Those Darlins

Mainstream country music stars reality-show blondes with streaky highlights and shrieky voices, over-emoting through ballads so leaden and unimaginative, they sound more like hair bands than hillbillies. Gin-you-wine country music isn't dead, though; it's just been holed up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where Jessi, Nikki and Kelley Darlin -- sisters in stage names, if not blues-roots kinship -- have resurrected its rockabilly twang and sass with their raucous self-titled first album. Lead singer Kelley’s powerful contralto conjures up Patsy Cline, but hers is a post-millennial Patsy with elements of Patti Smith and Patty Smyth. On barn-raising ditties like "Wild One," in which the Darlins tease in three-part harmony, "If you can't handle crazy, go ahead and leave," you hear the proof that country music hasn’t gone anywhere. With King Khan and BBQ Show. ROSE MARTELLI

Sat., Nov. 21, 9 p.m., 2009

 
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