Texas songwriter, musician and innovator Darden Smith will perform for one night at the Odeon theater in Mason, Texas Saturday May 26 at 7:00 PM. Reservations are $15 per person.
Blessed with a gift of musical poetry, artistic musicianship and penetrating vocals Darden Smith has managed to elude significant attention in his twenty year career. His music is subtle and softer yet his articulate observations of life are compelling and convincing. Through his musical evolution the one thing that remains constant is quality.
His dozen critically acclaimed albums, recorded from New York to Nashville and London to Los Angeles, weave together rock, pop, country, folk and Americana influences with the musical roots of his home state of Texas.
He released his debut album, Native Soil, in 1986, on the Epic label featuring fellow Texans Lyle Lovett and Nanci Griffith on harmony vocals and earning accolades from All Music Guide as “a gem.” It landed him a publishing deal writing songs for Dick James Music. His major label deal with Epic was transferred to the pop division of Columbia Records, yielding Trouble No More in 1990, the album I first heard on that cold winter day in Taos. “Midnight Train” and “Frankie & Sue” drew frequent airplay and landed him a gig on the David Letterman Show. That album has remained one of my all time favorites. Three years later, Smith released Little Victories (1993), which included his Top 10 pop hit single, “Loving Arms.”
His musical accomplishments are diverse; he has composed music for dance theater, radio, and television, and he is active in the local arts scene. The Austin Symphony commissioned “Grand Motion” from him in 1999, and “Marathon,” a theatrical work co-written with fellow Austinite Jesse Sublett was produced by the University of Texas Performing arts Center in 2008.
Through his work with the “Be An Artist Program” which he formed in 2003, Smith was asked in May 2008 to play at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, near Ramstein Air Base in Germany. American soldiers wounded in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan usually are transported to Landstuhl, the largest American hospital outside the United States.
Back in Austin, Darden began spending time with members of the Texas Army National Guard, and became inspired with the idea for “Angel Flight”, a song about bringing home soldiers killed in the line of duty, which he wrote with his longtime friend Radney Foster.
Smith knew he wanted to find some way to start giving back to the people who serve our country. The soldiers – men and women from all four branches of the U.S. military – had stories to tell, and often no outlet to express them. So, with a guitar in hand and open minds and ears, Darden and our soldiers began to put words and music to some of what they’d been through.
Come to the Odeon theater Saturday May 26 at 7:00 PM and listen to the man and his music. Reservations are $15 a person and should be made in advance. Make advance reservations by sending your $15 per person donation to Concert, P.O. Box 1599 Mason, Texas 76856 by May 21. Make checks payable to the Odeon Preservation Association. For more information or reservations please call Dennis or Kay Evans at 325 347 6781 or email at Concerts@TheOdeonTheater.com. Reservations are not confirmed until they have been paid in advance. Concessions will also be open and you may bring your favorite beverage.