Country California Review: We're Usually A Lot Better Than This
The Academy has spoken: Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott are folk-country soul brothers. Featuring the same easy camaraderie and playful celebration of shared roots as their Grammy-nominated 2000 album Real Time, We’re Usually a Lot Better Than Thiscaptures the best of two live benefit shows performed by the duo in 2005 and 2006. Like their previous work, it’s a study in artful simplicity, a reminder of what’s possible with two voices and a handful of stringed instruments when the songs and talent are there. In fact, a stunning a cappella rendering of Hank Williams’ “House of Gold” suggests that even instruments might be optional. The track list mixes a bit of Real Time – including Scott’s “With a Memory Like Mine” and “Long Time Gone” – with new covers of Gordon Lightfoot, Lefty Frizzell, Townes Van Zandt, and Keith Whitley. In the true spirit of collaboration, the artists avoid following any past recordings (including their own) too exactly, freeing themselves to ride waves of in-the-moment interplay straight toward the emotional core of each song. Without all the right instincts and an almost telepathic grasp of where the other guy is going next, it would be a recipe for disaster. But O’Brien and Scott are nothing if not attuned. That these two masters of the down-home acoustic conclude with a song they wrote together and somehow managed to place on a 10x platinum album by a certain Oklahoman named Garth seems an encouraging sign. Maybe honest and true still have a chance, after all.
Country California Review, October 2012 Back
"A beautiful voice adrift in heartfelt song."|
~ Robert Plant
"Scott picks and slides his way through the songs with considerable finesse…as good as the musicianship is, and good is certainly an understatement, they are great - the songwriting is better."
"Scott's rich voice turns every lyric - about love, loss, work, hanging out, and more love - into nuggets of wisdom."
~ Acoustic Guitar
“His playing is unreal. He’s just limitless in his approach and knowledge of instruments.”
~ Sam Bush
is one of the great writers of our time. He brings a complete package
through perfectly crafted lyrics, groove and melody. When you listen to
his songs you can tell he's lived them."
~ The Dixie Chicks
Scott's music is equal parts talent and heart, soul and grace, power
and poetry, charm and wit, funk and grit... all in service of the
better parts of humanity. Darrell Scott is scary good. Listen and
learn. I'm a huge fan."
~ Rodney Crowell
"This album is so good. This album is soooo good."
~ Alison Krauss
start to finish, "Theater of the Unheard" is an amazing journey, a
glimpse into the musical being that is Darrell Scott. Darrell is
clearly at the top of his game as a writer, instrumentalist, singer and
producer. Nobody else can do what he does."
~ Nick Forster - E Town
may sound way over the top folks, but for me I feel this strong about
this piece of music. Theatre of the Unheard has impacted me in the same
way Joni Mitchell's "Court and Spark", Miles Davis' "Sketches of
Spain", or The Beatles "Revolver" records did upon initial listening. I
think that "Theater of the Unheard" is that important of a record, I
~ John Cowan
"Darrell Scott is one of my all time favorite Americana heroes. I love everything that he's ever put out."
~ Mattson Rainer, PD, KNBT
approach is as much rock as folk or country. Yet, the songs have a
down-to-earth feel that would make them successful in any genre. From
early childhood, we're drawn to stories with heart. It's good to have a
songwriter who understands that."
~ Wayne Bledsoe - News Sentinel / Knight Ridder
is one of those so-talented-you-want-to-smack-him guys, as he’s among
our town’s best singers, best songwriters and best instrumentalists."
~ The Tennessean
"In a city full of great songwriters, Darrell Scott's track record easily places him in the upper echelon."
~ Ron Wynn - The City Paper
"Genius. Pure, unadulterated genius. No one writes better right now than Darrell Scott... "
~ Michael Clark - The Loafer
"You can’t be unsung forever – not if you have anything near the vocal, manual and literary firepower of Darrell Scott."
~ Nathaniel Miller - Durango Herald
got one of the most soulful voices in Nashville (think Little Feat's
Lowell George meets James Taylor) and he attracts the finest sidemen."
~ Craig Havighurst - The Tennessean