Darla Beaux was sick Wednesday night when she opened at the Hotel Cafe’s intimate stage. She warned us that she would be singing in her husky voice. And then she let loose with the best singing I have heard from her since I began following her budding career about a year ago. From her new single “Trippin on Tears” to one of the most haunting versions of 1870’s folk song”In The Pines” I have heard in a long time, her husky voice was just fine with me.The fact that she could pull off a powerful, flawless set while not at her best shows how much this teenage singer/songwriter has grown. If the growth continues, I expect to see her filling muchlarger venues in a year’s time.
Asa teenager, Darla has a lot of time to grow, and she is working hard to make it happen. Originally from Atlanta, GA, she has re-located to LA to work with Sera Roadnight, well known in the local music community for her deft skill with rising talent. After moving to LA, Darla got a jump on things as the standout winner of the Unsigned Only Music Competition, taking first place in the Teen Category, and spent a Summer at Berklee College of Music’ summer program on a full scholarship working on her deeply emotional but stunningly plastic voice.Roadnight has brought even greater discipline and presence to Darla, and it showed Wednesday night.
Most of the dozen songs she performed were accompanied on the electric guitar by the talented guitarist JerodSalomon and backed by drummer Carlos Beltran, although Darla moved to the keyboard, acoustic guitar and bass for a handful of songs. The set list – some original and some covers – ranged from rock to soul, to folk, to blues, running through the range of her distinctive voice, which has a sharp curl to it – an edge that cuts quickly and painlessly, but bleeds all the same.
Despite varied setlist, Darla does not plan to release a full album for a while. She has the inventory but wants to insure that the time is right and each song is perfect, as they are in her performances whichs will include a residency at the Hotel Cafe with upcoming performances at 6/14 at 7pm and 6/28 at 8pm.At 19 she is in no rush. Who knows, maybe she can record a few songs in her husky voice.