Archive for the Darrell Scott Category

Americana Music Awards: Past Song of the Year winners

Posted in Americana Music Awards, Buddy Miller, Darrell Scott, James McMurtry, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny Cash, Ralph Stanley, Rodney Crowell on September 15, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

The Americana Music Honors and Awards show is this Thursday night in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium. I have gone through most of the nominees and honorees at this year’s event in this space over the last month or so. As we lead up to the event this week, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the previous winners.

Today… song of the year.


Jim Lauderdale & Ralph Stanley: She’s Looking at Me (Buy Album)

For the first year of the award, voters chose a perfect blend of old and new. Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley joins songwriter Jim Lauderdale, an artist known for preserving old-time sounds while updating them for new audiences, on a fun little bluegrass romp, “She’s Looking at Me.” The album, Lost in the Lonesome Pines, won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album in 2002.


Johnny Cash: Hurt (Buy Album)

Last week’s theme at Star Maker Machine was “Johns,” and poster, Autopsy IV, put up this track for a Johnny Cash post. As he says in his post, I really believe history will remember this as a Johnny Cash song… not a Nine Inch Nails song. Watching the video makes this song that much more heartbreaking.


Rodney Crowell: Fate’s Right Hand (Buy Album)

I’ve posted this song before, and it is one of my favorites. Rodney takes us through a stream of consciousness rant against several of society’s ills. Sex, drugs, disasters, murder, Ken Star, womanizing, government excess, global warming, and war are all covered in just over five minutes.


Buddy Miller: Worry too Much (Buy Album)

Written by the late Mark Heard, this is the leadoff track to Buddy’s gospel-soul flavored album, Universal United House of Prayer. The Steeldrivers’ Tammy Rogers plays fiddle on the track with sisters Ann and Regina McCrary providing backing vocals straight out of a Sunday morning service.


James McMurtry: We Can’t Make it Here (Buy Album)

Here’s another one I’ve posted before. This song just becomes more and more true every time I hear it. From the factory workers who’ve seen their jobs sent overseas, to the veterans living on the streets, to the pregnant teen cast aside by society… We can’t make it here anymore.


Darrell Scott: Hank Williams’ Ghost (Buy Album)

I first heard this song at the 2005 Americana Music Conference as part of a panel where new music was played for DJ’s and radio programmers as a sort of focus group. We all immediately fell in love with the song, and it received the highest ratings of anything we heard that day. No surprise it picked up this award two years later.

New Music Round-Up: Darrell Scott, The Duhks, Solas

Posted in Darrell Scott, Solas, The Duhks on August 19, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Today is a very good day for new music. I’ve already taken a look at Chris Knight’s latest release, Heart of Stone. Today also sees the release of new records from Darrell Scott and The Duhks.

First… Darrell Scott.

Darrell Scott is a songwriter. Not just any songwriter. He writes good songs… great ones even. Grammy winning songs like the Dixie Chicks’ “Long Time Gone.” Heartbreaking ballads like Patty Loveless’ “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” Triumphant, joyous anthems like Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive.” All those songs came from Scott’s pen. And don’t forget the songs Scott has kept for himself. “Hank Williams’ Ghost” was named Americana Song of the Year last year by The Americana Music Association.

It’s obvious then, that Darrell Scott knows how to write a good song. On his new album, Modern Hymns, Scott shows that he also has an ear for other people’s music as well. Hymns is a cover project in which Scott pays tribute to some of his favorite songwriters by tackling songs by Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, John Hartford, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, and Kris Kristofferson just to name a few. And, as you may expect from Scott (who is also an in-demand session player), the execution is flawless. He enlists the help of friends such as Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Casey Driessen, and long-time partner in crime Tim O’Brien (among others) to bring these songs to life.

Here are two tracks from the album. The first is Scott’s fairly faithful take on Paul Simon’s “American Tune.” On the second track, Scott pumps some energy into Joni Mitchell’s “Urge for Going” with a little help from Del McCoury.

Darrell Scott: American Tune (Buy Album)

Darrell Scott: Urge for Going (Buy Album)

This week also saw a new release from The Duhks. It’s a slightly different line-up this time around for the Canadian folk-grassers. Percussionist Scott Senior and vocalist Jessica Havey are replaced here by brother and sister duo Sarah and Christian Dugas. The Dugas siblings join Duhks veterans Leonard Podolak, Jordan McConnell, and Tania Elizabeth. The faces are different, but the sound remains largely the same. They still blend old time string band music with elements of latin percussion, folk, jazz, blues, celtic, and bluegrass. The biggest difference here is that Sarah Dugas has brought a number of original songs to the group to go with The Duhks usual mix of instrumentals, traditional tunes, and covers.

The first track here is one of Dugas’ originals, the title track “Fast Paced World.” The next two tracks really should be listened to together. Podolak’s instrumental “Ship High in Transit” blends seamlessly into the latin flavored “Magalenha.” I dare you not to dance.

The Duhks: Fast Paced World (Buy Album)

The Duhks: Ship High in Transit (Buy Album)
The Duhks: Magalenha (Buy Album)

The Duhks also appear on the new album from Ireland’s celtic supergroup Solas. And while Solas’ new album, For Love and Laughter isn’t officially released until August 26th, I thought I’d include it here.

This is, admittedly, the first I’ve ever really heard from Solas, but I find I’m enjoying it quite a bit. The track featured here, “Vital Mental Medicine/The Pullet” is an instrumental and one of two tracks featuring The Duhks.

Solas: Vital Mental Medicine/The Pullet (Buy Album)

New Knoxville Concert Series: Tennessee Shines

Posted in Darrell Scott, Jim Lauderdale, Knoxville Music, Shawn Camp, Tennessee Shines, the everybodyfields, The Steeldrivers on August 8, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

I’m a little late with this since the official announcement came last week, but I wanted to let everyone know about a new concert series that will make it’s debut later this month in Knoxville at the Bijou Theatre.

As you’ll read in a press release here, Tennessee Shines is a joint production of WDVX Radio, The Knoxville Americana Music Association, AC Entertainment, and The Bijou Theatre. Tennessee Shines will take place on the last Wednesday of every month with the first show being held August 27th. The format will be similar to the WDVX Tenth Anniversary Party that took place at the Bijou last October (that was, in fact, a test run for the new series) with several artists taking the stage for a two hour show. Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale will tie the whole thing together by serving as host. Lauderdale will also perform a song or two at each show.

The line-up for the premiere show includes the everybodyfields, The Steeldrivers, Shawn Camp, and Darrell Scott. Quite a powerful group.

the everybodyfields is a band, primarily composed of songwriters Sam Quinn and Jill Andrews, that was formed in Johnson City, TN, but now makes its base in Knoxville. The music of Quinn and Andrews is hard to classify, but contains elements of classic country, alt-country, and indie-folk to create a lush backdrop for the duo’s heavenly harmonies and often melancholy lyrics. Quinn and Andrews are past winners of the Chris Austin songwriting contest at Merlefest, and their latest batch of songs on 2007’s Nothing is OK is among the most ambitious in their catalogue.

The Steeldrivers have been written about before in this space (here), but not enough can be said about how this relatively new band has taken the Americana and Bluegrass worlds by storm over the past year. These Nashville veterans have all paid their dues as contract songwriters and studio players for some of the biggest acts in country music. Now, they’ve stepped out of the shadows to forge their own style of blues laced bluegrass and garner quite a following along the way. The Steeldrivers are nominated for Best New/Emerging Artist at this year’s Americana Honors and Awards Show.

Shawn Camp is another talented performer and songwriter who can convincingly pull off any range of styles from bluegrass to classic country to roots rock and just about anything else in between. His songs have been recorded by Del McCoury, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Patty Loveless, and many others. Josh Turner recently scored a number one country hit with Camp’s “Would You Go With Me.”

Darrell Scott, like Camp, is one of those brilliant songwriters that can turn out hit after hit on country radio without compromising the song itself. His songs have been recorded by The Dixie Chicks (the Grammy winning “Long Time Gone”), Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Guy Clark, and others. Scott is a tremendous performer in his own rite as well. His song, “Hank Williams’ Ghost,” was named Song of the Year by the Americana Music Association last year, and his new album, Modern Hymns, is set for release August 19th… just in time for the Tennessee Shines show. You can listen to some of the songs from Scott’s new album on his myspace page.

Of course, the whole thing is hosted by the incomparable Jim Lauderdale. He’s a Grammy winner. He’s a terrific musician, and a prolific songwriter (four new albums since 2006). He’s equally comfortable in any number of musical styles including bluegrass, country, pop, blues, rockabilly… you name it. He’s the host of the Americana Music Honors and Awards Show. Now he’s the host of Tennessee Shines every month at the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville.

The shows will be broadcast live on WDVX with eyes on syndication in the future as well. More information can be found at and Tickets can be found online at

Here’s a little taste of all the artists who will be appearing at the first Tennessee Shines show August 27th.

the everybodyfields: Aeroplane (Buy Album)
The Steeldrivers: East Kentucky Home (Buy Album)
Shawn Camp: Will You Go With Me (Buy Album)
Darrell Scott: Hank Williams’ Ghost (Buy Album)
Jim Lauderdale: Honky Tonk Mood Again (Buy Album)

If I may borrow a phrase from Jim Lauderdale… “Now that’s Americana!”