Danny Roberts’ “My Brown Eyed Darling” resonates across the years

Article Contributed by Mountain Home … | Published on Sunday, June 18, 2023

After two songs that spotlight his emotive vocals and original songwriting, mandolin master and Grascals founder Danny Roberts returns with “My Brown Eyed Darling,” a new single that not only features a guest singer in wife and bassist Andrea Roberts — that’s a 1994 photo of her on the cover — but offers an organic example of the way songs from the bluegrass canon resonate across the decades.  

“I’ve always loved this old song, written by Bluegrass Hall of Fame member Paul Williams and recorded originally by The Lonesome Pine Fiddlers in the early 1950s,” says Danny. “Larry Sparks recorded it, too, back in the 1980s. However, my favorite version was by my wife, Andrea, singing it back in the 1990s with her band, Petticoat Junction. When we started working on the album songs and jammed on ‘My Brown Eyed Darling,’ I knew immediately that we had to cut it — even though I had to twist her arm a little bit. She absolutely nails this vocal in her very traditional bluegrass-y way, and I love the groove of the track.”

Indeed, this husband-wife version follows Petticoat Junction’s lead by taking the song — a lament that begins with the memorable couplet, “I’ll never forget the morning you left me/I tried to smile, but instead I cried” — at a more measured pace and downbeat-heavy “mash” feel. With the solid playing of Andrea’s bass and Danny’s mandolin augmented by booming guitar and knowing banjo from long-time colleague Tony Wray, alongside bluesy, moaning fiddle from former Grascal Adam Haynes, this “My Brown Eyed Darling” is a true family affair, as daughter Jaelee Roberts — a Mountain Home Music Company recording artist in her own right and member of the label’s latest signing, Sister Sadie — adds a searing harmony vocal that puts the final detail on a recording that hits all the touch points of traditional, yet modern bluegrass.

Listen to “My Brown Eyed Darling” HERE.

"My Brown Eyed Darling" is streaming in Dolby Atmos spatial audio on Apple Music, TIDAL and Amazon Music. Dolby Atmos is a sound experience you can feel all around you. Familiar from its “surround sound” application in thousands of movie theaters” Dolby Atmos reveals “depth, clarity and details like never before."