Written by Daniel Barker
Jan 14, 2011
Image     There are some shows that you know are going to be outstanding. All the pieces come together to present the music that you love properly. As you are fed the information a check list lights up. Good band, good venue, good price and good friends domino to the point Vegas wouldn’t take odds. On January 14th, HeightsLive welcomed Somebody’s Darling all the way down from Dallas to stack the deck. HMR was not going to miss this one after getting blistered at The Mucky Duck and The Lonestar Jukebox’s Troubadour Tuesday last year. HMR caught wind of this group when we received their self titled debut CD which fell heavily into the rotation. We have not missed them in Houston since.

It is safe to say that The Shiner Company asked this darling to the dance floor after winning the Shiner Rising Star of the Year Competition in 2008 earning a contract with Shiner Records. The great Dan Baird produced the debut disc in Nashville. Baird was the riff machine behind The Georgia Satellites who has worked with the likes of Chris Knight and Hayes Carll. Somebody’s Darling is Amber Farris-lead vocal, guitar; David Ponder-guitar; Nate Wedan-drums; Mike Talley-bass. The band plays a gritty, whiskey soaked, soul filled country. The group plays mostly original tunes live but throws in some classic rock covers that are always crowd favorites.

HeightsLive is a music series that is hosted by Now Hear This! at Heights Presbyterian Church every Friday night. The place was a goldmine for live music lovers tonight with a $10 cover, plentiful free parking and clean restrooms plus its BYOB-and they don’t mean Bring Your Own Bible. HL offers child care for a minimal charge and has refreshments for a donation. These guys create a great listening room especially with MC Pastor Mark handling the sound and his now infamous picture screen. We have to give MCPM a job well done on getting SD to tone it down during sound check. When the guys kicked off right on time at 8PM the sound was much better. A nice crowd was on hand and HMR is proud to say that we counted 20+ of our supporters on hand.

Image     The guys were in the mood to play new material they are writing for the sophomore album with songs like, “Your Gonna Tear Me Apart” but then hit high gear early with HMR favorite, “Cold-Hearted Lover” where David Ponder destroyed the solo with a broken string – his first of two during the first set. The guys slowed it down and paid homage to the surroundings by playing a gospel song.

The guys had taken time off after the holidays and told us that this was their first gig of 2011 playing NYE last. Just another reason this night was memorable and we had no idea we were catching them coming back after a 2 week break. Things tend to be fresher after a brief period of down time when you’ve been together 3-1/2 years.  The guys ended the first set with a fearless rendition of Brownsville born Kris Kristofferson’s “Me & Bobby McGee”.

During the break HeightsLive has pie and coffee available as the artists mingle in the crowd selling merchandise and shooting the breeze. SD is a very humble and down to earth bunch that seems more suited to share beer out of your cooler than hole up in a green room. Amber Farris is a truly talented vocalist that HMR has seen literally turn heads and stop people in their tracks to hear more. The CD does not tarnish that quality whatsoever. That said,  Amber loves a laugh and has become quite The HMR BITCH not only posing for the epic pirate button shot last time but wore her pin for the entire second set tonight.  Before long, the guys were strapping back up as the smokers came in from the courtyard outside for the second set.

Image     The gloves came off the second set with the rhythm section holding it down.  Mike Talley sings well with Amber as he thumps the bass line and Nate Wedan is clearly the workhorse of the band. The second set list pulled alot from studio material with “Penny of Thoughts”, “Chug Chuggin”, “Put your Fire Out” and “Another Two Step” but the one that got everybody moving was a cover of The Allman Brothers Band’s “Midnight Rider”. It seemed too soon but the show was over at 10:30 and the guys would be loading back up into their van they named “Rose” to head back to The Big D.

This is the kinda show that we enjoy to cover and support and just like modern-day little league it appears that everybody won tonight. If you have not seen this band you are missing something. If you have not been to HeightsLive you a missing out. Yet fear not…SD will be back soon looking to “really stretch out” and HL will have a show this Friday. To the ones that made it out tonight, it was GREAT to see you out supporting live music.