Renowned singer/songwriter Daryl Mosley has just released his brand new single "A Few Years Ago." The song is the debut single from THE SECRET OF LIFE, Daryl's first solo album for Pinecastle Records due out May 22. Fans can pre-order the album HERE, and the single can be downloaded or streamed HERE.
For more than three decades, award-winning singer-songwriter Daryl Mosley has applied his warm-as-country-sunshine voice and thoughtful lyrics to a wealth of memorable material. Throughout the '90s, he toured as lead vocalist/bass player with much-celebrated Bluegrass group The New Tradition then joined the legendary Osborne Brothers in 2001.
In 2010, Mosley formed The Farm Hands, which quickly became one of the most awarded bands in Bluegrass. Now, with THE SECRET OF LIFE, he steps into the solo spotlight with a collection driven by sincere, compelling storytelling built on a solid Bluegrass foundation.
Q: Daryl, thanks for doing this interview with us. You have been a songwriter for so many artists from Gospel singers (Booth Brothers) to country (Lynn Anderson) to bluegrass (Appalachian Trail, Bobby Osborne). How and when did you begin to write songs?
When I was 16, I got to know Loretta Lynn pretty well. I'd gone to school with her twin daughters and was singing as a summer job at her dude ranch not far from where I lived. She was always so warm and encouraging to me. She asked me one time, "Darlin', do you write songs?" I told her I didn't. She said, "You need to learn to write. Lots of people can sing 'em, but the good ones can write 'em too!" So I went and bought a book called "How I Write Songs" by Tom T. Hall. It was my first primer into the craft of songwriting.
Q: One of your signature songs that you wrote was the Booth Brothers' "(Ask the Blind Man) He Saw It All," how did that song come about?
I was thinking about Jesus' earthly ministry. So much of the time, He spent in small towns. I would imagine they weren't terribly different from small towns today. Everyone knows everyone and you can recognize someone from across the street. Some people you might recognize from their handicap. Then Jesus would come through town and heal people and I bet it was bedlam! People that you used to see a certain way were no longer that way! I was thinking about what it would be like to have spent your entire life as a cripple, then suddenly have your legs restored. The first thing I would want to do is see how fast they could run! That's about as far as I got when the song started to form. It fell like the Holy Spirit and was done in about 30 minutes!
Q: You have been part of a few bands and now you are pursuing your own career as a solo artist. Do you miss being part of a band like you were before?
I enjoyed working in bands very much. And I am putting together my own band to work festivals and things next year. But I was at a place where I really wanted to focus on the songs and songwriting. I really want to create a body of songs that truly represent who I am as a man and as a Christian. Stepping out on my own and recording this album was the first step in that direction.
Q: You have a new album, The Secret Of Life, coming out. What were some of the highlights for you while you were making this record?
The first professional band I was in, way back in the 1980s was the band New Tradition. My main partner in that was Danny Roberts. Danny is a much celebrated mandolin player with The Grascals now. He and I have remained friends over the years so I called him and asked him to co-produce this album with me. It was SO much fun to be back in the studio for the first time in over 20 years with Danny. In addition to being a world class instrumentalist, he is an excellent producer. It made a huge difference having him in the studio with me.
It was also special to have his daughter, Jaelee singing on the record. She is such a talented young woman who wasn't even born the last time Danny and I were in the studio together. And of course, it was great having some longtime friends like Aaron McDaris, Jeanette Williams and Irene Kelley on the record. The entire process was so much fun.
Q: Your new single "A Few Years Ago" speaks about the wisdom of the years. If you were to speak to a younger version of yourself, what advice would you give to him?
There is a line in the song that says "I had no idea how much I didn't know". Man, is THAT the truth. I would tell my younger self to listen more and talk less, to get to know older people who are where you want to be. Listen and watch them. Ask questions. I could have saved myself a lot of grief over the years if I had done more of that.
Q: One of the songs I really like on the new album is "The Secret Of Life." The song speaks about the secret of life being moving forward and getting up when you fall. Is that your own philosophy of life? Can you recount an incident in your life when you live out this advice?
That song is very special to me. Toad Smith is the local barber here in Waverly, Tennessee. He's been cutting hair for 67 years. He's a wonderful man, great Christian who teaches Sunday School. He knows history and scripture and is a gifted storyteller. He's like Floyd the barber and Will Rogers and Spurgeon all rolled into one! The song came from a conversation I had with Toad sitting in his chair one afternoon. I'm trying to take my own advice and seek the advice and council of older people whom I admire. I got both a good song and a good haircut out of that day!
Q: In this age of the coronavirus pandemic, what words of encouragement do you have for our readers?
I think we have to look at the gift of this more than the inconvenience of this. Because of this virus, we are forced to slow down, spend time at home and with family. We have been mandated to do all the things we complain about not having time for. Let's just enjoy that aspect of it and pray for our leaders to lead us back into normal life as well as praying for the families who have been directly impacted by this. We will never be the same after this, but that doesn't mean we can't be even better than before.