Folk group grows brotherhood

Red, mole, chili and green sauces mixed into a bed of chicken and rolled into a corn tortilla form what is commonly known as an enchilada.

Folk quartet Darlingside is pictured. The group will be playing Higher Ground March 31. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBB STEY
[/media-credit] Folk quartet Darlingside is pictured. The group will be playing Higher Ground March 31. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBB STEY
That’s the delicious metaphor  Auyon Mukharji used to describe the fraternal bond of his band, Darlingside.

“We’re so intimately familiar with each other’s childhoods, families, high school experiences and friends,” said Mukharji, classical violinist and folk mandolinist. “Because we’ve been a band for this long, we’ve incorporated each other into our own families.”

Darlingside, a four-piece band from Massachusetts, is set to play Higher Ground March 31.

The group has played several Burlington venues in the past such as Signal Kitchen, The Monkey House and Nectar’s.

The band is comprised of Mukharji, bassist Dave Senft, guitarist and banjo player Don Mitchell as well as cellist and guitarist Harris Paseltiner.

The quartet formed during their days at Williams College in Massachusetts.

“We’re commonly referred to as folk,” Mukharji said. “But we have a number of influences: indie rock aspects from when we were a five-piece, all in our college’s a capella group and some of us have classical backgrounds.”

The band was named Artist of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards 2016 at the Folk Alliance International Awards Gala in Kansas City, Missouri.

“It was definitely one of the biggest honors we’ve received as a band and we feel really fortunate to be a part of that community,” Mukharji said.

Darlingside’s style sets them apart from other bands. All four members surround one microphone while they perform their harmonies, as opposed to each using their own.

The band’s harmonies have been noted as one of their standout qualities. Marissa Moss of Rolling Stone magazine deemed them a must-see act of the Americana Music Fest in 2015.  

“[Darlingside] transform theirs [harmonies] into locomotive folk-pop confections so richly executed it’s hard to tell if it’s one voice or 12,” Moss wrote.   

“It was the way we always practiced, even when we were a five-piece rock band,” Mukharji said. “It’s all very natural to direct our sound to one place.”

Their musical process, brotherhood and inspirations have developed over the six and a half years they’ve been playing under the name Darlingside, he said.

“We’ve now reached a point in which the writing for our last album is very much collaborative, democratic,” Mukharji said. “All four of us write and contribute song ideas. It wasn’t always like that.”

The band will be on tour throughout the summer, ending at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Colorado, according to their website.