Darrell Scott is Justified

You may have heard of Darrell Scott through the repeated use of his song “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive” on the TV show Justified, but his back catalog is full of equally compelling Americana and country music.

My family is from Harlan County, Kentucky, on both sides. They moved away from Harlan and the coal mines just over 100 years ago. They went to tobacco farming… So I have a 200 year plus history in Kentucky with my family.

Darrell Scott

Scott sings movingly of the coalminers’ plight after their mineral rights were snatched up cheap. Justified frequently “put [the song] in such a dramatic and closing place within the show” that viewers took noticed and learned more about an artist whose songs have also been covered by Garth Brooks, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, The Chicks, Keb’ Mo, and Faith Hill, among many others.

But as famous as he’s become through the years, being a songwriter brings a certain amount of anonymity. “That’s the illusion in the music industry. We all pretend that the person singing the song is the one who wrote it. And that’s fine,” Scott says wryly, “As long as the royalties come through.”

Darrell Scott will be in Columbus on Saturday, May 13, 2023 with Six String concerts.

About Doug Dangler

Current: Host of Craft on WCBE, 90.5 FM, central Ohio's NPR station. Former: creator, host, and producer of Writers Talk
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