by Gene Marrano
Fans of both the Country and the Americana music genres will appreciate the songwriting ability and delivery of Darrell Scott, whose new studio album, “The Long Ride Home” made its debut recently. The Nashville area resident worked with friends like Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Dennis Crouch and Kenny Malone on the project – but he also invited heavyweights like Patti Griffin, Rodney Crowell, Guy Clark, Lloyd Green and Tim O’Brien to participate. Some of the top country music session players in Nashville appear on Long Ride Home. “That’s why it sounds like an old country record – it is basically,” said Scott from the road last weekend.
Oh yes, his father Wayne, with whom Darrell Scott co-wrote two songs on the album – when he was all of 16, also makes an appearance on Long Ride Home. The father-son duo went off to a cabin in the woods to write “The Country Boy” and “You’re Everything I Wanted Love to Be.”
“It’s crazy or wild that it has taken this many years to put them on a record,” notes Darrell Scott, who is now 52. “It’s a good memory to have with my dad. We met in a really good place [while writing together].”
The song Someday stands out in his mind “from an emotional place,” for Scott on the Long Ride Home. “It tells the truth. I like that.” Pay Lake is just pure fun for him: “that one always puts a smile on my face.” Duets with his father and Guy Clark are favorites as well. “It was a great place to sort of come home,” said Scott of his new album.
Scott calls Long Ride Home a tribute to the country music of his youth. The three time Grammy nominee and winner of Americana music awards goes back to his roots with the new album, which is more pure country. Growing up with two Kentucky parents, “that’s all you ever [heard]. I couldn’t help but have those roots.”
Scott appears with a 5 or 6 piece band this Friday night at the Jefferson Center – the only stop on his current tour he said that there would be such a large entourage. “It’s because Dylan Locke is such a great fan and supporter of my music [Locke programs music at the Jefferson Center] and also for what he brings into Roanoke.”
Normally it’s just me and a guitar, said Scott from the road in Seattle, where he nursed a coffee while waiting for a train. As for Roanoke, where he has performed a handful of times, Scott likes the vibe.
“The people there love music…they know more about [roots] music than other areas; and they appreciate it,” said Scott, also giving a nod to folks in Western Carolina and Eastern Tennessee, “especially stuff that has any connection at all to Appalachia.” Scott deems his own music as “earthy and organic, Americana in its approach.” Bluegrass, blues and country are also in the mix. “First and foremost its singer-songwriter stuff.”
Besides bringing a full band to Roanoke this Friday – the only stop on the tour with that accompaniment – Scott will also spend time with students at The Music Lab, which works with high school and middle school musicians from the Roanoke Valley. “It’s fantastic,” said Scott of the Music Lab concept. Providing a place to teach young students about music and the music business is important, especially as school budgets for arts-related classes are pared down.
“If the community doesn’t do it, who will?” he asks. Scott hasn’t seen many venues like the Music Lab. [Locke] has something unique going on. I haven’t seen it [elsewhere] yet.” Locke’s own roots as a musician are a factor, said Scott.
Even at 16, Darrell Scott couldn’t envision doing anything else but writing and singing songs. “I thought this would be it. It’s a good little road and it’s still going.” See darrellscott.com for more on the artist and his new album Long Ride Home.