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      Darrell Scott in Fort Collins

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      November 10, 2018

      Saturday   7:00 PM

      314 East Mountain Avenue
      Fort Collins, Colorado 80524

      Darrell Scott

      with Justin Roth
      I look like an insider because of everything Ive done but I always felt like an outsider, Darrell Scott says. And thats importantto be an outsider.Hes also a master. Witness his ability to make just about any instrument talk, listen to his vocals and songwriting to hear him contain every emotion between joy and pain within one verse in his singing and in his pen. Nowadays hes taking the outsider role even more seriously; after 23 years in Nashville he spent the last year devoting himself to a self-sufficient lifestyle in the country while simultaneously putting together his best album in years.Couchville Sessions is that album, and it continues Scotts long tradition of tackling the profound issuesloneliness, the demise of relationships, mortalitywithout ever becoming maudlin. The record may explore darkness but there is always light. Scott can sing to us about addiction, breaking up, even dying without it ever becoming depressing. Thats due to his writing, his vocal deliveryoften erotically charged hereand the careful choice of five covers that he calls tributes to some of the masters. Scotts tenth studio album shows no sign of him losing steam. In fact, he seems to be on fire.Born in Eastern Kentucky to restless Appalachians who moved him Out West, raised by a country-music-worshipping single father, he studied poetry with Philip Levine, a celebrator of the working class who would later become the nations Poet Laureate. Scott has lived the songs he sings: hes worked hard, told defiant truths, and never turned down the chance to pursue love. Along the way he has created an oeuvre of albums beloved by his devoted fans and written songs that became hits for everyone from Dixie Chicks to Travis Tritt as well as being covered by more than 70 others while never shying away from critiquing the industry. The multi-talented Grammy nominee has also been a member of Robert Plants Band of Joy, won the AMA Song of the Year, named ASCAPs Songwriter of the Year and a host of other accolades.Scott recorded the songs on The Couchville Sessions fifteen years ago and is only now releasing them not because theyre something inferior that he cast aside. On the contrary, hes releasing this album because the songs were too good to remain silent. Im trying to catch up on records Ive already recorded or what I have in my brain to do, he says. One of my problems is that I have more records than I have record releases. He also held off on releasing the album until he could get a few extra touches he always wanted on these songsa Guy Clark guest spot here, triple fiddles there, a Peter Rowan vocal here. These songs have really stood the test of time, he says. They still move me.Hes not alone. This is perhaps his most emotionally-charged collection of songs and theyre anchored by the theme of acceptance, whether its a man appreciating the good parts of a relationship he wants out of in songs like Its Time To Go Away, a lovely cover of James Taylors Another Grey Morning and This is The Love Song or a woman embracing the beauty of the fullest moon shes ever seen while her relationship unravels on a car-ride home from the Laundromat on Waiting for the Clothes to Get Clean. Theres the acceptance of mortality in a tune like Another Day to Live and Die and a narrator succumbing completely to his addiction in Hank Williams Ramblin Man. Theres well-crafted fun with Townes Van Zandts , Loretta, and the sexy proposition of Come Into This Room. Scott continues his tradition of challenging the music industry with critiques like the epic album opener Down to the River and a look at mainstream radio called Morning Man. Every one of the fourteen tracks are packed with that hardcore emotion and it is all delivered with mesmerizing vocals and some of the best picking youre liable to find on any other album this year. Theres plenty of rocking-out, too, especially on covers of Johnny Cashs Big River and Peter Rowans Midnight Moonlight, an instrumental highlight of the record.While the covers on the album pay homage to some of musics best-known masters, Scott says that its also a gathering of master musicians, or, as he calls them: monsters. The five member band includes Scott along with steel guitar virtuoso Dan Dugmore; Kenny Malone, offering his unparalleled percussion; one of Englands most acclaimed musicians, Danny Thompson, playing his famous double bass; and Bill Payne (Little Feat, Bob Seger) on piano and organ. These guys are in their 70s and theyre kicking ass, Scott says. When youre working with musicians like this, you can be as live and as unmessed with as you want because they can do it, they have no fear, they can play anything. There are also guest musicians such as Shad Cobb, guest vocals by folks like John Cowan and Peter Rowan, as well as a treasure of a spoken monologue by the great Guy Clark.Except for a small addition here and therestirring background vocals by Andrea Zonn and Jason Eskridge, for examplethe entire record was recorded live in Scotts living room out on Couchville Pike, the road that gives the album its name. Now Scott is living on the Cumberland Plateau between Knoxville and Nashville with forty solar panels where he cans vegetables he raises in his garden, and was able to edit this album on his woodstove during the summer when it wasnt being used to heat his cabin. The new locale is working for him, he says. Not being in Nashville means I dont have to have Nashville concerns around me. And it means that I care less than I ever did about whats going on in the industry. I like that.Scotts honesty and defiance have always fueled his best work, and thats certainly true of The Couchville Sessions, an album that finds its creator at the height of his songwriting, vocal, instrumental, and producing powers. Scott has made a record with master musicians and has identified some of his favorite masters to pay homage to in expert covers. What the listener of The Couchville Sessions knows is that undoubtedly Scott is a master, too.

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