Dark Water Rising emerges from rural roots

Staff reports

Dark Water Rising, whose members have Lumbee and Coharie origins, doesn’t shy away from its Native American roots. But it didn’t set out to create an indigenous sound. Instead, it has what members call a “rocky soul” sound.

The band, coming to White Horse Black Mountain on Friday, Feb. 26, is deeply rooted in Robeson County, North Carolina’s landscape of tannic streams, deep woods and American Indian communities centered there. The band members started playing their instruments about eight years ago and have grown together as musicians, songwriters and performers.

They’re recording their third album, and the anthemic guitar crunch of “Backbone” from that project is garnering YouTube accolades, as is their lyrical tribute to their home state, “My Carolina.”

Charismatic powerhouse lead singer Charly Lowry might break into a powwow-inspired fancy dance or a song from Tuscarora songwriter Pura Fé. The lyrics she sings often deal with complex issues and emotions faced by native people in modern America.

The band has internalized many influences, including soulful ballads, gospel harmonies, indie rock, R&B and hip-hop. Lowry on vocals, guitar and percussion is accompanied by Corey Locklear on lead guitar, Aaron Locklear on drums and Tony Murnahan on bass. The most recent addition to Dark Water Rising is Berklee School of Music-trained Emily Musolino, whose soulfully blended harmonies partner seamlessly with Lowry’s vocals, while her bluesy guitar lines complement Corey Locklear’s more introspective style.

The band tours regularly in North Carolina and throughout the East Coast. It has been featured on NPR’s “The Story with Dick Gordon” and has won Native American music awards. Lowry was an American Idol semifinalist and also sings with the Ulali, an acclaimed First Nations a cappella group.

Mixing it up

Who: Dark Water Rising

When: 8 p.m. Feb. 26

Where: White Horse Black Mountain

Cost: $10 advance, $12 door