By, Lexie Perlow
Last Saturday night was a breezy, perfect environment to experience some live music at Pub 56. On the docket was Darryl Rahn, a singer-songwriter from Utica, New York. He started out his set squinting through an impossibly bright spotlight, asking the audience if we were “all feeling ok tonight.” His humility was charming, his music even more so. Starting off with his first song from the album All That Matters, released in October of 2016, it was evident that this kid had some serious stage presence. The “Highway Song” is a meditation on the bittersweet aspects of life on the open road. Darryl laments the loss of a quiet peacefulness he once knew, his vocals high and sweet.
Next came the second song off of the album: “Caroline in the Summertime.” This song begins with a heart-thumping drum beat, paired with extremely intricate guitar licks that invoke a folksy walk through a field. The lyrics are endearing as he takes us through the experience of getting to know somebody and falling in love. The refrain “Just me and Caroline, in the summertime” keeps a continuity in the song that makes the listener want to sing along. He juxtaposed this upbeat, joyous song with “Don’t Wait for Me,” a slightly slower but no less powerful piece. As opposed to “Caroline in the Summertime,” Darryl sings about a love that he knows he can no longer maintain. The guitar and vocals are subdued and soft, pairing perfectly with his pained lyrics describing how a relationship can go so wrong.
The last song Darryl played from All That Matters was “Who’s at the Wheel.” This traditional, ballad-like piece reflects on the state of the world around us and how hard it can be to take all of the violence and tension that occurs every day. It was the perfect song to end the set because it left the audience with a task: to not only reflect on the beautiful musicianship that we had heard that night, but to also reflect on the power music has to make a statement. The album represents just how thoughtful the artist is about his music and his lyrics. If you are interested in more of Darryl’s music, then check out his other albums and EPs on Spotify or Bandcamp and be sure to like his Facebook page in order to receive more information about new music and upcoming shows.