Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Album of the Week: LONG RIDE HOME by Darrell Scott

Long Ride Home is the perfect name for Darrell Scott's new album. Listening to it makes you feel right at home, at over an hour in length it's certainly long, and along the way it's one hell of a ride. From the "Sunday Morning,Coming Down," feel of "It Must Be Sunday" to the ragtime inspired, "Still Got A Ways To Go," and at all points in between Darrel Scott blends his expert musicianship with masterful storytelling to create an immensely satisfying musical experience. Blending the syles and influences of fellow troubadors Buck Owens, Guy Clark, and Joe Ely, Darrell delivers track after track of earnest, musical poetry. With expert phrasing (both musically and lyrically) Darrell is able to take a mundane scene like the parking lot of a local bar and turn it into a scene from a Tennessee Williams play. With a vocal assist from Guy Clark, "Out in the Parking Lot" transforms a nightly event into high theater. Darrell shows off his playful side too in "No Use Living For Today" singing, "There's no use living for today, well today was once tomorrow and today's tomorrow's yesterday." And that playful side is part of what distinguishes Darrell from so many other singer/songwriters. He avoids the trap of many of his peers of just writing in shades of blue. Although the blues are well represented here with songs like "The Country Boy" and "Candle for a Cowoby;" Darrell paints with a full palette, fleshing out his blues with shades of burnt orange, magenta and many others to capture the full range of emotions. Even when he's telling a tragic story, it's with the remembrance of good times that came before and a hope for the good times that might yet come again. This theme is perfectly summed up in "Still Got a Ways to Go," which starts off with the bluesy lament that "It's been some hard living and I still got a ways to go," but soon gives way to the awareness that, "I look outside at this beautiful day, the sun is shining, lighting up my way. I got to get out of here and get me a fishing pole." And so life goes, filled with ups and downs on the long ride home to our maker; but along the way we can be thankful that Darrell Scott has provided a wonderful soundtrack for that ride.

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