For Daryl Hance, of The Daryl Hance Power Trio, selling out shows at reputable venues like House of Blues, nationwide tours and even playing in other continents are goals long checked-off his bucket list. He’s the kind of musician who has a good handle on what he does. Hance began playing guitar back in ‘86 and writing his own songs in ‘97. When he got it in his head he wanted to start his own band, it’s no wonder the music was met with favor and returning audiences. The trio is scheduled to hit the stage at Lagerhead’s on Thursday, February 19.
The Floridian frontman and guitarist assembled his three-piece in 2010, which consists of Sean Tarleton on bass and Cameron Weeks behind the kit. Releasing their first album, “Hallowed Ground,” in 2010 and their latest effort, “Land of Trembling Earth,” just last August, the band has been busy touring the East Coast in an attempt to propel their sound past Florida’s state line.
According to Hance, he’s had a lot of solid material up his sleeve for a while. Throughout his music career, Hance has been known to perform as a one-man-band, playing rudimentary guitar parts to a loop station and soloing over it while keeping time with a kick drum—a feat he mentions is not as easy as it sounds. His real start was playing alongside fellow musician JJ Grey’s band Mofro in the ‘90s, where he cut his teeth playing all over the world.
“We played all over the place,” Hance says. “We performed at blues festivals in Australia, played all over Europe, did a lot of U.S. tours, even Alaska.”
After a 15-year stint with Mofro, Hance felt the winds of change and wanted to form a group of his own. Thus, he joined up with his current troupe and recorded “Hallowed Ground” (2011) live in the studio. Their second project, “Land of Trembling Earth” (2014), was a one-man job.
“It took me a year-and-a-half to record ‘Land of Trembling Earth,’” Hance remarks. “For this project, I produced everything myself, engineered, played all the instruments, etc.”
In Hance’s case, the exclusory maxim, “You either have it or you don’t,” is something he doesn’t have to worry about. When it comes to talent and a good musical sense, both being as immeasurable as they are instinctual, Hance is one of the haves. The writing process is something he doesn’t stress over too much.
“I already have a pretty good idea of how a song sounds before I record it,” he says. “So I don’t really look for any particular sound or sounds. It just kind of happens naturally so I just kind of let it come out how it comes out… I just sort of follow my ears until it sounds good to me.”
What’s amazing about this is that the trio’s music is not simple pop songs with a typical format. They are well thought-out rock-n-roll riffs, with intertwining blues tropes and a ‘60s zest that emanates from the mix. For Hance being “a fan of anything that predates ‘75,” that’s exactly what he’s looking for.
The self-titled track “Land of Trembling Earth” is an instrumental with layers of guitar work and distorted effects, creating a vast, swampy bayou vista sound. The atmosphere is groggy, as if someone were coming out of a deep sleep in the marsh with the first light of day shining on his or her hesitant eyes.
The song ebbs into silence, ushering in the next number, “Beautiful Things.” Here, the music takes the listener out of the sludge and into a more contemporary fusion of blues-rock. Songs like “Trembling Earth” (not to be confused with the aforementioned “Land of Trembling Earth”) harken to the likes of CCR and Cream with harmonizing guitar parts and light distortion. The vintage tone Hance acquires here is warm with a little bite to it, and showcases prestige behind his instrument.
As a whole Hance ensures “Land of Trembling Earth” isn’t oversaturated with any one sound; it’s eclectic. The juxtaposition of acoustic ballads like “Misty Rain” and the Clapton-esque opener “Goddamn Girl” gives this sophomore effort a wide array of music to chomp on.
Currently touring the East Coast, the band plans to produce more records, play lots of shows for lots of people and have lots of fun doing it in the future. Playing alongside Hance’s Trio this Thursday will be Wilmington-based Orwin Orioles, a guitar-and-drums duo, comprising JB Boxter and Weeks, Hance’s drummer. Weeks is a busy percussionist, as well as a Wilmington native. Aside form his work with Orwin Orioles and the Daryl Hance Power Trio, Weeks has a third band, called “Turchi.” Asheville-based, they specialize in North Mississippi style blues-rock.
Orwin Orioles will begin performing every Thursday night at Lagerhead’s (35 North Lumina Ave.), starting in March. They offer a softer sound with a little country twang sprinkled in; Boxter’s vocals create a calm atmosphere, which creates a good contrast with Hance’s upbeat rock outfit. Don’t miss them at Lagerhead’s this Thursday.
The Daryl Hance Power Trio
Opening act: Orwin Orioles
Lagerheads, 35 N. Lumina Ave.
Thursday, Feb. 19, 9 p.m.