It’s been a busy year for The Gloria Darlings. The Seattle bluegrass duo haven’t seen much of the Emerald City lately as they’ve been working through a heavy touring schedule, including extended pit stops in Nashville and New Orleans.
The Darlings — guitarist and lead singer Melissa Jane Pandiani and fiddler, mandolin player and vocalist Amelia Boksenbaum — did manage to spend enough time in town to record their charming new collection of (mostly) original tunes, “Come Home To Me,” out June 26.
“The thought behind the album was create original music that we wrote that reflects the music we listen to,” said Pandiani, who goes by Pandi. “We have a lot of DIY albums that we sell that are cover albums, so we wanted to do an album of original material.”
“Come Home To Me,” recorded at Empty Sea Studios in Phinney Ridge, finds the Darlings invigorated from their long trek across the country. While they’re appreciative of their Seattle fans and the tight-knit bluegrass community here, Pandi said being on the road had a huge impact on the group.
“I just think we grow so much more as musicians on the road,” she said. “We moved to Nashville for a month and a half last summer. We’re playing with the best pickers in every town.”
Standout tracks from the new record include the title track, “Ghost Girl,” thrumming with dramatic and sonic tension, and the delicate “To Care About You,” which uses subtle harmonies and an elegiac fiddle to great effect as the Darlings sing of love lost and found in another.
When they sing, “The way we are seems star-crossed/you shook me through and through/what I’d give to be the one who gets to cares about you,” it’s about as sweet a sentiment (and delivery) as you’ll find in any genre.
The Josh Philpott Band and West Virginia transplant Pepper Proud will help The Gloria Darlings celebrate their CD release Wednesday at The Tractor Tavern.
Philpott plays traditional country and Americana with a stripped-down sound that works pretty well. However, if there’s a reason to show up early it’s Proud. She’s got a stunning voice and her 2012 album “Riddle & Rhymes” is full of winners.
The Gloria Darlings CD Release Party w/The Josh Philpott Band and Pepper Proud
9 p.m., Wednesday at Tractor Tavern, 5213 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle; $7 (206-789-3599 or tractortavern.com)
-Owen R. Smith, on Twitter @inanedetails