'Unmasking The New Pale Rhythm Rider'
Darrell Scott’s sixth record, The Invisible Man, will be released on Full Light Records on June 27. It’s a career record for this Nashville Renaissance man.
Scott is the ultimate outsider with an inside track to some of today’s most successful acts, who call on him for his prodigious skills as a musician and as a songwriter. He fervently remains an iconoclast as an artist, yet is an active member of Steve Earle’s Bluegrass Dukes, and has written many songs which have been recorded by others including The Dixie Chicks, Keb Mo and Guy Clark, for whom he has co-produced two records.
He’s got one foot planted in the arena of big time radio hits and the other in the world of the essential poet. The Invisible Man is the perfect blending of his untamed artistic integrity with his innate commercial sensibility.
The new disc finds him following his muse into uncharted and sometimes polarizing territory. Songs like “I’m Nobody” and “Goodle, USA” (on Faith Hill’s new Fireflies CD) find Scott songwriting his way into the political ring.
Scott, a two-time Grammy Award nominee, brought in some of the best musicians in the world to perform on The Invisible Man. The fact that they were friends made the recording process just that much sweeter. His supporting cast includes bassist Danny Thompson (Rod Stewart) and legendary drummer Kenny Malone (JJ Cale). Also on board are guitarist Richard Bennett (Emmylou Harris), guitar & steel wizard Dan Dugmore, John Cowan & Sam Bush from the New Grass Revival, keyboardist Gabe Dixon (Paul McCartney), and Minton Sparks, a Nashville-based spoken word artist.
Chatting recently with Darrell, and noting that his press had him as the 'ultimate outsider' in the business, I first wondered what that exactly meant and when did he feel he'd be on the inside?! "I AM NOT SURE WHO THE ULTIMATE OUTSIDER WOULD BE. PROBABLY SOMEONE WE'VE NEVER HEARD OF. IN SOME CIRCLES THAT IS ME AND A THOUSAND OTHERS IN NASHVILLE AND IN OTHER CIRCLES, TO MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY I'M A HOUSEHOLD NAME."
For the Average Joe who may not have heard of you and was thinking of buying your new 'The Invisible Man' CD, how would you yourself describe your sound and what they are to expect? "I WOULD TELL THEM TO EXPECT SONGS - PERSONAL & ASSERTIVE SONGS WITH GREAT SOUNDS AND MUSICIANSHIP THAT ROCKS AT TIMES, GETS QUIET AT TIMES. WITH PLENTY-O-FOLKING AROUND. BASICALY, A SINGER/SONGWRITER TELLING STORIES WITH A MUSICAL DIVERSITY."
Your album title 'The Invisible Man' is an interesting choice, but perhaps it originates from a more personal standpoint for you? "ONE MAN'S OUTSIDER IS ANOTHER MAN'S INSIDER. INSIDER/OUTSIDER IS A RELATIVE CONCEPT. THE WHOLE ALBUM ORIGINATES FROM A MORE PERSONAL STANDPOINT FOR ME."
If there was one track on 'The Invisible Man' that truly encapsulated Darrell Scott at his musical and lyrical finest, which one would it be? "I LIKE THEM ALL OR I COULDN'T HAVE WORKED ON THEM FOR THIS LONG! THOUGH, THE SONG "LOOKING GLASS" KEEPS SHOWING UP FOR ME."
Noting that you've written songs for many artists, including the Dixie Chicks and Keb Mo, I'm wondering which of your songs written for others has proven the most successful ...? "'IT'S A GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE' BOTH IN AIRPLAY AND IN PEOPLE TELLING ME THAT THE SONG MATTERS TO THEM."
... and when it did hit high on the charts did you curse the day that you let it go and didn't keep it for yourself, perhaps?! "NEVER FELT THAT WAY. THEY ARE 2 DIFFERENT WORLDS. I AM ABLE TO DO THE SONGS IN MY WORLD AND OTHERS CAN DO THEM IN THEIR WORLD IF THEY WANT. THEY ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE."
Knowing that the only cover on this album is one of the late, great Stuart Adamson's 'Shattered Cross,' I'm wondering how well you know him ... and why, oh why did he take his life do you feel? "I DO NOT KNOW THE WHY OF THAT. I KNEW STUART THROUGH MY FRIEND AND GREATARTIST/WRITER, MARCUS HUMMON. FOR A BRIEF TIME THE 3 OF US LOOKED INTO STARTING A GROUP TOGETHER, THEN MARCUS AND STUART MADE A DUO RECORD. THAT RECORD IS WHERE I LEARNED THE SONG."
Have you ever watched H.G. Wells' 'Invisible Man' (1958) on TV?!?! "I THINK I HAVE SEEN IT. I REMEMBER THE UNWINDING BANDAGES SCENE. THE SUNGLASSES, ETC."
Just for fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:
'I'm Nobody' - OK, if you could be anybody else for the day, dead or alive who would it be ... and why?! "I'D BE DUBBYA. I'D BRING THE TROOPS HOME, APOLOGIZE ON BENDED KNEE TO THE WORLD AND LET THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD TAKE ME AWAY TO NEVER NEVER LAND TO REHABILITATE ME INTO BEING HUMAN."
'The Dreamer' - When you dream at night do you have a recurring one?! "I RARELY REMEMBER MY DREAMS. THEY NEVER ARE RECURRING. MOST OF MY DREAMING HAPPENS IN THE LIGHT OF DAY."
'In My Final Hour' - When it comes down to your final hour on Earth, and lets say you knew it was to be so, if you could do anything outrageous for that final hour (to go out with a 'bang,' so to speak!) what would it be?! "I'D TIE MY NAKED BODY TO A ROCKET SHIP AND BE A FALLING STAR WISH FOR SOMEBODY."
What '70s (and possibly cheesy!) pop/rock song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "'LOVE THE ONE YOU'RE WITH,' 'CAUSE IT FEELS GOOD. 'WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD,' 'CAUSE IT'S GREAT. 'THE GAMES PEOPLE PLAY,' 'CAUSE IT'S TRUE. 'TO LIVE IS TO FLY,' 'CAUSE IT'S THE GREATEST SONG EVER WRITTEN. AND 'IMAGINE' BECAUSE IT IS A HYMN."
Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "ONLY WITH A COLD GERMAN RIESLING!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Darrell's new CD, just answer this easy question: Scott’s friend, Stuart Adamson, the late founder of hit Scottish band, Big Country was in a band before Big Country that worked for the yankee dollar on more than one occasion. What was the name of that band?!
Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new and AUTOGRAPHED CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before August 1st with your answer and the subject title 'DARRELL SCOTT SIGNED CDs' to: email@example.com
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