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Darrell Scott

Modern Hymns – 2008 (Appleseed)

Reviewed by J.P. Tausig

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CDs by Darrell Scott

With a title like this, the suspicion was this album would be filled with songs of praise. Instead, it's filled with songs that speak to the human condition. Known for his songwriting prowess, Darrell Scott's powerful and gritty voice gives very new and different takes on songs written by other artists. Gordon Lightfoot's All the Lovely Ladies is tightly produced with a groove. Kris Kristofferson's Out Among the Stars is a story that's riveting to listen to, complete with a choir and some very tasteful fiddle breaks.

There are country style tunes like Jesus was a Capricorn that's reminiscent of '60s protest songs, with cute lyrics and instrumentals breaks. Frisco Depot from Mickey Newbury is a powerfully delivered blues song with harmonica and guitar that makes you stop and listen.

Filled with top-notch artists like Ronnie McCoury, David Grier, Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush and Alison Krauss, this CD shows how Scott's interpretations can make familiar songs sound new. His voice is compelling and expressive, backed by tight harmonies and tasteful interpretations.

But the album may not wear well, as Scott's style is very similar song to song. There are differences, but at times they seem small and very subtle so you think you've heard the song before. But this is a very fine album for just about every acoustic music fan; and is highly recommended.