Bell Buckle Records launches Chad Darou's debut album,”Raising the Bar” on September 4th, 2018
"Chad Darou joins the ranks of those who have made exceptional Bluegrass recordings. Although many great voices lead the pack of these classic songs, it is Chad's playing and arrangements which provide the heart and soul of the project and strings them all together!"- Claire Lynch
"The arrangements and use of vocals on this project are uncommonly good. When you consider Chad’s lengthy performing career, a wide spectrum of different and varied genres emerges.....but it is his mastery of the Dobro that has brought him the recognition he deserves. And that, fellow listeners, is what you will hear.”
The Huffington Post
Nashville, TN, September 4, 2018 – Chad Darou’s debut project, “Raising the Bar,” does just that, raises the bar on the creative genius that embodies any recording bearing his name. The project is chock-full of collaborations with accomplished vocal and instrumental artists in bluegrass music today. “Raising the Bar” can be purchased on CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and Chad Darou’s online store www.Raisingthebar.biz .
“Raising the Bar,” presents a powerful collection of soulful recordings that are artfully arranged, both vocally and instrumentation, featuring well renowned artists, Cia Cherryholmes, Valerie Smith, Alecia Nugent, Greg Cahill, Dave Adkins, Rick Faris, Jim VanCleve, Merl Johnson, Mike Munford and more.
The arrangements Chad crafted on each recording are a testament to his many years in the industry, spanning across multiple musical genres. This eclectic mix of recordings is a musical exploration that goes beyond traditional bluegrass songs and ensembles.
“Raising the Bar,” shows who Chad is as an artist, his desire to stay challenged and push the creativity envelope musically and in life. Reflecting on this project, Chad said, “Raising the Bar’ holds a double meaning for me. As an artist spending most of my career playing with and supporting other artists, it was important for me to pose more of a challenge to myself and get out there with a project of my own…and in a way it is a process for upcoming artists to try new ideas and stay creative. This album is exactly that, I wanted to try new things.”
A classically trained bassist, and skilled multi-instrumentalist, Chad holds his own on guitar, mandolin, and banjo. However, he is most celebrated for the Dobro and that’s what listeners will hear on “Raising the Bar.”
Raising the Bar
Raising the Bar: is my personal tribute to 2 of my biggest influences on the dobro. Mike Auldridge and Jerry Douglas both influenced my playing so much that I wanted to pay homage by writing and recording a tune that showed just how much. I also wanted to push myself to a new height in my playing.
I heard a dance remix of this classic Bryan Adams ballad, and decided right then it was meant to be done "bluegrass". As soon as I started playing around with the arrangement I knew the only voice for this was Cia Cherryholmes. No one has heard from Cia in quite a while, making her an even better choice, and she did an amazing job. Great to hear this one come together.
Tennessee Blues: is a song I've known since my childhood. First heard it live in 1978 at age 8 when I saw J.D. Crowe and the New South perform it. Fell in love with the story. When I started compiling material for the CD it was first on my list for ballads. Getting Alecia, Valerie and Donna together to do the vocals on this was another desire of mine. These 3 ladies are some of the best in bluegrass and yet have never recorded anything together. Well here ya go ;-)
The Road: The title of this tune is the literal translation of my last name Darou from French to English. I based it on the opening lick. The rest of the tune just fell into place. Getting the pickers on this one was amazing. Everyone of them did such an amazing job.
High, Dry & Lonesome
I wrote this song back in 1993. It's the story of someone else's breakup. This song has been done by several different artists in the past. It's always been (since I wrote it) an up-tempo song. I wanted to try and give it new life with a different (more swampy) groove. The boys of Special C did a great job of helping me attain what I think is the best rendition of this song ever.
Paddy on the Turnpike
I'm sure by now that everyone is aware that Mr. Monroe didn't care for the dobro in bluegrass music. So while this is a traditional tune I first heard it done by Bill, and this is why I chose it. Getting to play this tune with all of these great players just makes it a bonus for me.
On My Way Home
Written by a dear friend of mine. Pastor Chuck Costantino and I go all the way back to 1985 with each other. He and I were in the band Wheeler Creek with each other and then again later in the band, Hardwood. From the graphic work on the CD cover to the expertly crafted lyrics of this song Chuck is a true artist in every sense of the word.
A Few Old Memories
I spent many years on the road with James King. James taught me what it meant to "put on the show". This song has always been one of my favorites he did. Shortly after James' passing I set out playing with my buddy Dave Adkins. Dave is a powerhouse of a singer and when I decided to record this song I knew right away he was the one to sing it. Merl Johnson does a great job on fiddle adding more of that king band sound to this classic. I think ole James would be proud.
What I Like About You
I first played this song with a band called Bluegrass Affliction that actually featured the lead vocals of Donna Schacher (Tennessee Blues & Heaven), but when I first heard Erin sing, I knew that she was going to be singing this one for me. Jim VanCleve's fiddle ties everything together nicely.
Not too long ago I met the girl who would change my life. Kristin is and will always be my muse, my inspiration, and the love of my life. This one is all yours baby!
Peace of Mind
My good friend Claude Wedge is the writer of this song. Claude and I played in a band with each other in the late 90's He and his brother had those incredible sibling harmonies and Claude's songwriting was really good. When I started this CD I already knew that this song was going to be on it. It's a driver, and the 2 possible meanings in the story make it an interesting twist on the typical train song.
This song was not supposed to be a part of this project. However my friend and lead singer of the track Anthony Ubriaco passed away suddenly while I was finishing up this project. I am dedicating the entire CD project to his memory and all royalties from this track go to a trust fund setup for his daughter.