When All Souls acoustic coffeehouse kicks off its spring 2012 schedule this Saturday night, it will do it in fine form with an artist that has been on the group's wish list for years now. In speaking with All Souls booking agent Julie Watson last fall, she revealed that although the group has tried to book Scott several times in the past, something has always come up to prevent them from being able to confirm a date.
Over the course of his career, Scott has been an in demand session player whose songwriting made him a valued commodity in Nashville. As a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, banjo, dobro, bass and pedal steel, Scott has accompanied a wide array of artist both on stage and on album and had his songs recorded by everyone from Keb Mo and Sam Bush to Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley. Over the past few years, however, the phone call that has kept him most busy outside of his solo career has come from none other than Robert Plant, as Scott has toured extensively as a member of Band of Joy, which accompanied Plant on his last album and tour.
When discussing his career arc with Scott, he summarized it simply by sharing that "I came from a musical family and grew up with my brothers and family members all playing together. We started a family band when I was six years old, so this is really the only job I've ever had."
"I moved to Nashville about 20 years ago and have had some success as a session musician and artist," he continued. "I don't do many sessions anymore, though as I've been focusing mostly on my own music and records."
Most recently, Scott released a double album, Crooked Road in 2009. He explained that album by sharing that "Crooked Road looks back on 30 years of relationships and girlfriends and divorce and the need to have a partner."
"At 50 years old, I looked and realized I had a body of songs that addressed that and the three or four major relationships I had been in, making it a really personal record. I also played all of the instruments on the album, which made it even more personal."
In listening, each song comes across as just that: a personal reflection and with 20 tracks in the collection, Scott touches on a variety of styles, tapping into elements of country, folk and blues, all wrapped within the context of the singer/songwriter genre.
When discussing all of those elements with Scott, e shared that, "Stylistically, it didn't really seem to matter. The songs themselves shaped the record and I let them call for whatever they needed."
Scott's live show comes together in much the same manner, allowing the evening to dictate what songs are played and how they fit together.
"I just come out and play," he explained. "There's usually no plan or set list, so I kind of find out what's going to happen at the same time as the audience."
"It's based on home the room sounds, the audience, my voice and my guitar playing on any given night. It's important to me to find out where the people are at and find out and what they respond to and find out what works for the night as we go along."
Regardless of a plan for the evening (or lack thereof), you can rest assured that Saturday night's show at All Souls will be one to remember. Crooked Road alone has a fistful of highlights, including personal favorite "Candles in the Rain", but a catalog eight albums deep provides a treasure chest for Scott to pull from.
This weekend will also likely include a preview of songs from Scott's latest album, Long Ride Home, which will be released on Jan. 31. When asking about the new disc, Scott shared that it is "very country -- pre 'Urban Cowboy' country..."
That led onto a brief discussion of the current country movement and how this record touches more on the classic country sounds of the 70's. Scot revealed that he enlisted many of the musicians who played on those classic records for this album.
"That's what makes it that way," he shared. "These are the musicians who played with George Jones and Willie Nelson and Charlie Pride. It sounds like it could have been recorded in 1975, because these are literally the people who played on those records."
This Saturday evening, however, anything is possible. "I like the fact that at the end of the night or possibly on the flight to Denver the next day, I'll look back and say 'Hey- look what happened'," Scott shared. "To me, the element of surprise is a big part of it. I'm very tuned into that and actually expect it to happen every night. That's one way that I know I'm on the right track -- when something special happens -- it can be on a record or at a live show, but that's what I look forward to."
"That's what being an artist is," he shared. "It's about being present and aware and part of that. I may be on sate and think of a song that I haven't played in five years or I might be on a break and someone request a song or a conversation leads to a song because of that encounter."
For Scott, it's all about being tuned in and allowing those special moments to occur, which will make this weekend's show extra special. Although Scott has played Tulsa previously with Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, he has never played a solo show in Tulsa, which should make the show at All Souls on Saturday, Jan. 14 even more special. Scott was previously scheduled to play at All Souls on November 19, but that show had to be postponed due to a death in Scott's family. All tickets form that show will be honored and additional tickets are still available for $20 at the door or via ticketstorm.com. Doors open at 7pm and local songwriter Jared Tyler will open the show at 7:30pm.
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