Album review: "Long Ride Home"
By - Geoffrey Himes
Friday, Mar. 9, 2012
Darrell Scott has penned modern-country hits for the likes of Faith Hill and the
Dixie Chicks and is a member of Robert Plant's Band of Joy, but he was schooled in traditional country by his father, the late Kentucky roadhouse singer Wayne Scott. Darrell revisits his daddy's lessons on his terrific new album, "Long Ride Home."
Father and son sing on two songs, "The Country Boy" and "You're Everything I Wanted Love to Be," which they wrote in 1975 when Darrell was 16. They are joined by two legendary Nashville session players from that era: pianist Hargus "Pig" Robbins and harmonica player Charlie McCoy. Darrell also duets with Guy Clark, his co-writer on "Out in the Parking Lot"; they lend the song a melancholy twinge that Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson's popular version missed.
The best songs - "Trying Not to Love You," "Candle for a Cowboy" and "Too Close for Comfort" - all tackle the same theme: the eternal struggle between marriage vows and sexual temptation. Thousands of country songs have dealt with that subject, but few writers have set the scene as vividly as Scott nor crawled as deeply inside the head of someone weighing immediate gratification vs. long-term consequences.
Scott's melodies take such surprising turns and his vocals tie the words to the tune so seamlessly that it's clear why country stars want to follow in his footsteps. And his arrangements are so quirky and understated that it's no surprise that he has become an Americana role model as well.