Hard Rain Don’t Last by Darryl Worley

Darryl Worley hails from Buford Pusser country - Hardin County, Tenn. - and like the late "Walking Tall" sheriff, he fits the bill. The 6'7" troubadour can't be accused of being one of Nashville's newest cookie-cutter cutouts. Instead he's more in the mode of Merle Haggard, with common-man songs of working-day blues and the pleasures and perils of falling in and out of love. Darryl co-wrote most of the songs on the album, including the brilliant ballad of how to heal after a breakup, "Second Wind." I guess I'll just stay out here until I/Know the coast is clear/Sit and watch the tide roll in/'til I catch my second wind.

"Too Many Pockets" puts a humorous slant on a world that grows more complex each day, while "Those Less Fortunate Than I" focuses on the problem of homelessness. A meteorological masterpiece, "Hard Rain Don't Last," is probably the only song in history written as a tornado actually bore down on the writers. Fortunately, Darryl and his co-writer, Rob Crosby, stayed out of harm's way when the twister tore through Nashville, rearranging everything in its deadly path. Detailing a rocky relationship, the ballad still finds some reassuring rainbow lyrics: Everything's gonna seem brighter when the sky clears/We'll still be loving each other after these tears.

Darryl can wax romantic on "Is It Just Us?" or light the candle at both ends in his honky-tonking "Sideways," reminiscent of his hero, Buck Owens. "The Way Things Are Goin' " vividly describes dark days when life slides into a pit of pain and depression. Hear it, and you'll know Darryl has lived it.

Maybe hard rain don't last, but Darryl Worley will, starting with this dramatic impact on a musical landscape that needs true talent like a dry garden needs a hard rain.

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