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Darden Smith – Western Skies
World Premiere

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A performance of songs, stories, and photographs to get lost and find the way home through the landscape and mythologies of Texas and the American West.

Amid a series of solo road trips through West Texas in 2020 and 2021, musician Darden Smith found himself writing songs at the wheel and taking Polaroid pictures of the stark, and beautiful terrain. Inspired by the spirit of the landscape, he scribbled his observations in a notebook and found new life in old lyrics. Between words, music, and images, the western skies came vividly to life.

This new stage production is an immersive journey through a world both real and imagined, a place of mystery and mythology, possibility, and longing. Smith’s stories, songs, and photographs are steeped in isolation, though rarely lonely. They are timeless, yet acutely aware of the hours and minutes whizzing by like mileposts on the highway.

Darden Smith is a singer-songwriter, musician, and educator. His 35-year career as a musician has led to 16 critically acclaimed albums that weave together rock, pop, country, folk and Americana influences with the musical roots of his home state of Texas.

Smith is the first recipient of the songwriter in residence position at The University of Texas at Austin. The program, housed in the College of Fine Arts, is part of the University’s efforts to expand live music experiences on campus while integrating the UT community into Austin’s vibrant live music scene.

This production of Western Skies is made possible by the University of Texas at Austin Office of the President through the Change Starts Here initiative.

Watch video trailer.

Production Credits:
Created and Performed by: Darden Smith
Directed by: Rod Caspers
Dramaturg: Liz Frankel
Musical Arrangements: Michael Ramos
Video and Lighting Design: Matt Smith
Sound Design: Philip Owen

Members of the Band:
Roscoe Beck, Bass
David Jimenez, Guitar and Vocals
Alex Marrero, Percussion and Vocals             
Michael Ramos, Keyboard

Audio Engineer: Jeff Byrd
Stage Manager: Jess Borda

Produced by Texas Performing Arts for the UT Songwriter in Residence Program
Bob Bursey, Executive & Artistic Director
Bianca Hooi, Executive & Artistic Project Manager
Jim Larkin, Director of Production



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