When it comes to harvesting a wide swath of American music and turning it into something singularly his own, few are more adept than Darrell Scott.
The singer, songwriter (Dixie Chicks, Sam Bush) and multi-instrumentalist’s penchant for amalgamation is in full flower on Live at the Station Inn, a 10-track set that finds Scott barreling through a mix of originals and covers with the help of fiddler Shad Cobb, bassist Bryn Davies and banjo-and-mandolin man Matt Flinner.
The intimate show – so intimate that Scott’s friend Odessa Settles chimes in on background vocals from the audience – kicks off with a rambunctious rendition of Bob Dylan’s “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)” and it don’t look back for the next hour.
Scott’s own compositions – the swampy blues of “Family Tree;” the clever wordplay of “Helen of Troy, Pa.” – sound perfectly at home next to Joni Mitchell’s “Urge for Going” and Dylan’s “Spanish is the Loving Tongue.”
Scott channels James Taylor on “The Open Door” and – given the album was recorded around Christmas last year – he gifts the tiny Nashville audience a bang-up, banjo-driven take on “Hark! The Herald Angles Sing” that suggests the holy emanates from the Bluegrass State. Following this most-religious of numbers with Kris Kristofferson’s wholly secular “Jesus Was a Capricorn,” with Settles’ lively backup vocals providing raspy counterpoint to Scott’s smoother lead, was a masterful stroke – just one of many strewn across Live at the Station Inn.