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Thursday, May 19, 2005 12:56 pm

now playing 5-19-05

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Dennis Darling

Local music trio Lost and Found recently released a new CD, As You Sow. In a unique and wonderful approach to dealing with music business profits, the group will donate proceeds from CD sales to the local Habitat for Humanity.

The band formed in 2002 to showcase songwriter and band leader Dennis Darling’s original works from his solo recordings, Someday (2000) and This Little Light (2002). Since then they’ve continued on, expanding to include material from the lifelong Springfield resident’s extensive repertoire of cover songs.

Recorded at Mark Estill’s Apple Road Studio near Rochester, the new disc is very comforting. The songs are touching, sincere, and heartfelt, both as they were written and as they were recorded. The lyrics pass through love blessings, philosophic ramblings, and spiritual findings, graced by rootsy and earthy music from the band. Darling plays piano as the lead rhythm instrument on several songs, giving the album a different feel than found on the usual singer-songwriter-on-guitar fare. Recording engineer Estill does double duty by adding tasty electric guitar licks on several cuts. Bassist Charlie Brittin holds down the bottom end, while Donna Felton adds handy percussive work and harmony vocals throughout the recording.

The tunes are all under a folk, blues, light jazz/rock umbrella and are immediately singable — familiar melodies with a gentle twist. The message Darling delivers in the title song, “All I know is as you sow so shall you reap,” echoes the advice of many popular religions and is just plain common sense. The lyrics of “Forged in the Fire” offer this observation of life on earth: “We’re forged in the fire/melted in the mold/inclined to inquire/then left out in the cold/dropped out of the choir/tempted bod & soul/we’re forged in the fire/melted in the mold.”

The group has performed for M.I.C.E. in schools and during the Old Capitol Farmers’ Market. They’ve had a spot at First Night Springfield and sometimes play at the Trout Lily Café on Friday with Darling during his Original Lunch music contribution.

You might see them in a tavern, your neighbor’s living room, or at a downtown outdoor function. In the first lines of the new CD, Darling states, “If you would give me just a moment I would take all your cares away.” It could be a very good use of your time.

You’ll find Lost and Found at Recycled Records (625 E. Adams St., 522-5122) from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, during the store’s Wednesday Evening Music Series and at the Underground City Tavern (700 E. Adams St., 789-1530) on Tuesday, June 7, from 8 to 11 p.m.

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