Darrell Scott – Jaroso

Album Review | Full Light Records | Review by Allan Wilkinson

“Come on in… grab a chair wherever you may” Darrell Scott urges by way of an invitation to this very intimate PA free concert in a small adobe church in the village of Jaroso in south central Colorado.  Just one look at the cover shot and we know that it must be a small but intimate congregation.  Having shared rather larger stages in the past with such as Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Brittany Howard and one or two blokes as well, notably Robert Plant, Darrell Scott is no stranger to stage craft and holds a pretty convincing rapport with his audiences.

Just a couple of stage mikes and one or two for the audience, the recording is as near to completely acoustic as it gets, which adds to the experience; you really do get a sense of the occasion.  Accompanying himself on acoustic guitar, banjo and occasionally nothing at all, Scott’s warm voice is as natural as can be expected, with one or two moments that would have been needlessly ‘corrected’ in a studio recording.  The set includes songs that Scott refers to as “old, new, borrowed and blue”, notably “There’s a Stone Around My Belly”, “Life is Cheap” and Hoyt Axton’s “Evangelina”.  If the audience pays attention throughout “Who Carried You”, a Malcolm Holcombe song, simply introduced as a “Malcolm song”, then it becomes more animated during the choruses of “On Life’s Other Side” and the coda to “Colorado”, for which the crickets join the congregation.  The CD concludes with an unconnected bonus track, “A Satisfied Mind” from an entirely different concert, with a markedly larger audience and joined on stage by Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller and the aforementioned Led Zep front man.