singer/songwriter, Canada)
Perhaps darlenYa’s greatest adventure has been her inner transformation. Her voice and her music embody the wisdom and maturity that can only come by life on the road and walking the path with an open heart and seeking spirit. Having been on a new type of journey since eating one piece of questionable meat in 2009, darlenYa has had to reinvent herself; her body, her mind, her spirit. Being riddled with parasites for over a year and a half left her body debilitated and with a new diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Most affected were hands, feet and shoulders (which ended up frozen for 2 yrs). Nothing could be more devastating for an artist like darlenYa to be removed from her calling, but after 5 years of determination, investigation and a heaping help from Mother Nature, she had finally arrived at a place where strength is returning and the strength of spirit is back and she has a new understanding of compassion.
CURVES AHEAD takes me on a passion-journey to the woods, to Mexico, to the back yard, to dancing with the earth in exotic and common places. my feet are moving, a ripple ends up in my fingertips and then there it is: the piano riff my body anticipated. how did you do it?
Your voice soars and carries! your questions resonate! all that you have seen and passed through in this world is communicated within 'mono no aware’ - the awareness of impermanence. - Carl & Cornelia Dhassleer, Black Cat Concerts
Curves Ahead is a rollicking conjuror's tome, invoking water elementals from bioregions all over the planet to gather for one last blowout shindig.
Thick with instruments, this thing flows, roils, bubbles and carves deep pools in rock. Dig the flutes, the fuzzed out organs, the tree-boned percussion, the dark tremolo guitars, the spanish horns, and always, like a sturdy hand-built boat, Darlene’s potent ancient-jazz vocals riding above and through.
Some of these tunes are dark still water in deep caves. Some are tranquil creeks in old growth forest. Some meander like rivers then take you around a rocky bend to crash like whitewater. And Curves Ahead proves rain can fall and water can flow in waltz time when needed, too. So much groove and celebration, and chickens! Strongly recommended, people. - Brad Kik, ISLAND
For the recording of CURVES AHEAD darlenYa gathered around her a myriad of musical friends, from all over the continent and was able to create her best work yet.
The PLAYERS include:
Alex Meek - guitar & bass
Brennan Andes - bass(the MacPodz)
Dan Rickabus - drums (the Crane Wives)
Dede Alder - percussion & drums
Dylan Meek - piano
Josh Helller - trumpet ( Who Hit John)
Kailin Yong - fiddle
Kelly Mulhollan - guitar (Still on the Hill)
Max Lockwood - bass (Big Dudee Roo)
Nathan Durham tuba & trombone (Quake, All Night Station, Frantic Antics …)
Oliver Steck - trumpet & accordion (Slaid Cleaves, Bob Schneider, Asylum Street Spankers …)
Rami Jaffee - hammond organ, melotron (the Wallflowers, Foo Fighters …)
Ray White - guitar & vocals (Frank Zappa, Dweezil Zappa … )
Ross Huff - trumpet (the MacPodz)
Seth Bernard - guitar & vox (Earthwork Music)
Tyler Duncan - flute (Millish, Ella Riot, Michelle Chamuel aka s/he, the olllam …)
BACKING VOCALS include:
Laurel Premo (Red Tail Ring)
Laurie Laing & Beth Groner
May Erlewine Bernard
Recorded @ La Luna,
* Widely multi-talented, Darlene is adept at every known stage skill except, perhaps, ventriloquism. She is apt to play one tune on a child’s toy accordion and, on the next, accompany herself with a didgeridoo.
A seasoned performer with many miles traveled along her minstrel road, along the way Darlene has expanded her vocal range and skills to encompass just about any kind of keening or chanting or ululation one may be aware of, from operatic soprano to mariachi to Finnish yoiking to throat singing to yodeling or even barking like a dog.
Her keen guitar style keeps pace with her singing, providing skilled
accompaniment in numerous musical styles and rhythms.
Darlene’s songwriting is crisp, whimsical and adventurous in its scope and breadth, leading the listener on an exciting musical adventure.
The Earthwork Music collective believes in the intrinsic and historical power of music to raise both community and self-awareness and serves to facilitate and encourage original music in the state of Michigan and beyond.