Darren Nicholson

Though it has all the trappings and spirit of a well-worn bootlegging story of corn liquor and moonshiners (think “Mountain Dew,” “White Lightning” or “Dooley”), Darren Nicholson’s first single of the new year digs a little deeper than its upbeat, elemental bluegrass feel might at first suggest.

Since late last year, singer, songwriter and mandolinist Darren Nicholson has been revving up his solo career after his departure from Balsam Range, the award-winning quintet he helped to found some 15 years ago. Now, following the release of three singles — a chart-topping murder ballad, a spirited gospel number and a gripping instrumental, all self-penned — he's releasing Wanderer, an album that puts an exclamation point on his musical declaration of independence.

Hot on the heels of his chart-topping single, “Arkansas Without You,” and the uplifting message of his “Leave It In The Hands of the Lord,” Darren Nicholson returns to complete a bluegrass trifecta of sorts — murder ballad, gospel song and instrumental — with a sly instrumental, “Dillsboro Blues,” serving up a healthy dose of virtuosity in a package that puts a few neat curves into an otherwise straightforward musical road.  

Mountain Home Music Company’s Darren Nicholson is a man on a mission — and if you think, based on his membership in award-winning bluegrass quintet Balsam Range, that you know what it is, his new EP is going to come as a mighty big surprise.

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