Darrell Scott/ Molly McGinn & Dave Willis
September 29, 2016 · Thurs * 7pm * $30 Adv/$35 Day of Show
7pm: Molly McGinn & Dave Willis
8pm: Darrell Scott
You need more than guts and good intentions to record a convincing all-covers CD of songs by the modern-day pantheon of great singer-songwriters, from Bob Dylan to Mickey Newbury to Joni Mitchell. You have to add something special and personal to reignite oft-heard standards – musical talent, sure, but also a depth of feeling, experience and understanding. And Darrell Scott, from his genes to his genius as a sensitive vocalist, an award-winning songwriter of depth and perception, and a versatile instrumentalist, has earned that right.
Born on a tobacco farm in London, Ky., in 1959, and raised in E. Gary, Indiana, Darrell was part of a musical family. His father Wayne, a steelworker by trade but a songwriter in his heart, moved his clan to Southern California when Darrell was 11. Soon Darrell and brothers Denny, Dale, Don, and David were part of their dad’s band, getting on-the-job training in country music as they played its hits on the stages of roadhouses and taverns as far north as Alaska.
Darrell eventually left the band and California, paying some more musical dues in Toronto and in Boston and earning a degree in poetry from nearby Tufts University, where he also studied literature. With his lyric skills sharpened and his abilities on guitars, banjo and other instruments already road-tested, Darrell followed his muse to country music’s Ground Zero, Nashville. His key to entering Music Row’s inner circles was, at first, his string-slinging skills – starting in 1992, he appeared on albums by alt.country mavericks Guy Clark (for whom he later produced two CDs) and Steve Earle, Randy Travis, Patty Loveless, and dozens more.
As his “day job” as a picker flourished, Darrell channeled his other creative energies into his own songwriting and recordings. By the time he had released his debut CD, Aloha from Nashville (1997), its follow-up Family Tree (1999), and Real Time (2000), a duo album with “newgrass” trailblazer Tim O’Brien, Darrell’s original songs were much in demand by singers looking for more than “big hat” bragging or slick country-pop. Suzy Bogguss was the first of many to record a Scott song, taking his “No Way Out” into the country singles charts in 1996. Darrell’s compositions became highlights of albums by Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Kathy Mattea, Maura O’Connell and even his mentor, Guy Clark. The Dixie Chicks’ recording of “Long Time Gone” from Real Time was not only a hit for the Chicks but garnered a 2003 Grammy nomination for “Best Country Song”; “The Second Mouse,” a Scott/O’Brien tune from Real Time, was a Grammy finalist as “Best Country Instrumental Performance” in 2001. That same year, Darrell was named Songwriter of the Year by the Nashville Songwriters Association International, an honor repeated by ASCAP in 2002.
Darrell’s solo CDs, session work, touring gigs with Steve Earle’s Bluegrass Dukes (of which he remains a member), Guy Clark, and Newgrass Revival founder Sam Bush, and his own live shows have steadily drawn reviews even payola can’t buy. USA Today praised his “brilliantly clever songs”; Entertainment Tonight raved about his “powerful songwriting, passionate vocals and masterful picking”; Rolling Stone listed his 2003 CD, Theatre of the Unheard, in their list of Critics’ Top Albums and compared him to Clark and Springsteen “at their best.” Performing Songwriter went all the way, dubbing him “the best of the best.”
Somehow, Darrell has continually found the time and energy to expand his musical activities ever further. In 2003, he launched his own label, Full Light Records, and his first move as owner was to produce a traditional, mountain country album for his father, This Weary Way, that finally showcased Wayne’s original songs. For the past two years, Darrell has been the “artist in residence” with Orchestra Nashville (members appear on Modern Hymn’s “Joan of Arc”), creating what he calls “diverse musical happenings – the odder the better,” mixing the string section with such guests as Sam Bush, jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, and other musicians from many genres.
Darrell has also been stockpiling songs and ideas for his next few CDs, including orchestral recordings, a “stone country” album, a duets project, and a band record of roots, Americana and folk-rock songs. He plays more than 50 shows a year, including prestigious US and UK festivals, and conducts songwriting workshops around the country. He recently had to turn down an invitation to lead a road band for Joan Baez due to logistics. We should all have such problems; we should all have such skills. But Darrell does, and that’s what makes him such a distinctive and creative force in contemporary music.
Molly McGinn (born August 27, 1974 in Dodge City, Kansas) is an American singer-songwriter, living, writing, creating and performing out of Greensboro, North Carolina. McGinn has been the creative force behind Molly McGinn and The Buster Dillys since 2007, a band that morphs from a pure solo act to including a rotating-sized crew of Buster Dilly players.
In the mid-1990s McGinn fronted The Alan Smithee Band, whose debut album, Between Gold and Lead, released in 1995. At the time, McGinn’s songwriting was heavily influenced by the jam band styles of The Grateful Dead, Phish, and Frank Zappa.
In 1996, The Alan Smithee Band disbanded and McGinn moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. At night, McGinn played Raleigh’s open mike night scene at the Berkley Café, The Pour House, and the monthly Cypher festival at the now closed Expressions Café. The Berkley’s blues and southern rock influences, coupled with the Cypher’s improvisational freestylers, slam poets, and scratch deejays—helped form McGinn’s current songwriting style, one that combines jazz, blues, alternative country, and freestyle.
In 2005 McGinn co-wrote and performed with country music songwriter Kristy Jackson, and old-time songwriter,Laurelyn Dossett. In 2006 McGinn composed the musical score for Gi Ho Lo: The Legacy of Richard Long, an award-winning film in the 48 Hour Film Festival.
From 2006 to 2008, McGinn’s was lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Greensboro-based Americana / Southern funk 6 piece band, Thacker Dairy Road.
In 2007, McGinn teamed with producer Greg Griffith for a speed songwriting contest, The RPM Challenge. Songwriter’s around the world were challenged to write, compose, and record a 10-song album in 28 days. The result is Girl with Slingshot.