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Theatre of the Unheard

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Album Review

It's easy to lump Darrell Scott with other singer/songwriters. His songs certainly give the impression that he's writing out of personal experience, but his tendency to paint with large brush strokes gives his material universal appeal. Theatre of the Unheard is Scott's third album and his first since leaving Sugar Hill. While the voice and subject matter remain familiar here, the arrangements and production have been beefed up considerably. "Uncle Lloyd" and "Day After Day" mine family history, a favorite Scott theme, recalling poignant and painful memories colored by lots of booze. "6 O'Clock in the Morning" recalls "There Ain't No Easy Way" from Real Time with Tim O'Brien, exploring the tragedy of a world corrupted by war, hunger, and constant toil. These familiar elements are joined by a sonically charged soundscape that leans closer to Southern rock than the folk/folk-rock of Scott's first two albums. "Miracle of Living" includes horns, background singers, slide guitars, and just about everything in the studio's kitchen sink. This bigger sound works fairly well on the opener, "East of Gary," and the funky "I Wanna Be Free," and Scott's soulful vocals could probably cut through a heavy metal band. The production on much of Theatre of the Unheard, however, is a bit bombastic. The arrangements of pieces like "River Take Me" — with drums, electric guitars, organs, and a handful of background singers — give the impression that Scott's warming up for a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute. This excess makes it difficult to sort out the quality of the songs. Fans of Scott's previous albums will nonetheless want to pick up a copy for songs like "6 O'Clock in the Morning" and the instrumental "Alton Air." ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi

Biography

Born: August 6, 1959 in London, KY

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Darrell Scott became one of the more successful country songwriters of the late '90s and early 2000s, placing songs with the biggest names in country music, including several major chart hits. Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and many others recorded his work. At the same time, he worked consistently as a studio musician and released a series of his own solo albums. The son of musician Wayne Scott, James Darrell Scott was born August 6, 1959, on a tobacco farm in London, Kentucky,...
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Theatre of the Unheard, Darrell Scott
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