Masterful songwriter Darrell Scott recently released a collection of Ben Bullington’s songs.
It’s been in the neighborhood of ten years since I published my first piece in Blue Ridge Outdoors. The subject of that profile?
Over the ensuing decade, I have been lucky enough to interview Scott and regularly feature tunes from his subsequent releases here on Trail Mix. He is a rarity in the music world whose genius is evident in both his lyrical and instrumental abilities, and he continues to be one of my favorite songwriters.
For his most recent release, Darrell Scott turned to the songwriting of a good friend, Ben Bullington. Scott, based in Nashville, and Bullington, a native Virginian then living in Montana, met through a mutual friend on a camping trip – both were divorced fathers, both were writers of songs. A friendship blossomed and then, following Bullington’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, songs were shared.
Bullington died in November of 2013. One year later, Scott entered the studio to record 10 – The Songs of Ben Bullington, cutting nine tracks for the record. Scott finished off the collection of tunes for the record with “I’ve Got To Leave You Now,” a song that he recorded on his iPhone and sent to Bullington prior to his death.
Trail Mix is honored to include “I’ve Got To Leave You Now” on this month’s mix.
I recently caught up with Darrell Scott to talk about Ben Bullington, his songs, and the inspiration for this record.
BRO – What was it about Ben’s songs that sparked in you the desire to release an entire record of them?
DS – I wanted to offer a gift to Ben and his boys, and I wanted folks to hear great songs from a pure source.
BRO – Aside from your appreciation of his songwriting, what was another aspect of Ben that you admired?
DS – I admired that he did not chase the unreachable carrot of the music business and that, with one year to live, he wanted to share his songs more actively.
BRO – This month, we are featuring “I’ve Got To Leave You Now.” What did this song say to you when you heard it for the first time?
DS – I wanted to light whatever the four friends were smoking on the midnight porch and then go inside and make a midnight snack for them.
BRO – How do folks respond to Ben’s songs that have made it into your live set?
DS – Folks respond to the story of Ben and they respond to his songs, as I knew they would.
BRO – One lesson you learned from Ben that you want to share with others?
DS – Be pure in intention.
Darrell Scott, along with special guests Bill Payne, John Lowell, Tom Murphy, Kris Clone, and Joanne Gardner, will be performing songs from 10 – The Songs of Ben Bullington on Friday, June 5th, at the Ellen Theater in Bozeman, Montana. Darrell isn’t going to be spending much time on the road this year, so this could be one of few opportunities you have to hear these songs live. Grab a ticket if you are in the neighborhood!
For more information on Darrell Scott and how you might get a copy of the new record, please surf over to his website.
And make sure you take a listen to “I’ve Got To Leave You Now” on this month’s Trail Mix.