Palomino Darling for Red

Palomino Darling, a Baton Rouge-based blues-rock duo

Katie Swetman and Sam Anselmo met at a dinner party seven years ago. 

Instantaneously, there was an attraction, a connection, that electricity two people can feel when they first meet. 

"I had never met him before, but I was like, 'Hmmm, I need to know this person,'" Swetman said. 

But it wasn't until a couple years into their relationship that the couple started working on music together as Palomino Darling. Anselmo, the former drummer of Reception is Suspected and the mind behind the one-man-band Robosam, had to pull out the songs from Swetman.

"I have bad stage fright," Swetman said. "I had never played for anyone publicly. To even play my songs for him, I was like, 'Don't look at me.' "

But after hearing her for the first time, Anselmo knew they needed to get to work.

"(My first reaction was) We have to get it out there," he said. "She's a great songwriter, a great lyricist. I wanted other people to hear it." 

By summer 2013, Swetman was performing at a singer-songwriter night in the sidebar of the former Chelsea's Café. She was panicking, but Anselmo knew what he was doing — he was getting her on-stage experience, building her confidence, getting her feedback a performer wouldn't get from the sometimes arduous recording process. 

"I wanted to share my songs," Swetman said. "I just never had someone who I trusted and respected so well who pulled that out of me. I was up for the challenge, but I was like, 'This is insane.' Even though it was terrifying, there was something great about it. You do get hooked. That kept pushing me to write."

Swetman began writing and performing more, and Anselmo started adding rhythms, electric guitar lines and atmospheric keys. It wasn't always easy, and the duo has been taking its time. Just last November, they released a single, titled "Old and Lost River." An album is in the works and could come out next year. 

"We probably spent a year, experimenting and defining our sound," Swetman said. 

"Katie has a decisive ear on what she likes and doesn't like," Anselmo said. "We have very different music perspectives. Katie is very lyric oriented. I tend to feel the rhythms, beats." 

Outside of that thought process, creating music together has been a positive bonding experience for the couple. 

"I feel very knitted to him in an additional way," she said. "I have been in a relationship with him with music and without, and it just adds to it. It's a bigger and more wonderful way to share time together. You see your partner in this way where he's incredible.

"We do come at the music at different angles, but we know how to compromise in a positive way that benefits the relationship. We meet in the middle everyday. We do the same for the music, finding that perfect place for both of us." 


WHEN: 9 p.m. Friday 

WHERE: Baton Rouge Music Studios, 9327 Burbank Dr. 

COST: $7, $5 with costume 


Follow Matthew Sigur on Twitter, @MatthewSigur.