Darden Smith

Everything (Compass)

Texas Platters

Lone Star song whisperers (octogenarians Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson), their inheritors (septuagenarians Terry Allen, Butch Hancock, Billy Joe Shaver), and great grand inheritors (sexagenarians Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen) left a palpable void for the half-century set: Slaid Cleaves, Bruce Robison, Darden Smith. Out of the lot, the longtime local latter from the East Texas town of Brenham still falls between the singer-songwriter cracks. Smith's 15th release does Everything that career peaks including Little Victories (1993), Sunflower (2002), and previous LP Love Calling (2013) accomplished, only too much so. Opener "Blessings" begins with a Bruce Hornsby piano lope, and "Against the Grain" in the third spot ranks among the singer's best, trademarked by gentle acoustic guitar, soft percussion, and a tender delivery. Between them, "Firefly" pulls off a perfect romantic metaphor, but that same delivery, tempo, and percussion flatlines – lethargic – while "Love Will Win the War" ("hate might win the battle, but ...") is simply trite. "Soul Searching," "Carousel" despite Kelly Willis' sweet harmony, and closer "Can You See the Moon" flounder as well, moving past peaceful to listless.

**

READ MORE
More Darden Smith
Texas Platters
Darden Smith
Love Calling (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, Aug. 9, 2013

Off the Record
Off the Record
Electric Lounge's second act on the Eastside, catching up with Scratch Acid and Austin's other 'Voice' contestants

Austin Powell, Sept. 9, 2011

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Matthew Logan Vasquez
Does What He Wants (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, April 28, 2017

Texas Platters
Seela
Track You Down (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, April 28, 2017

More by Raoul Hernandez
I Love You, Jimmy
I Love You, Jimmy
Nearly four-hour LaFave convergence petitions a greater good

May 19, 2017

Tom Petty Soaks in 40
Tom Petty Soaks in 40
Heartbreaker’s biggest surprise was a show-stealing Gary Clark Jr.

May 3, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Darden Smith

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)