Mike, Neel, and Darden
Mike, Neel, and Darden

The multi-media mind of Darden Smith

Open and empty. That’s how singer-songwriter Darden Smith describes the Texas landscape that inspired his creative new multi-media project, ‘Western Skies,’ available now.

Comprising a new studio record, a book of photography, lyrics, and essays, and an accompanying album of readings set to music, Smith’s ‘Western Skies’ is an immersive journey. It explores a world both real and imagined, inspired by a series of 1,000-mile drives from his home in Austin to Arizona to write songs with veterans.

Over his three-and-a-half decade career, Smith has released 15 critically lauded studio albums, landed singles on both the country and pop charts (including the Top 10 hit “Loving Arms”), penned a symphony, scored works for theater and dance, published a widely celebrated book on creativity, exhibited works of visual art, and co-founded the non-profit SongwritingWith:Soldiers program, which pairs veterans with musicians in order to tap into the transformational possibilities of collaborative songwriting.

We talked about:

  • Our Songwriting Challenge – there’s still time to submit your song!
  • Congrats to our former guest Alex Cuba on his Grammy win for best Latin-pop album Mendó
  • Darden’s ambitious bringing together of music, photography, and essays into a singular project
  • how Darden is always trying something new to keep his creative juices moving
  • “There’s a fine line between a groove and a ditch.”
  • How breaking patterns in your writing is a good thing
  • How to write an earnest and honest love song

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