Triple Played: Smith one of favorite songwriters
In case you didn’t know by now, Darden Smith will play Friday night, Sept. 13, at the Roper Ballroom, and tickets are still available.
And, I have reliable information that Smith will showcase his newest release, “Love Calling,” at the concert.
Personally, I am very excited for this show for many reasons. Smith is absolutely one of my favorite songwriters, one whom I have had the pleasure of listening to since 1986.
It is always great to spend a little “precious time” with Smith. He truly is one of the friendliest and most pleasant artists I have had the pleasure to spend time with. His wit is sharp as a tack. His shows are always top notch and his fans are extremely loyal.
“Love Calling” is Smith’s 12th studio album since 1986. There are 11 regular tracks and two bonus tracks on the CD. There is a live version of “Love Calling” and a live cover of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “I Say A Little Prayer.” Four of the songs were written by Smith alone and seven were co-written with Radney Foster, Harley Allen, Gary Nicholson, Jay Clementi and Jack Ingram. Providing vocal support are Shawn Colvin, Foster, Jessi Alexander and John Randall Stewart.
“Love Calling” reminds me a lot of “Little Victories,” and I think it could very well be Smith’s most personal recording to date. When you open the CD, the inside cover states: “Open your mind and you will hear Love Calling.”
It is also pretty obvious to me from repeated listening that Smith is happy and in a loving relationship, or at least he was when he wrote these songs.
“Love Calling” is recorded with the classic understated Smith delivery that sometimes borders on whispering. Don’t let that fool you as you must listen to his lyrics to really grasp the message.
“Love Calling” opens with the very touching “Angel Flight,” a song co-written with Foster after Smith spent time in a military hospital in Germany. Foster recorded the song for his 2009 release, “Revival.” This is the first time Smith has recorded it.
“Angel Flight” inspired Smith to create a program called SongwritingWith: Soldiers, which has become popular. You can find information on this and much more at dardensmith.com.
“Seven Wonders” is the second song on the CD and has these lines: “I can tell you she’s no average ordinary girl./ She’s the Seven Wonders of my world.”
The beautiful and longing “Mine Till Morning,” is up next. Also co-written with Foster, with backing vocals from Colvin, it reminds me of the Carole King, Gerry Goffin classic “Will You Love Me Tomorrow.”
“Better Now,” co-written with Foster, is another song about Smith’s new found love.
“Favorite Way” and title-song “Love Calling” come next, followed by “Distracted” with these lines: “Just when I thought I had love figured out. You come waltzing in casting doubt. I should walk away. But my feet can’t touch the ground. You took my heart, spun it around.”
Go see Smith Friday night and pick up “Love Calling”
The show will start at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $25 and are available at Triple Play Records until 7 p.m., at Roper Music until 6 p.m. and at the door.