A Crooked Road
[Full Lights 2 CD Set (2010)]
Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Darrell Scott has certainly made the rounds, working in the bands of an amazing assortment of folks including Tim O’Brien, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Steve Earle and, most recently, Robert Plant’s Band of Joy. A Crooked Road is a sprawling autobiographical song cycle in which Scott takes a frank appraisal of the years on the road and how it has crafted his life.
The first half of the set is mostly pretty downbeat, including the folky title tune and the bleak “Day Before Thanksgiving.” Things perk up a bit for “A Father’s Song,” which starts by lamenting all the times Scott missed spending time with his kids and ends with them on tour with him. Elsewhere, he seeks healing in “Colorado,” forgiveness in the stark “Where the Spirit Meets the Bone,” and ultimately redemption for his “Beggar’s Heart.” Scott plays almost all of the instruments on the disc, and the narrative songs are intercut with instrumental interludes like the perky “Pester Lester.”
Although A Crooked Road could probably have been edited somewhat to no ill effect, the combination of Scott’s evocative writing, his resonant, gravelly voice, and his instrumental wizardry make for a winning blend.
—Michael Parrish (San Jose, CA)