CHAD DAROU: RAISING THE BAR
Jacqueline Kame, Contributor HUFFINGTON POST
Dobroist Chad Darou Raises the Bar In Popular Music Genre
12/18/2017 12:20 am ET
Chad Darou is poised to make waves in the Bluegrass Community with a project entitled “Raising the Bar”
When asked about the title, Chad said “it holds kind of a double meaning for me. As an artist spending most of my career playing with and supporting other artists, it was important for me to pose more of a challenge to myself and get out there with a project of my own….. and in a way it is a challenge to upcoming artists to try different ideas and stay creative. Don’t be afraid to try new things” Plus, there is a surprise waiting for those who get their hands on a hard copy of the CD or LP.
“It actually all started out as an art project” said Darou. “ I wanted to create an eclectic mix of music that painted a picture of who I am”. While painting that picture, Chad has been exploring areas other than traditional Bluegrass songs and ensembles. His arrangement and use of vocals are uncommonly good. When you consider Chad’s lengthy performing career, a wide spectrum of different and varied genres emerges. A Classically trained bassist, he is equally at home on a host of instruments including guitar, mandolin and banjo; but it is the Dobro that has brought him the recognition he deserves. And that, fellow listeners, is what you will hear.
Chad started making music at the early age of eight. He would sit in front of the family “Hi-fi” and painstakingly transcribe what he was hearing into notes on whatever instrument he happened to be holding, banjo, mando, or guitar. He was particularly drawn to Bluegrass, and was soon listening to artists like JD Crowe, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe and whatever he could get, on that same “Hi Fi”.
By the time Chad reached twelve years of age, he was playing well enough to be asked to perform at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville Tennessee. Then came the Grand Ol’ Opry, picking with legends Charlie Collins and “Brother” Oswald. But Chad wanted to tour and the opportunity soon arrived.
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He played with Wheeler Creek in 1987 and at age 17, he was invited to tour with Banjo innovator Bill Keith, which led to a spot with mando picker Frank Wakefield’s band. While finishing up college, Chad played with Del Reeves, Bill Harrell, The Gibson Brothers, Wheeler Creek, Bill Anderson, Boxcar Willie and James King.
Chad spent 2016 on the road with “The Dave Adkins Band” and has appeared with members of the “Lonesome River Band” , “Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen” , and others.
Chad with Adkins at live Sirius show
Darou was doing steady session work for Mick Dooley who runs Studio Earth in Bonaparte, NY, when he decided to record a tune for fun. The results started him thinking about continuing on with a CD, but an un-expected relocation and related expenses put the project on hold.
“In May of this year, I had a blast jamming and hanging out with the boys from Special Consensus, which made me really want to get back on track with my own project. About that same time, producer “Midnite” Mike Pokalsky arranged for the required financing so the project could move forward” said Darou. Mike added, “When I listened to what Chad was now doing musically, I knew it could be a great project, and wanted to get involved. While the popularity of Bluegrass Music has surged from 28% to 48% listenership in the last ten years due to various reasons, there is no assurance it won’t sink back down. That is why this project and projects like it are important; they keep listeners coming back. Working with Chad on this continues to be a great experience and I expect it will be a real success.”
Regarding the amazing line-up of Artists, Chad said “There was no question about me wanting the guys from Special “C” on the CD” “They are without a doubt one of the best bands out there.” Word spread and soon artists from around the country were showing a lot of interest. He continued, “It was clear I was going to need a variety of singers”. A couple of dear friends offered to sing tracks, and before long the list of interested Artists began to grow. It was soon filled with the likes of Dave Adkins, Ryan Paiskey, Rick Faris, Greg Cahill, Valerie Smith, Dan Eubanks, Nick Dumas, Cia Cherryholmes, Alecia Nugent, Jim VanCleve, Merl Johnson, and more..
Expected release of the 12 track project is in 2018, on Chadaroo Records, LLC.