Sometimes, what you were looking for comes right when you're not looking at all. You might say that's how Say Darling was formed.
In 2016,old friends Celia Woodsmith and Chris Hersch found themselves taking a step back from their international touring projects.
Grammy-Nominated singer and songwriter Celia Woodsmith – of the acclaimed bluegrass band Della Mae – and critically lauded guitarist Chris Hersch of the alt. country rock band Girls Guns & Glory, had each independently decided to relax their rigorous schedules, both ending up back home in New England with time on their hands.
These two road warriors and workaholics didn't last long before delving into a new and exciting project: Say Darling.
“I don’t think we had much pressure on ourselves to create something, but we had so much fun ... we just knew we had to follow it up”, says Woodsmith.
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.
Hersch, who was voted amongst the best roots guitar players nationwide by The Alternate Root, leads the band with melodic support and blistering solos, while Scott Coulter is virtuosic on the Hammond B3. Paul Chase on bass and Jared Seabrook on drums round out the rhythm section, making Say Darling a 'lethal combination of all-star musicians'(Manchester Ink) from the New England roots rock scene.
The quintet can go from pin-drop silence to a cascading roar in the span of one song, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.
In their first year, Woodsmith, whom the Boston Globe describes as “Unvarnished and intimate (…) but then sounds like she's about to part the Dead Sea,” penned 5 of the six songs on their debut EP “Say Darling” (the sixth being a co-write with Hersch).
Red Line Roots describes their first foray into recording as a “Badass force of bluesy goodness”, while Maine Today calls the album a “home to a half dozen smoky, sizzling roots rock tunes”.
Say Darling will get you off your chair and dancing, or keep you spellbound with evocative vocals and performances. No one else can so effortlessly combine their influences in one electric and contemporary package.
In the Spring of 2020, as the world was shutting down, members of Say Darling, once again, found themselves with plenty of time on their hands. With nothing to do but shape new originals Chris Hersch, Celia Woodsmith and Paul Chase learned the basics of recording, editing and mixing at home.
The result of their labor is “Before & After” a 9 song EP that spans over two years time, one studio and five different households in the making. Five of the songs on the new album were written in the carefree years before the pandemic, and four written as touring, performing and recording came to a screeching halt.
“There was so much to address in those first few months of the pandemic; the loss of a career, friendships and feelings of loneliness but also the social justice movement sparked by the death of George Floyd” Woodsmith Says “I wanted this album to read and sound like a time capsule.”
Released March 5th, the album was included on the Boston Globe’s list of “Nine albums by local artists that have gotten the year off to an exciting start”