Wayne Scott has passed

Dammit. If you are not familiar with Wayne Scott, you should be. He was the father of Darrell and was possibly the biggest musical influence on Darrell Scott. He debut album, which was released when he was into his 70s, was and is a masterful production. I spoke to Darrell once about his father and he detailed how important his father’s love for music- how his environment was saturated with country music- was in fueling a passion for picking, singing and songwriting. Wayne Scott died this week in Kentucky following a car accident. News clip at http://www.wbir.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1283901815001&odyssey=mod|tvideo|article

In the wake of the release of This Weary Way in 2005, I caught a great, understated set by Wayne Scott at IBMA. It was a pleasure to witness and if my failing memory serves, Guy Clark joined Wayne and Darrell on stage. My review of This Weary Way from 2005 is posted below- Gold In A Way:

Wayne Scott This Weary Way Full Light Records Review written for Bluegrass Now- slight revisions

Few artists are recording at age 71 with fewer making their recording debut at this age, but that is how the press bio of Wayne Scott, father of respected roots songwriter and musician Darrell (who appears throughout this delightful recording,) begins.  Not a bluegrass album in any way, the disc is nonetheless of interest to the bluegrass community not only because of his son’s recent involvement with Tim O’Brien and others, but also because of the pedigree of those musicians charged with bringing to fruition Scott’s musical dream.

Names familiar to all fans of Darrell Scott and Tim O’Brien- including Dirk Powell, Kenny Malone, Dennis Crouch, and Casey Driesen- make multiple instrumental appearances, while O’Brien contributes both harmony vocals and a smattering of mandolin.  Among the other musical guests is the legendary Guy Clark, dueting with Wayne Scott on the album’s lead track, “It’s The Whiskey That Eases The Pain;” frequent Clark collaborators Verlon Thompson and Suzi Ragsdale also drop in on the proceedings. 

With such an impressive list of participants, one is assured of a quality production; what may be surprising to the uninitiated is the quality of the senior Scott’s lyrics, melodies, and voice.

Best known within bluegrass circles as co-writer (with Darrell) of Mountain Heart’s popular “With A Memory Like Mine,” Wayne Scott’s talents have frequently been cited by Darrell in live performance and print.  Comprised of 11 powerfully written originals and a pair of familiar covers, This Weary Way fulfils the son’s dream of bringing his father’s talents to the wider music community.  If John Stewart and Billy Joe Shaver albums are in your collection, This Weary Way will also likely become a favorite. 

With half the performances living room takes of relaxed familiarity, the reflective and regret-filled “Sunday With My Son,” “It’s The Whiskey That Eases The Pain,” and “In The Mountains,” which does have a bit of a bluegrass vibe to it, serve as three highlights within a collection of inspired writing, musicianship, and singing. Well worth searching out.

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