Darlene Bailey
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Darlene Bailey

Westford, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Westford, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


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Wrenches & Rags CD
Released May, 2011



Has been compared to Emmylou Harris, Janis Ian, Suzanne Vega & Rita Coolidge

On the back cover of Wrenches & Rags, Darlene Bailey's beautiful and intimate recording, there is a sepia-toned photo of Dobbins Auto Repair, the business owned for years by her parents in Burlington, Massachusetts. Inspired by their rise from humble beginnings and powerful work ethic, she achieved success for many years in the corporate world. Later, in the face of physical and emotional burnout and a hard look in the mirror, the acoustic singer/songwriter had the courage to leave the safety net of her employment of several decades to focus on her lifelong dream of recording and performing music. Dedicated to her parents, the title track "Wrenches & Rags" is a touching chronicle and celebration of their life story.

When Bailey reflects upon her change of course in middle age, she likes to borrow a quote from Dante Aligheri's epic poem "The Divine Comedy": "Midway upon the journey of my life, I found myself in a dark wood, where the right way was lost". Long before leaving her company after 34 years, she had gathered a batch of highly personal songs (mostly inspired by the events and experiences of beloved friends and family members) that she penned in recent years and began to record them. When she decided it was time for a sabbatical, the project took on a whole new dimension - and became not simply a unique creative outlet but a very important part of redefining herself and breaking ground on a more fulfilling future. "The CD project was finalized just 60 days after leaving my job, emerging at exactly the right time," she says.

Over the past six months alone, Bailey has performed nearly 50 shows regionally and has received significant radio airplay and industry acclaim. She was named Artist of the Week at WERU-FM Bangor,Maine, and achieved Top 10 Indie status on several tracks at WOS Radio. She's received glowing reviews from Cyrus Rhodes, Biz Talk, Bill Copeland Music News, Vitality Magazine, Skope Magazine, Indie Music Suite 101 and JP's Music Blog. Her emergence as an independent artist is an inspiration to any person, male or female, to cultivate and share their talents and take a leap of faith. But for the singer, it was all about getting back to her first love. "I started playing as a kid," she says, "around 12 years old. My dad taught me my first chords. He was a pretty good guitar player - strictly by ear. He no longer plays guitar, but is really good on harmonica and is featured on the closing track. By 13, I was fronting a band with two girlfriends which we named after the street we lived on. We never played in public, but we did rehearse in my backyard while standing on the picnic table as our stage. Each afternoon as the mailman came by, he always made a point to stop and applaud. My first fan!"