Darren Nicholson - Big Sky
  • Big Sky
  • Big Sky
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (04:06) [12.24 MB]
“This is one of my favorite cuts of my entire recording career,” says Darren Nicholson — and when an artist with a decades-long resumé like his says something like that, it’s worth taking note. Following in the history-driven vein of his first single of the year, “Ain’t No Sin” — a tale of western North Carolina bootlegging — the new Mountain Home Music Company single is a gripping story song that recounts highlights of the life of a late 18th century trapper and explorer.

“‘Big Sky’ is based on the true story of early American explorer, John Colter,” explains Nicholson. “He was a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and became the first known person of European descent to enter the region which became Yellowstone National Park. There are several fascinating periods of his life and career. I became aware of him through a fabulous book about his survival and harrowing adventures called Colter’s Run. He was one of the first true mountain men.This was the inspiration for the song when Charles Humphrey III and myself set out to write it — and I also think it would make a great film!”

The cinematic feel of the track is evident from its outset, as a moody opening leads to a free form statement of Colter’s identity that will reappear in the soaring chorus:

Big sky caught my eye
Until the day I die

The theme established, mandolinist Nicholson and a distinguished studio cast — award winners Kristin Scott Benson (banjo) and Deanie Richardson (fiddle); Town Mountain bassist Zach Smith; legendary multi-instrumentalist David Johnson on dobro and frequent collaborator Colby Laney on guitar, together with harmony vocals fro Jennifer Nicholson and another long-time colleague Kevin Sluder — unfurl Colter’s tale, punctuated by solos from Johnson and Laney. And while it clocks in at a luxurious 4 minutes plus, “Big Sky” keeps the action — and the music — moving with Colter’s restless energy all the way through.

Concludes Nicholson,“I feel there’s a special spirit in the song and the way it turned out — the musicians knocked it out of the park in regard to capturing the mood and old-time essence. Hope you enjoy!”

About Darren Nicholson
Darren Nicholson is a bluegrass and Americana musician based in Haywood County in the mountains of western North Carolina. A GRAMMY®-nominee and recipient of multiple International Bluegrass Music Association Awards, Darren has appeared countless times on WSM's Grand Ole Opry, at the Ryman Auditorium, CMT, GAC, and many of the world's most famous venues and networks. Darren is also renowned as a solo artist, session musician, and songwriter. After concluding a 15-year tenure as a founding member of award-winning bluegrass quintet, Balsam Range, Darren took the next step forward and began releasing music of his own, beginning with his album, Wanderer, featuring No. 1 song “Arkansas Without You.”
  • Members:
    Tony Creasman - Drums; Kristin Scott Benson - Banjo; Darren Nicholson - Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Lead Vocal, Harmony Vocal; Zach Smith - Upright Bass; Colby Laney - Acoustic Guitar; Deanie Richardson - Fiddle; David Johnson - Dobro; Kevin Sluder - Harmo
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  • Profile Last Updated:
    07/20/24 12:05:09

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