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Improv school spawns Derek and the Darling

Derek and the Darling.jpg

They met at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, an improvisational and sketch comedy school in New York. But these days, instead of trying to make audiences laugh, Derek Nicoletto and Sammi Garett are focusing on connecting with crowds through their original music under the billing Derek and the Darling.

Nicoletto, formerly with the band Telling on Trixie, became fast friends with Garett while classmates at UCBT. Once he found out she was a recent graduate of Boston’s Berklee College of Music, “we started gearing all of our scenes toward music things,” Nicoletto says.

Talk eventually turned to forming a band. Nicoletto was already working on recording new music and was close to finishing his song “Hustler With a Rescue Plan” when he asked Garett to add some backup vocals.

And with that, Nicoletto found himself a new music partner.

“I didn’t really plan on going out and finding a woman and making it a duo,” he says. “It just kind of happened that way, like it dropped out of the sky.”

The electronic/pop-flavored Rockface (7 Trick Pony Records), the recently released Derek and the Darling EP, features “Hustler With a Rescue Plan” and four other songs written (either apart or together) by Nicoletto and Garett.

Moving forward, they plan to work with additional collaborators as a full-fledged band, with the Darling part of the act’s name possibly representing the two other musicians now performing with them.

“That’s kind of what it’s turning into,” Nicoletto says. “It’s kind of fun to see how this is evolving.”

— By Chris M. Junior

Derek and the Darling on tour (schedule subject to change):

* May 6: Bowery Electric – New York
* May 14: Up or On the Rocks – Hartford, Conn.
* May 28: Donovan’s Pub – Detroit
* May 29: Amp Rock Lounge – Chicago
* May 30: Lanhuck’s – Evansville, Ind.
* June 1: Cosmic Charlie’s – Lexington, Ky.
* June 2: Loudhouse Coffee – Greenbrier, Tenn.
* June 3: Cicero’s – St. Louis
* June 5: Lee’s Summit Downtown Days – Lee’s Summit, Mo.
* June 7: Jerry’s Bait Shop – Lee’s Summit, Mo.