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Darrell Scott

Long Ride Home – 2012 (Full Light)

Reviewed by Rick Bell

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CDs by Darrell Scott

P>Darrell Scott has penned songs for some of country's biggest stars, so no doubt there's a line queuing up at his studio door to see what's available on his new self-produced record. Brad Paisley already laid claim to Scott's Out in the Parking Lot, but hearing Scott and Texas troubadour Guy Clark sing and strum this one, you are immediately transported to a dusty back-road Texas bar. Still, there's plenty left on this 16-song gem, as Scott sings like an love-struck schoolboy on You're Everything I Wanted Love to Be yet laments his lonely, bleak existence on It Must Be Sunday.

Still Got a Ways to Go is a bluesy, twisted soul-searcher, No Love in Arkansas (The Ring) has the haunting echo of Scott's You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive (which was recorded by Patty Loveless, among others). The impossibility of a distant love between a woman and her drifting man comes to life on Candle for a Cowboy then Scott turns around as if it's part II and sings the autobiographical Every Road Leads Back to You.

Lost in song after song of Scott's take on the human condition is his vocals - sometimes breathless, other times growling and bluesy, occasionally offering a verbal wink and nod, but one that's always steady and inviting. Other performers will soon cover a handful of these songs, but none will sing them quite like the guy who wrote them.