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Darryl Worley

What is new with Darryl Worley? (Current projects)Darryl Worley


Well, I was signed with 903 and they just closed the doors so we are in the process of revamping and talking to people about new deals.  A lot of meeting with people and what have you.  We still have a recently new album out that still has a couple more hits on it so maybe we’ll try to repackage that. 


2 Creatively, how do you approach song writing… What is your process for     writing songs?


Man, that’s different every time.  To me, there’s no set way to doing that.  Sometimes, I’ll just be driving or in the shower and have a hook line or an idea that comes to me and I think, that’s pretty good.  We start with that.  Sometimes we just sit around jamming on the guitar and come up with a cool groove or a melody and start with that.  You just never really know from one time to the next how to approach it.  It’s something that just happens. 


3 Tell me about the ‘Darryl Worley Foundation’.  What inspired you to start the foundation?


Well, all my life I was raised to always remember where you came from.  The music that I do and the talent that I have was nurtured and cultivated and the inspiration that I have has come from my home area.  So I have always wanted to give back as much as I could to that place and the people there.  To try to help them any way I could.  So we set up a foundation to have annual charity events which include a golf tournament, fishing tournament and all kinds of different activities.  All the proceeds from that and the big show on Saturday night go into the Darryl Worley Foundation and from that we give grants to people in need, we have built an outpatient chemotherapy treatment wing on the hospital and we’re in the process of building a full blown cancer treatment center there.  We give to a lot of the national charities like St. Jude’s and we do a lot of work for cystic fibrosis and stuff like that.  When you’re blessed, you have to give a little back


4.      You just finished up the video for ‘Living in the Here And Now’?  Tell me about the video.


Well, we did something really different this time.  We wanted to do something special.  ‘Special moments’ is what we call it.  Just some different clips, still photos, a lot of hand held video stuff from shows all over.   We just pieced this stuff all together to give people more of an idea of who I am.  You see a little bit more of me and what I do when I’m not on the road.  We shot a lot of footage from my farm and stuff like that.  It’s really a cool thing as far as I’m concerned.  A lot of people have said that this is our best video yet!  I guess sometimes you don’t really know.  You spend a lot of money trying to create something but then the simple things get peoples attention.


5 Any embarrassing moments on stage that you can share?


(Laughing)  Well, you know anything and everything can happen.  About two weeks ago I had one of my straps came loose on my guitar and it fell to the ground.  You just have to laugh and keep going on.   Of course people forget words from time to time.  That’s always a funny thing.  You just keep going and improvise some lyrics!  We played a gig in Oklahoma a couple years back, I hate to say it, but we were attacked with bras and panties.  We wound up with a pretty nice bra collection.  Not sure if that’s embarrassing but it’s kind of different.  You never know what is going to happen on a given night. 


6 What are some hobbies of yours?


Well, I enjoy hunting and fishing when I have time.  I don’t have a lot of time for that anymore.  Nowadays, when I get a few days off, I usually just spend it hanging out on the farm working with my cattle.  I really enjoy that.  That’s something that I got into two or three years back.  It’s kind of how I grew up, you know, it kind of helps me keep my feet on the ground.  It’s been a real release for me


7 What is your favorite song to play live?


Right now, it’s got to be “Living in the Here and Now”.  It makes me smile.  I think people ‘get it’.  It’s just about ‘that moment’.  It’s kind of how I was raised.  My mom always told me to try to let go of the things that drag you down especially if it was from yesterday.  And don’t spend all your time planning for tomorrow.  It’s easy to talk about, but hard to do. 


8 Who have been your influences thru the years?


Well, I have really always liked the more traditional stuff as far as music is concerned.  I was a huge Merle Haggard fan and all of those guys from that era.  Like, Willie and Waylon and even back like Jimmy Rogers and Hank Sr. My whole family on both sides had all the records of those icons.  That is kind of why I got into this business.  It’s kind of sad that there isn’t much like that around anymore.  It sure has changed a lot since I’ve started.  I guess you have to move with it, you know, you can’t procrastinate.  You have to get in there and get your own niche. 


8 Favorite All time song, the kind of song that you just can’t turn off?


Well, um, off the cuff, one of those songs would be “I Never Go Around Mirrors”.  It’s an old Lefty Frizzell song.  Although every one has cut it, Keith Whitley had my favorite version.  That’s one of them.  There’s a ton of them out there that take you back in time and that’s what makes a great song.  



            9 Have you Forgotten could not have been said better.  The statements in that song spoke what many Americans felt.  Where were you on 9/11 and how did you find out about the tragedy that unfolded in New York?


We had just rolled into town that morning, way, way early.  Like 2 or 3 in the morning.  I was asleep on the tour bus where we always parked and I woke up around daylight and went to my house to go back to bed and the phone was ringing off the hook.  I was thinking, ‘what in the world’.  So I got up and checked some of the messages.  It sounded crazy, you know, I didn’t know what people were talking about.  I ran upstairs and woke my roommate up and turned on the TV, and there it was.  We were watching right when the first plane hit the tower.  Actually, it had already hit with everything on fire and then the second one hit.  I don’t know, man.  It was just unbelievable.  At first they were speculating what might be going on and then it was pretty clear that we were under some kind of attack.  I just remember being really angry, wondering what we were going to do and how severe it was going to be.  We were wondering if it was widespread all over the country.  Then I guess we found out that was their plan.  But it didn’t quite work out for them.  I guess they were planning on hitting L.A and other areas.  I have a lot of military on both sides of my family.  We’ve always speculated on some of the things that were happening.  It wasn’t really something that seemed that far out of reach because you just never know.  We just sat there looking at it in awe.  We just couldn’t believe it.  And then when it starts to sink in, you are scared for your family.  I was calling everybody hoping they were home and that they were alright.  Of course there was an unbelievable sense of unity and patriotism that followed.  I went to Afghanistan in 2002 and spent time with the troops and we toured through the Middle East trying to entertain them some.  That’s when it kind of hit me.  People seem to forget so fast.  I remember when it happened, there were American flags everywhere.  When driving to my hometown, I would see all these flags out there and within a year, it was all done.  You just didn’t see it.  This was a huge, huge blow to our country.  I kind of feel like, hey, here’s a little reminder.  Don’t forget what happened.  Going over there was the inspiration.  Seeing the undying allegiance, the loyalty to the cause; those young men and women are phenomenal.  It’s something that you would have to see first hand to get a grasp.  I thought that I had heard it all and seen it all with my family being military and all that stuff, but just being there first hand, wow.  We have it made.  We are very fortunate to have the lifestyle and freedom that we have. 


          10 What was your first guitar and what were some of the first songs that you learned to play?  What kind of guitar do you play now?


Harmony guitars.  My mom got a cheap one, you know.  The strings stood up about a half inch off the neck. You had to break your fingers in to make you tough.  I guess the first song that I learned how to play was called ‘The Wildwood Flower’.  Isn't that the same song that everyone learns how to play (Laughing).  Then I learned some other stuff, then Haggard stuff.  My brother is a big John Denver fan.  He taught me how to play some of that stuff and Jim Croce.  My grandfather was into bluegrass, so I learned how to play bluegrass.  I play Takamine guitars now.  I have an endorsement with them.  Also we have Fender’s and Gibson’s. 


         11 Some of your first jobs were?


Well, I’ve done a little bit of everything.  I was a school teacher, commercial fisherman, worked in paper mills all over the place, sold cars, I used to be a carpenter, construction worker, and I’ve worked a lot on farms.  Jack of all trades, master to none! 


         12 What is your career highlight thus far?


Honestly, it is probably some of the shows that we’ve done for the military.  I think that is a different kind of highlight because we don’t do that stuff for money, it’s not about what you can make.  They have been so good to us, so appreciative of us doing what we can to make their lives better in the tough situations.  If I had to pick, it is probably some of those big military events that we’ve done.  They have honored me a lot, which is kind of strange.  We are there doing what we can and they appreciate it a lot that they present me with different things.  Those are the things that I will cherish and remember the most.  I’ve done the award shows and all that and I guess those are ‘special moments’…  I never won any of those awards, but, that’s not really what it’s all about.  I think being recognized for your thoughts and being a part of it is what it is about to me. 


         13 Your Biography on CMT.com say’s that you broke your back playing basketball?  How did that happen?


It was just a stupid scrimmage game where I had my legs cut out from under me and I took a really bad fall.  I fractured some vertebrae in my lower back.  I was done with the sports world for a little while!  I don’t have any trouble with it now.  The doctors had said that the damage to your muscle is probably more serious than your damage to the bone structure.  So I had to get that back, back in shape.  Over time, it was being serious about the whole rehabilitative process and you know what, I am very serious about it.  I still take care of my back.  I work out as much as I can.  It actually seems to be stronger than it ever has been.   


               14 What CD are you currently listening to in your vehicle or I Pod?


I think that when I just came in, I had a Vern Gosdin CD playing in my truck.  Then there is a Kentucky Headhunters CD that I have.  They came back and did a bunch of old songs.  I had that in it.   


15    What is your next big thing on your ‘things to do in life’ list?


Well, to be perfectly honest, I don’t feel like I have ever had a really good, fair shot at doing the best that I can do in this business.  I’ve made up my mind that the things that are going on right now with our label, kind of throwing in the towel, is going to give me the time to regroup and give this thing one more really big charge and I am going to make a lot of changes to my ‘camp’.  I am going to really revamp things and rethink things and put together what I think is the ultimate group, gang, camp or whatever you want to call it and go out and secure the right record deal and get the right game plan together.  I am going to mount a charge on Nashville Tennessee unlike any one that I have ever done before.  I really believe that the things that are happening to me right now are happening for a reason.  I am really kind of inspired and excited about the rest of this year and the year to come.  We sort of have a new groove going right now.  I think we’ve found our place in this.  I am sort of taking some of the Muscle Shoals stuff, that funky kind of thing with a rock edge with blues, R&B and the old traditional country style that I have always, really loved and we’re kind of mixing all that up and on this latest album, we kind of hit our stride.  Our live shows are just, intense.  It is better than it has ever been.  We’re drawing good crowds and getting a great response.  I am just looking forward to doing this thing.  I feel like I know more about this business and what it takes now more than I ever have.  That’s my focus.  Then, I am going to take what few days off I have and go back and enjoy the farm and that’s about it.   




16    Worley Bird Café?  What don’t you do!!


(Laughing)  My ex wife is in complete control of that operation.  And she does a hell of a job.  I talked to her last night and she doesn’t need my help on that deal. 


17    If you weren’t in the career path that you are, what career would you see yourself pursuing?


I might have to buy more property, but I really enjoy working in the cattle business, so I might do that.  I might go back to building or something.  There is something about that kind of work where you can look back at the end of the day and see what you’ve built and it gives you a good feeling inside.  It would probably be something simple but, I might just sit on my porch and be a songwriter because I enjoy that. 


18    Is there anyone that you would like to collaborate with that you have not had the opportunity to yet?


Well, yeah.  There are probably several people.  I enjoy people that I write with.  We sort of have our own little ‘gang’ that we swap out sometimes.  I’ve always wanted to write with Bill Anderson.  I’ve talked about him thousands of times.  I’ll try to make that happen this year. 


19    And finally, any words of wisdom to anyone wanting to strap on a six string and take to the stage?


Yeah.  Do it because you love it.  Don’t expect it to happen overnight.  The main thing, especially to the younger people who may be aspiring to do that is the most important thing that was told to me.  Figure out, in the early running, what it is that you want to do.  That is the biggest responsibility that you have to yourself; it is what you owe to yourself.  Especially now in this day in age; you say Country music now, and that could mean just about anything.  I think it is important to know exactly what kind of music it is that you want to do.  And when you figure that out, don’t go to Nashville and jump on the first train that comes by and have them change you and make you do something that you don’t want to do.  You have to stick to your guns or you will never be successful.  And if you are successful, you won’t be happy because you will find yourself out there playing songs that you despise.  It is just something that I never would do and I don’t think that I regret that in anything that I’ve done.  You have to know who you are.  Once you figure that out and you feel confident, you have to stick to your guns.  That’s policy.  I think that is good advice because that is the best advice that anyone has given me.