Darden Smith is yet another supremely accomplished and talented of Texan-born singer-songwriters. He emerged in the mid-eighties, at the time of the ’New Country’ boom that launched the careers of Randy Travis, Lyle Lovett and Steve Earle, amongst others.

The positive critical acclaim that greeted his debut album, Native Soil, in 1986, led to his talents being coveted by a number of American major labels, and it was the Epic division of the giant Columbia / CBS conglomerate, and it is for that label that he recorded the two albums featured here - his self titled second album (1988), and Trouble No More (1990). Although initially signed to the Country division of the label, that pigeonhole was not an easy fit for Smith, and the label head decided to move him to the Pop division for Trouble No More. The two albums are reissued via the Retroworld division of the Floating World Records label on Friday, August 25th 2017.

In between the release of this pair of albums, Smith made an unusual, somewhat mercurial career move by releasing a album recorded with British singer-songwriter, Boo Hewerdine, releasing the 1989 album, Evidence. The album received much critical acclaim, not, sadly, matched by sales. His own albums are characterised by unusual, cliché free lyricism allied to a real melodic gift and fine arrangements. He kicked against the ’hat act’ conservatism of American Country, and despite achieving considerable US chart success in the mid-1990s, returned to the indie domain for subsequent releases.

Earlier this year, Smith released his latest album, Everything. Much of which was true on the new album was present and correct on Darden Smith / Trouble No More, two early gems from a truly individual and richly-talented singer-songwriter.

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