One surreal moment for singer-songwriter Darrell Scott was watching the 2016 Country Music Awards where the Dixie Chicks joined Beyonce on stage for a rousing rendition of her country tune “Daddy Lessons.” For a moment, everyone dipped into the Dixie Chicks’ 2002 hit “Long Time Gone”—a song originally written by Scott.
“It was odd to me when it happened. That was kind of a big deal,” says Scott, who will be performing at Kuumbwa on Sept 19. “I get to do my songs with whatever size megaphone I have, and then people who have a large megaphone want to say that, and off they go. They do way more than I could possibly do.”
Scott has released over a dozen records, been a “Music Row” session player for several years, and racked up several famous fans—like Brad Paisley and Faith Hill—who have covered his tunes, and occasionally made them hits. The Dixie Chicks’ version of “Long Time Gone” hit #2 on the country charts. This was never intentional on Scott’s part. He dabbled with songwriting for other musicians, but it never worked out. Instead, bigger musicians discovered him on their own and covered songs he already released on his records.
“Any time I’ve tried to sit down and write for somebody else, it sounds like a song that I wrote for somebody else. We all can tell that it’s not authentic. It’s not genuine. It’s not honest. And it sounds like more of the same,” Scott says.
During the pandemic, Scott released two records, Sings the Blues of Hank Williams and the live album Jaroso—and as he returns to the stage, he’s going to hold off any new releases for a while.
“I need to give those two records a chance at these shows,” Scott says. “I’m finding that people need music more than ever. What I’ve been seeing since June from audiences is ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe how much I missed this.’”
Darrell Scott plays at 7:30pm on Sunday, Sept. 19 at Kuumbwa Jazz Center, 320 Cedar St., Santa Cruz, $36-$50. 831-427-2227.