Darrell Scott: Loving Life Way Outside the Nashville Mainstream
Since moving to Nashville in 1995, 52-year-old Darrell Scott has had a career most who take that Hillbilly Highway to Music City USA would envy. A triple-threat talent, Scott was for years a session warhorse, a guy who could play about anything with strings on it as well as possessing a fantastic ear for harmonies and an angelic voice.
He also wrote songs, lots of songs. Many were picked up by mainstreamers like Garth Brooks, Tim McGraw, Travis Tritt, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley and Martina McBride. The Dixie Chicks had hits with two Scott songs, "Long Time Gone" and "Heartbreak Town."
His song "Hank Williams' Ghost" was Americana song of the year in 2007, and "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" has been covered by a bevy of artists such as Paisley, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Zakk Wylde and been featured twice on episodes of FX's Justified.
But that's only the highly visible, touching-the-mainstream side of Scott's work. His 2005 rock album, Theater of the Unheard, was the Independent Music Association's album of the year, and his 2011 release, Crooked Road, was named country album of the year by the IMA.
Less well known even is the fact that Scott was Guy Clark's sideman for many years. He not only has written numerous songs with Clark, he produced Clark's 2002 release, Dark, as well as Clark's monumental 1999 album Cold Dog Soup.
Not convinced yet? In 2010 Scott was selected to be a part of Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant's Americana ensemble, Band of Joy. Yeah, he's that good.
Rocks Off caught up with Scott via phone after his performance at last week's Merlefest.