Two nights of great music in Sparta, NC June 26 and 27, 2020
Friday | June 26, 2020 | 8pm
There is an absence of light, before the light. A simple bare stage in the waning gloaming, and I can see Darrell make his way to a lone microphone. He is here to shine that light on matters of the heart─the grit, grease, gristle, and most importantly, the marrow beneath the breastbone.
And what is the path that shapes us as we go along, those true defining moments without which we would be hollow versions of our current selves? For Darrell, it was coming from a musical family with a father who had him smitten with guitars by the age of 4, alongside a brother who played Jerry Reed style as well. From there, things only ramped up with literature and poetry endeavors while a student at Tufts University, along with playing his way through life. This would never change.
When those hands of his make their way across the strings and fretboard, there is palpable loss of air in the theater, as the listeners, our feet and bodies firmly on the ground, watch his sonic wings take him upwards in flight, and realize we are as along for the ride through the skies as he is. Inevitably, to feel this being channeled, privy to this shared physical space, is both heady and inspiring. Small are the number of things in life which allow us to be so deeply immersed and mesmerized by a moment that we are unable to even be aware of the rest of the world humming and whirring away outside. This is Darrell Scott terra firma, where he takes us, with these otherworldly gifts. The wordsmithing and craftsmanship of the songs that become timeless─although a lost cause for many who try to write them─ is far from a dying art, thanks to Darrell’s work. He is more so existing creatively at levels we just don’t fathom anymore. He mines and cultivates the everyday moment, taking the rote, menial, mundane, and allowing it to be surreal, ever poignant, and candidly honest, lilting, blooming, and resonating. The words he fosters allow us to make sense of the world, what is at stake here, and our place in it. And ultimately, Darrell knows the sole truth of life is that love is all that matters, that we don’t always get it right, but that’s the instinctive and requisite circuitous allure of things, why we forever chase it, and why it is held sacred.
In 2017 and 2018 Darrell opened for and performing with the Zac Brown Band, these days find him roaming his Tennessee wilderness acreage hiking along the small river, playing music, or sharing each day with the woman he loves, also an artist in her own right. He often leads songwriting workshops to help people tell their own truths with their stories, and is as busy as always writing, producing, performing, and just plain fully immersing himself at the hips in life.
If one really opens their eyes and sees how incomparably varied in surreal depth and breadth the musical territory he is both delving into and setting the high water mark with, it leaves the rest in a bewildered wash of gravel road dust and fading taillights. For good luck finding that two-legged soul who walks around among us who can keep up with him─ain’t gonna happen. ~Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate
The Alleghany Arts Council is very pleased to offer the opportunity to experience Darrell as part of the 6th annual Backwoods Beat Music Festival in the intimate listening room of Muddy Creek Music Hall in Sparta NC.
Saturday | June 27, 2020 | 8pm
Paul Thorn has created an innovative and impressive career, pleasing crowds with his muscular brand of roots music – bluesy, rocking and thoroughly Southern American, yet also speaking universal truths. He’s also appeared on major television shows such as Late Night with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live, been the subject of numerous National Public Radio (NPR) features and charted multiple times on the Billboard Top 100 and Americana Radio Charts.
Among those who value originality, inspiration, eccentricity and character – as well as talent that hovers somewhere on the outskirts of genius, the story of Paul Thorn is already familiar. Raised in Tupelo, Mississippi, among the same spirits (and some of the actual people) who nurtured the young Elvis generations before, Paul Thorn has rambled down back roads and jumped out of airplanes, worked for years in a furniture factory, battled four-time world champion boxer Roberto Duran on national television, signed with and been dropped by a major label, performed [on stages with Bonnie Raitt, Mark Knopfler, Sting, and John Prine among many others, and made some of the most emotionally restless yet fully accessible music of our time.
In 2018, Paul released an album titled Don’t Let the Devil Ride, which he describes as “the culmination of my whole life in music, coming back to my roots.” It marks his first time recording gospel music – featuring guests such as the Blind Boys of Alabama, the McCrary Sisters, and Preservation Hall Horns – and his creation of a body of strikingly original songs that address the foibles of human relationships without necessarily favoring the sacred over the profane.
The Alleghany Arts Council is very pleased to offer the opportunity to experience Paul in a solo performance as part of the 6th annual Backwoods Beat Music Festival in the intimate listening room of Muddy Creek Music Hall in Sparta, NC.
Backwoods Beat Music Festival is made possible by the generosity of our sponsors.