One of Jimmy Fallon’s ongoing bits as host of The Tonight Show has been The Battle of the Instant Songwriters. On Wednesday night’s show, New Hartford native, singer-songwriter Darryl Rahn was chosen to participate.
Fallon’s staff screens the audience prior to taping, selecting two members who are musicians as contestants. Each contestant is given a song title and an hour to write a song based on just the title.
On Wednesday’s episode, Rahn was given the song title “2023 Go to the Gym for Me” to work with. His opponent, a musician named Zaniah from Louisville was given “Stuck on a Ski Lift with Jennifer Coolidge.”
After the hour-long songwriting process, each artist was invited to the stage to perform their newly-minted compositions. Zaniah went first, singing about a ski trip in Utah.
Rahn was introduced next, indicating he is from Utica, NY. Fallon, who has Upstate NY ties, having grown up in the Catskill community of Saugerties as well as attending St. Rose College in Albany, responded, “I love Utica!”
Rahn took a more comedic approach to his song about failing to live up to a New Year’s resolution:
“The membership’s expensive, plus it’s way too far to walk / And picking up my clothes technically counts as a squat.”Darryl Rahn on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Rahn won the audience vote for his song and was awarded a sweatshirt that said “I Love Music,” a notebook, and a check for $1,000. Zaniah was also awarded the same prizes.
Rahn currently resides in Brooklyn but occasionally treks back to his home area for appearances, including his annual holiday show at the Kirkland Arts Center in Clinton.
His latest album, The Mend is available on all major streaming platforms and can be purchased from Rahn’s Bandcamp page.
Read the 315 Music review of Rahn’s 2021 EP Regulars here and watch his Tonight Show performance below.