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Darrell Scott and Danny Thompson

Americana Conference (continued)

That closing show by Darrell Scott's band was mindbending. Darrell played a lot of Telecaster, which I'd not seen before, I've always seen him playing acoustic. The man is a monstrous guitar player, and improvises with a fearless and powerful fluidity. Not just notes, but grooves come flying off his fingers. And he doesn't just stick to the stuff that's right under his hands, he's going for it on every solo.

It was amazing the way he was playing pretty husky volume-wise and yet it worked impeccably with Danny Thompson's mic'd double bass, I'd never seen that work before. Thompson is such a powerful virtuoso, you could hear every note over the electric guitar and the tasty drums of Kenny Malone. It was subtle in many ways, but they were definitely throwing down hard. Dan Dugmore worked his singular magic on pedal steel, and stood up to take some beautifully out there guitar solos, that cat's a wild card. And Suzi Ragsdale sang beautiful backups and played some good accordion. (Barefoot, which I always enjoy.)

Suzi Ragsdale 

But the show was like I thought music was supposed to be. Like The Band, like Little Feat, it had that flavor. I've got a hunch that Darrell Scott's best work is still ahead of him, and that he's going to make a number of incredible, landmark records in the years to come. (Check out the clips from his latest album, Theater of the Unheard, reviewed in this issue.)  continue