A tip of the hat to the masters
Modern Hymns (Appleseed)
ESSENTIAL "Urge for Going"
Darrell Scott attended Tufts University and once played on albums by locals John Lincoln Wright and Catie Curtis. He's better known now as a Nashville-based, Grammy-nominated songwriter for the Dixie Chicks, Garth Brooks, and Faith Hill. He's also a profoundly versatile solo act, as this new album attests. Taking a break from writing, Scott pays tribute to myriad artists who influenced him. All the songs are covers and are done with a prayerful flair that befits the title "Modern Hymns" while also reminding listeners of k.d. lang's similarly transcendent, homage-paying disc, "Hymns of the 49th Parallel" (2004). Scott's acoustic-based tracks include a soaring bluegrass remake of Joni Mitchell's "Urge for Going," a poignant look at Paul Simon's "American Tune," and a stately treatment of Leonard Cohen's "Joan of Arc," featuring a duet with Mary Gauthier and sublime harmonies from Alison Krauss. [Steve Morse]