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An Acoustic Solo Evening with Darrell Scott

Darrell Scott

Thirty years ago, when he was performing country, folk and Americana music as a professional sideman and songwriter, Darrell Scott probably never imagined that he’d become a bandmate with former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant. But Scott joined Plant’s recent roots-music project, Band of Joy, in 2010 after songwriter Buddy Miller and vocalist Patty Griffin signed on to helped Plant form a backing band. Scott played bits of banjo, mandolin, pedal steel and acoustic guitar on the group’s 2010 self-titled album (released on the Rounder label). Miller had recently co-produced Plant’s Raising Sand, a duet album with vocalist Alison Krauss, and he encouraged Scott to join the new collaboration.

While Band of Joy introduced Scott’s string skills and stylings to a new audience of hardcore Zep fans, he was already well established in the folk and alt-country scene as a revered veteran musician. Born in 1959 into a Scots-Irish family of Kentucky tobacco farmers and coal miners, Scott listen to the Celtic folk music of his older relatives and the popular country music of the Grand Ole Opry when he was growing up in Indiana and California. He started playing guitar at the age of seven. By his college years at Tufts University, he was well on his way to becoming a professional songwriter and studio musician.

Scott settled in Nashville in the 1990s. Through the years, he recorded with countless country and bluegrass acts, and he wrote songs for Suzy Bogguss, Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Garth Brooks, Trace Adkins and many others. His tune “Long Time Gone†was a hit for the Dixie Chicks and was nominated in 2003 for a “Best Country Song†Grammy.

Scott makes a stop in Athens this week in support of his seventh solo studio album, Long Ride Home, which was released on the Full Light label in October. The songwriter arranged the new collection as a tribute to the music of his childhood. Guest players include Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell, Patty Griffin and Tim O’Brien. Scott’s nicely aged voice and skillful guitar and steel technique are at the heart of it all.