The last time I saw Darren Hanlon, before his appearance a couple weeks back at the tiny Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA, was almost five years ago and not far away at the now-closed Kendall Cafe. I remember thinking back then: "Well, this is the last time I'll be seeing him in a place this small." But I was wrong, and I simply can't explain it. This endearing Australian singer/songwriter should be headlining venues far larger, and maybe he is in other cities, but it's worth noting that there was more love and appreciation at both Boston-area shows I've seen than at ones far larger for troubadours more well-known. Us Darren Hanlon fans, we kinda feel like we're part of an exclusive club, one that's always on the verge of breaking wide open. Those who get it, get it.
I can't express my admiration any better than Darren's songs and lyrics can, so I'll get straight to my recording of his too-short solo set (the show was sadly on a deadline to make way for another one that night), which contained a couple from his most recent album "Fingertips and Mountaintops", along with some older faves, and was bookended by what I believe are new, or at least unrecorded, songs. I took a stab at the titles ("These Days" and "Pinball Millionaire"), but they may well be wrong. Could be only Darren knows for sure...
Photos: More of my shots here, and a full Flickr tag search here.
Tour dates: Darren is nearly finished with his latest journey around America, with a just a few more dates over the next week, including stops South Dakota, Kansas, Utah, and wrapping up in Seattle on September 11th. Go see him if you're able, and challenge him to some pinball or a game of Ms. Pac Man. At the very least, buy a copy of "Fingertips and Mountaintops" from him, and you'll get the version with a special bonus disc of a live 2004 performance at Seattle's Moore Theatre.
the footnote... If anyone has an issue with these Mp3s being made available, just let me know (my contact info in the 'nac faq). Live sets recorded with a Sony ECM-719 mic and a Sony MZ-RH10 minidisc, converted to .wav and then edited to 192kbps Mp3s. Files are made available for a limited time, and are not reposted once removed.