May Festival Line Up
Darrell has collaborated with Steve Earle, Sam Bush, Emmylou Harris, John Cowan, Verlon Thompson, Guy Clark, Tim O'Brien, Kate Rusby, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Mary Gauthier, and many others. His unique music has attracted a growing fanbase, and he tours regularly with his own band. His latest album, Crooked Road, was released May 25, 2010. In early 2005, Scott's Theatre Of The Unheard won in The 4th Annual Independent Music Awards for Album of the Year. He won the 2007 Song of the Year award from the Americana Music Association for his song "Hank William's Ghost" which appears on his album The Invisible Man released in 2006. In 2010, he was announced as part of the Band of Joy, alongside Robert Plant, credited as performing vocals, mandolin, guitar, accordion, pedal, lap steel and banjo. In 2010, Brad Paisley's cover of the song "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive" was the closing song played on the TV drama Justified during the final scene of the final episode of the first season. It was used again in the final episode of the second season. In January 2011, his album A Crooked Road won the award for the Country Album category from The 10th Annual Independent Music Awards.
In Tim O’Brien’s music, things come together. The uncanny intersection of traditional and contemporary elements in his songwriting, his tireless dedication to a vast and still-expanding array of instruments, and his ongoing commitment to place himself in as many unique and challenging musical scenarios as possible has made him a key figure in today’s thriving roots music scene – and well beyond it. O’Brien’s presence – be it as a bandleader, songwriter, mentor, instrumentalist, or vocalist – has been strongly felt not only in his own rich music, but in the many recordings of his songs by such artists as the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, Dierks Bentley, Nickel Creek, Kathy Mattea,the New Grass Revival, and the Seldom Scene, and in his recorded collaborations with Steve Martin, the Chieftains, and innumerable others. Most recently, O’Brien has been performing before capacity crowds in the band of Mark Knopfler, who described O’Brien as “a master of American folk music, Irish music, Scottish music – it doesn't matter; a fine songwriter and one of my favorite singers.”
In conversation and in public, Mary Gauthier comes off as a practical, no-nonsense woman. Stoic, even. Which wouldn’t seem unusual, except for the fact that her songs carry so much emotional punch, they can leave you staggering. She has a way of burrowing into that hole so many of us carry inside our souls, and emerging with universal truths that show we aren’t so alone after all. Gauthier knows where our exposed nerve endings lie because she’s probed her own so deeply, finally learning to unlock the fear and loneliness that controlled her escape-seeking trajectory for so long before songwriting — and the sobriety that drew it forth at age 35 — gave her a steadier flight path. But even though her six albums have received countless accolades (2005’s Mercy Now earned her the Americana Music Association’s New/Emerging Artist of the Year title, and 2011’s The Foundling was named the No. 3 Record of the Year by the L.A. Times), , Gauthier felt she needed to rack up her pilot hours, so to speak, before she could hit another major milestone: recording a live album. When she was ready, she captured Live at Blue Rock at a concert at the Blue Rock Artist Ranch and Studio in Wimberley, Texas, outside of Austin.
Kevin Welch left his Oklahoma home at age 17 to pursue a life in music, settling in Nashville in 1978 after years of traveling. He soon signed on as a staff writer at Sony/Tree, over the decade to follow authoring songs for artists including Waylon Jennings, Roger Miller, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Skaggs, and the Highwaymen; Welch's self-titled solo debut finally appeared on Reprise in 1990, followed two years later by the acclaimed Western Beat. Country radio remained resistant to his downbeat, acoustic style, however, and in 1995 he teamed with fellow Nashville renegades Kieran Kane, Tammy Rogers, and Harry Stinson to form his own independent label, Dead Reckoning. Welch's first album for the label, Life Down Here on Earth, followed soon after, and in 1999 he returned with Beneath My Wheels. Between 1999 and 2001, Welch recorded the Millionaire album with friends from Denmark called the Danes, and released it in the U.S. on Dead Reckoning.
Formed out of Nashville’s thriving independent music scene, the Farewell Drifters are known for their 60’s era-inspired harmonies and adventurous musical energy. They have crafted a seamless blend of earthy foot-stomping folk rock and intellectual pop with melodic songs that openly explore the brightest and darkest corners of life with raw intensity. The Farewell Drifters have been featured by some of the nation’s leading music press including NPR, CMT.com, Paste Magazine, and American Songwriter, and in addition to the critical praise, their past two albums have charted on Billboard and the Americana Radio Chart.
Born and raised in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina, Malcolm Holcombe is being recognized by the contemporary U.S and European folk/americana community as a performer of national stature, and an uncommonly unique guitarist/vocalist about whom Rolling Stone Magazine says: "Haunted country, acoustic blues and rugged folk all meet here.
Bullington's work draws life-breath from the earth, rivers, sky and people of Montana,” says Rodney Crowell, the Nashville songwriting legend who also plays guitar and performs a duet on Bullington’s second CD, White Sulphur Springs. “In the same way Guy Clark's jeweler's vision captures the eloquent essence of Texas culture without being regional, Ben frames the stillness of Montana winters, the strength of her women and the spiritual bankruptcy of no-account politicians with disarming ease. Plus, the guy's a pretty damn good doctor for a songwriter.
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