Contemporary country/folk singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist.
Born James Darrell Scott on August 6, 1959, in London, Kentucky, Darrell Scott spent his early years in East Gary, Indiana, and was playing professionally in southern California as a teenager. He later lived and worked in Toronto and then studied poetry and literature at Tufts University while living in Boston. Scott cites his main influences as having been Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Merle Haggard as well as his own father, musician Wayne Scott. The two performed together on Wayne’s 2005 recording, This Weary Way, which features biographically laced liner notes by Darrell.
Having lived in Nashville, Tennessee, since 1995, Darrell is considered a premier session virtuoso on several string instruments, and he has written several contemporary country hits. His songs—most notably one of the most often recorded contemporary songs about coal mining, “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive”—have been recorded by major country artists, including Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, Brad Paisley, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, and the Dixie Chicks. Darrell’s collaborations include recordings with Steve Earle, Sam Bush, Emmylou Harris, John Cowan, Guy Clark, Tim O’Brien, Kate Rusby, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
Darrell’s Theatre of the Unheard won the fourth Annual Independent Music Award for Album of the Year in 2005, and he received the 2007 Song of the Year Award from the Americana Music Association for his song “Hank Williams’ Ghost.” Darrell’s album A Crooked Road (2010) was dedicated to the memory of Les Paul and pays homage to Paul’s pioneering invention of multi-track recording. In 2010, Darrell toured as a member of former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant’s Band of Joy, providing instrumental backup on guitar, banjo, and pedal steel and occasional vocal support.
Cite this Entry
"Darrell Scott," Encyclopedia of Appalachia, 2018, Encyclopedia of Appalachia. 27 May 2018 <http://www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=15>
"Darrell Scott." (2018) In Encyclopedia of Appalachia, Retrieved May 27, 2018, from Encyclopedia of Appalachia: http://www.encyclopediaofappalachia.com/entry.php?rec=15