PEMBROKE, NC - To the members of Dark Water Rising, kinship is essential. Ties of kinship within the band's Native American communities helped to establish the band in 2008. Today, those same Native roots provide the framework for the band's sound, which they describe as "rocky soul."Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â The band attributes their style of playing and singing to a combination of influences, which range from attending Sunday morning worship services to absorbing the diverse styles and tones of artists like Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, the BeeGees, and Lynrd Skynard.
DWR explores various themes of life - love, heartbreak, sacrifice, celebration, despair, pain - all while expressing and evoking sincere emotion on issues affecting contemporary Native American communities. Dark Water Rising has two albums under their belt to date: self-titled release "Dark Water Rising"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â (2010) and "Grace & Grit: Chapter 1"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â (2012). The band has performed throughout the East Coast, has garnered considerable radio airplay, appeared onÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â NPR's "The Story with Dick Gordon" and "The State of Things", and has earned aÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â Native American Music Award for "Debut Duo or Group of the Year" (2010). Dark Water Rising - comprised of powerhouse artists Charly Lowry (vocals/rhythm guitar/percussion), Aaron Locklear (drums/keys/guitar), Corey Locklear (lead guitar), Tony Murnahan (bass/guitar) and Emily Musolino (vocals/lead guitar/bass) - continues to grow and amaze each time they perform.
Charly Lowry is the lead singer of Dark Water Rising, a band she helped form in 2008. Her background as a musician contains a multitudes of layers, which includes grasping for a chance at stardom in front of millions of television viewers nationwide. Becoming a semi-finalist on the immensely popular singing competition "American Idol"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â is a huge triumph, but where does an artist go from there? For many, the idea of post-Idol fame hasn't become a reality, with high hopes of adulation and thunderous applause dwindling over the years. For Charly, it remains within reach. She holds constant faith in her abilities and expresses a willingness to start back from the beginning, humbly working her way back to the top.
"The idea of creating 'something out of nothing' is always a source of inspiration for me and I've always been intrigued by the magic of music,"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Lowry said. "Moreover, knowing and understanding that I am merely a vessel for a higher power inspires me to perform - there's an urge to get the music out there and share our message with people from all walks of life."Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Charly cites Celene Dion, Otis Redding, The Temptations, Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers, among others, as sources of musical influence. But her earliest exposure to the medium started right at home.
The first person that I ever saw with an instrument in their hand, or that one that I'd say instilled music in me, was my Papa," Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â she recalled. "From the time that I was two months old, he sang to me, taught me songs, and encouraged me to bring the music and songs outside of my body."Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Aaron played the Quints in the Hoke High Marching Band, then purchased a keyboard in college and used its synthesizers to create "beats."Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Adding to his flexibility as an artist is his ability to also play the acoustic guitar and drums, depending upon the needs of the song.
For Aaron, performing is a generous give-and-take between the artist and the audience.
"I'm inspired to perform every night because I'm searching for that connection between our music and songs and the audience,"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â he said. "There is nothing like the feeling you get from the audience when they connect to you - it's beautiful and I'm inspired every time to try and capture those moments."Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Like Charly, Aaron knew from an early age that he would be involved in music, first learning how transformative music and singing could be from attending church services. And while he credits gospel music with providing a long-lasting impact, he also says that iconic musical figures of the 1980ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s played a part along the way.ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¨ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¨
ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬Ãƒâ€¦Ã¢â‚¬Å“I remember hearing Michael Jackson and seeing him perform for the first time, it was quite remarkable,"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â he said. "From then I wanted to be part of the pop music culture that was evolving in the 80's. I just remember how dancing, singing, rap, all evolved together. I wanted to take in all genres of music!"
Corey started playing guitar in his late twenties with no prior experience of playing in a band, or playing the guitar - unless you count playing Guitar Hero for hours on end.
Much like Aaron, Corey finds inspiration in the show itself, from the beginning until the last chord. "Playing live is addictive,"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â he explains. Corey draws inspiration from a spectrum of artists: Led Zepplin, The Eagles, Carlos Santana and Pink Floyd, to name a few.
Similar to his bandmates, Corey took refuge in music at an early age and before strumming the guitar, he played cello.
Emily is the latest addition the DWR family and brings to the group over a decade of writing and playing music. Her path, she says, is one that she was drawn to. She credits such artists as Etta James, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Frank Sinatra, and Ella Fitzgerald as musical influences in her life. Her relationship with music started in middle school, a trying phase during her life that she alleviated with songwriting.
"I was pretty shy growing up. I didn't have a lot of friends,"Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â Emily said. "Music was my escape from the awkward middle school growing pains in my life. It was an outlet for me. Whenever I was upset, writing a song about it made me feel better."Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Tony is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist. He recalls using weed eater line to string his first acoustic guitar. Over the years, he has picked up bass and drums while he continues to experiment with other random instruments. For Tony, music serves as a conduit for the issues we all face in life. "Music helped open my mind as I was growing up, as well as introduce me to a lot of issues we face as a society,"Â he said. "I'm also thankful for all the great people music has introduced to me."Â
Tony counts Fugazi, Don Caballero, Animals as Leaders, Al Dimeola and Andy McKee as major musical influences in his life.
After dedicating countless years to their craft, the members of Dark Water Rising are well prepared to share their collective love for music with as many people as possible ÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œ spreading messages of hope, perseverance and kinship with every note.