The Don't Tell Darlings They'll Fix Your Wagon

About the Darlings

The Don't Tell Darlings draw their music from a deep well of old-time, bluegrass, Western swing and early country, along with a healthy dose of Ms. Millie's fine originals. Defying genres, their music can only be described as "a Depression-era mix tape".  Megan and Millie's honey-sweet harmonies meet with Old Man Kelly's fiddle on fire and Lew Burrus' bass-thumping rhythm for a classic old-time instrumentation that is anything but traditional.

The Don't Tell Darlings have been a long-time coming. Megan and Millie met in Minnesota at Carleton College during their formative years, but only really discovered their unique vocal sound while living 10 blocks apart in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  There, Miss Millie played rhythm guitar while exploring bluegrass, old-time, Western Swing and gypsy jazz, but truly found her unique voice when she began writing her unique originals and discovered clawhammer banjo.  Once Millie moved to sweet old Virginia for graduate school, it took Megan a few years to catch up; clown school beckoned, and she couldn't resist. She soon discovered clowning around wasn't filling the artistic well like it should, called Miss Mille up, and packed her bags.


Once Megan relocated to Charlottesville, their plans for alt-country rock stardom were already in the works. After successfully playing as a duo and releasing their first album "Fix Your Wagon" in 2009, long-time Charlottesville bass thumper Lew Burrus and mandolin/dobro artists Jeff York joined the fray.  When York skipped town for a job in Colorado, the Darlings' had no choice but to weedle their way into the heart of friend and musical mischief maker Old Man Kelly:  fiddler, guitarist, punk-rocker, and one-man sea shanty band.  They are releasing their second album "Sugar for Sugar" as a four-piece band in Fall 2011.

The Darling's have played throughout Virginia, the mid-Atlantic, and regionally, including Johnny D's in Somerville, Massachusetts, Googie's Lounge in NYC, and closer to home at the Charlottesville Pavilion.  They play in a wide variety of settings, from traditional music venues and festivals, to house concerts and private appearances.   Wherever they are, their music continues to defy categorization.  They're a premium blend of Midwest thunderstorms, New England Nor'easters, Minnesota skies and sweet potato fries. North Country girls gone south.

Band Members:

Millie Ammirati: vocals, banjo, guitar, songstress
Lew Burrus: upright bass, occasional voice of God
Liam "Old Man" Kelly: fiddle, resonator guitar,  pedal steel, washboard, kazoo
Megan Rose Orwig: vocals, rhythm guitar, mouth trumpet