Darlene is a troubadour.
Spending 8 months at a time on the road, weaving tales with song, she is capable of evoking a myriad of characters through her voice and instrumentation. Her musical styles are as diverse as her characters. Using guitar, hand drum, accordion and vocals, she can move effortlessly between musical genres - bluegrass to blues, swing to all out folk - to world folk.
In concert she can amaze and entrance with both dexterous musicianship and stories that capture the imagination.
Darlene has a huge range of vocal & musical styles, reflecting wide travel & deep interest in the music of many cultures. The first time I heard her sing was not from a stage, but late at night at a bonfire party in the Dublin Mountains.
-Hot Press Magazine, Dublin
Darlene gathers energy from the very ground she stands on, and sings with grace and power.
-David Francey, Singer/Songwriter
Truly one of the most entertaining and crowd-pleasing acts to ever grace the Main Stage of Home County Folk Festival.
-Ken Palmer, AD, London, ON
The evening began with an enchanting performance by a woman who simply goes by the name Darlene. The audience became completely engaged as she played a variety of instruments including guitar, accordion, drums, rattles and a hula whoop. Okay, perhaps the hula whoop isn't an instrument, but it sure was fun. As Darlene went into the final songs of her performance, other musicians slowly started joining her on stage. By the last song, she had a compliment of seven other musicians 'backing her up' and had the audience up on their feet, yelling for more!
It turned out that this was a seamless transition of the next performers' coming on stage, Quebec's Les Batinses. Apparently Les Batinses and Darlene were in a workshop together earlier in the summer at the Vancouver Folk Festival. Upon learning that they would be sharing a stage in Peterborough, they worked on a few songs together and worked out the whole transition; a programmers' dream!
-Paul Northcott, Artistic Director of Peterborough Folk Festival
Saturday the 27th will see the 2003 Jackie Washington Award recipient, Darlene perform her only solo concert of the year in Sudbury. Darlene has been seen this year in concert as part of The Road Dog Divas and more recently with the drum and singing group, Sweet Water Women. Darlene brings all of the elements of Folk, Blues, Country and the traditional singing of many cultures from around the world into her performance. She is Buffy St. Marie, Penny Lang, Cait O'Riordan, Michelle Shocked and Joni Mitchell all wrapped into one.
-Paul Lowenburg, Artistic Director of Northern Lights Folk Festival, (Sudbury ON)
Some acts take time to make an impact when showcasing. Darlene nailed down a half a dozen gigs with just one song!
-Don Bird, Summerfolk, Distillery District (Toronto ON)
Truly one of the most entertaining & crowd-pleasing acts to ever grace the Main Stage of Home Country Folk Festival.
-Ken Palmer, Artistic Director, HCFF (London, ON)
She often drifts into jazz-inflected scat singing, sounding like Rickie Lee Jones or a female Van Morrison. Her voice has considerable power.
-The Splatter Effect, NYC
Darlene lent a powerful set of pipes to her theatrical gypsy style and proved Tom Connors isn't the only Canadian performer who stomps.
- The London Free Press
On Darlene's Vocalizaion Workshop
For the first time of my life, I felt free letting my voice be heard around people and it was great!
I met Darlene at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas, where she taught a vocalizing class. I have never been a singer…as a matter of fact, I have always been petrified of singing. But after less than an hour, she had me singing my heart out, not worrying about sounding like an idiot. When someone makes you believe you can do it, you can! I will never be embarrassed again!
-Brienne Glytton, LA, Ca
On Darlene's Whooping Workshop
After witnessing the number of happy 'Whoopers' that emerged from Darlene's workshops at the Northern Light Festival last summer, I decided if ever I ended up at the same festival as Darlene again, I would take her workshop. So at Blue Skies, along with a field full of other novices, I picked up a whoop. Darlene taught us first the basic moves and then the more elegant and challenging moves. It's one of the few workshops at a festival that is truly participatory. It's fun and focused and it carries you away. It's different than any other workshop I've done... Adults love it. Teenagers love it. Kids love it - little ones and big ones (like me) alike.
Throughout the weekend, I saw people asking Darlene how to do this or that move. She always took the time to show them. We all learned, not only from Darlene's spirit of generosity. That generous spirit, combined with her immense talent, makes both her musical performances and her workshops a highlight at any festival. It's that generosity that people take home with them for a very long time.
-Katherine Wheatley, Singer/Songwriter, Canada