Daryl Wayne Dasher is undeniably a child of the old school.
His music is certainly of the traditional country mindset, even down to the
voice, with sounds strangely raw and grinding compared to the smooth edited
vocals of modern country singers. Listening could take you back to a simpler,
more authentic time in the history of country music, with Daryl’s glaringly
honest emotion being conveyed in tracks such as ‘Soldier’ (admitting he’d
rather the war was over so he could just go home). There are a multitude of
musical influences on display too, from mainstream country of the 1960s and
1970s (‘Hello Sky!’, ‘I’ve Tried (I’m Dry)’, ‘What Does It Mean’) to bluegrass
(‘Ride Along’, ‘Mountains of Montana’). Overall Daryl constructs a
long-disappeared nostalgic musical landscape, peppered with introspective
musings and heart-breaking laments, with a firm traditional structure that
would put other contemporary artists’ claim to tradition to shame.
His sound is mature and intelligent; the album comes to a
close on the words “love yourself, love each other, just leave the rest alone”,
a piece of advice that many could do with taking on board. For those amongst us
who struggle with mainstream country of the 21st century, longing
for something with more twang, truth, and a real message, Daryl Wayne Dasher is
the perfect antidote. The songs on ‘great big sky’ evoke space, freedom, and
the South without resorting to the now-common stereotypes and pretenses of ‘country’. That makes the
title of this record decidedly appropriate, tracks like the sweet-sounding ‘Take
You Home’ and the blues-infused ‘Sun’ complimenting the upcoming hot and sunny weather,
yet being versatile enough to be enjoyable all year round.
This is an impressive release that is filled with great
tracks from start to end, gentle but raw, and including a personal favorite of mine ‘Again’,
sonically beautiful (and with a short electric guitar solo that is a surprising
yet welcome addition) but also showcasing Daryl’s storytelling abilities. ‘great
big sky’ is sure to put him on the map, and begs listening over and over again.
"This was all about journeying into new adventures," says Daryl.
"This is the first album I produced and engineered, and I learned how to
play mandolin and harmonica for this project." Well we’re certainly glad