The Official Site of Darren Beachley
"The time just feels right". The news is out!!!. Darren Beachley will be back to performing with several acts. Recording and singing on several new projects.. He's playing Dobro!!. " A lot of people don't realize that the dobro is my first love. My grandparents gave me one for my 14th birthday. I had been playing a Gibson student model guitar and it was about to explode. As I recall it my Grandfather thought it was a lot of money if I didn't play it, My Grandmother who always supported my musical ambitions knew I would play it". " I spent 10-12 hours a day with it playing everything I could by Mike Auldridge and Jerry Douglas, I was lucky enough Mike lived in the DC area and always had time for you to ask him things, So gracious with his time , By the time I started playing Jerry had moved away from DC or I'm sure he would have as well". Within five years Darren was being sought after to play with several Mid Atlantic Regional bands. South Central Bluegrass from Pennsylvania was the first. "Those guys Jeff Presley, Dick Laird, Dave Mickley and Ron Rice made me understand what it was like to play in a band that was going to perform and record. I did my first recording with them at Bias Studios in Springfield VA with Bill McElroy engineering for Webco Records and was owned by Bill Emerson. That led to other doors being opened. Bill was and has been always so good to me." In fall of 1991 Bill Harrell called and offered Darren the dobro job being vacated by the late Dave Giegerich. "I gladly accepted, I was gonna get to play with one of my musical heroes, I had played holes in the records Auldridge had done with him, So it was fun". Darren would leave Bill Harrell's Virginians after one year. " I don't remember where and how it happened, But somehow some where I met Mike Munford (IBMA Banjo Player of the year), I had heard about this guy and he lived up to the billing. And somehow through gigs or parties Moondi Klien (Seldom Scene, Chesapeake)came
into play along with Sally Truitt. And we decided we would form a band and called it Rendered Senseless. We had like all day all night rehearsals and we were like a family because we spent so much time together. Moondi is a great singer and knows what notes went where and Munford was a arranger and it was an intense band. We added Ron Webb on Mandolin and Pat White (Country Current) on fiddle and it was powerful". Darren was a much sought after dobro player in the DC area through the 90's. " I wanted to do music full-time and one day I found my voice and people really liked what I was singing, So I started focusing on my singing and put a guitar in my hand and the rest is history"
Darren left full-time music in 2011. He has stayed active in music since, But went and got what people call a "Real Job". After being a part of Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and leading his own Legends of The Potomac that included the late Mike Auldridge, Tom Gray, Norman Wright and Mark Delaney. He also helped form the short lived Heart Town that featured Greg Luck, Shayne Bartley, Tim Laughlin and Jason Leek all of whom have been a huge part of bluegrass for many years. Playing such venues as The Hollywood Bowl, The Grand Ole Opry, Prairie Home Companion, Earnest Tubb Record Shop and The Ryman Auditorium fulfilled a lifelong dream. “It was an incredible ride to do those things. I wouldn’t ever have thought I could attain that dream, Being at the top of a field is something that most never reach”. Being at the top was exactly where Beachley was, While with Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver the band won IBMA’s Vocal Group of the year in 2006&2007 and recorded gospel event 2006 & 2007. The group would also have “Sadie’s Got Her New Dress On” top the Bluegrass Unlimited charts for six consecutive months, As well as being the number one video on CMT’s pure pack twelve. In 2008 DL&Q would achieve another first as the first bluegrass band to top the Southern Gospel Music Charts with “Help Is On The Way”. In mid to late 2008 Darren started jamming with some friends he had known for some time. Those friends just happened to be Mike Auldridge, Tom Gray, Norman Wright and Mark Delaney. “We would get together during the day and pick, and it was fun to do something other than Quicksilver, Mike and Tom had been my heroes when they were part of the Seldom Scene. Norman had taken me under his wing when I was a green player and singer and Mark and I had grown up through the music together”. Darren decided in early 2009 it was time to make a move and Darren Beachley & Legends of The Potomac was formed. “It was weird leaving the security of DL&Q and having my name in front of a band that included those guys, But Mike insisted”. The band recorded their first and only CD for Patuxent Records and it was a huge success reaching number 1 on Roots Music Charts and number 11 on Billboard as well as being rated one of the top 15 bluegrass recordings of 2010.“When the idea for the band was born, I wasn’t looking to be just another band; I wanted the approach that we could crossover reaching into other markets gave us a different audience”. In early summer 2010 Mike Auldridge made the announcement that he would retire from touring. “ I will never forget it, We were in the van in Ohio and he said it was just to tiring on him with his health getting worse and he was going to have to leave the road”. After the sad parting of Mike Auldridge, Darren Beachley and The Legends of the Potomac drifted apart but Darren remained busy performing here in our region and abroad, and especially remained committed to his special high-caliber concert series in Brunswick, Maryland. Local hero that he is, we all knew what he was doing but the bluegrass world seemed fixed upon this sick fascination of rumor-mongering about how far into obscurity Darren Beachley had sunk. The truth is, Darren was just simply getting on with his life as we all have to get on with our lives. Those of us who also respect his talent, also know that Darren wasn't remaining in some stage of creative stasis. After the "Legends" he really did quite well in expanding his listening audience and fan-base. He selectively and carefully did a 'pick-and-choose' of the people he wanted to perform with, and the places he wanted to perform. The hard-core bluegrass bunch is a fickle crowd, but will always back their icons. Darren Beachley stayed at the top-of-the-mark of reputable artist/performers in acoustic music.
" I am looking forward to being involved with something different". Darren has kept an eye on the industry from a distance, He has continued to write some songs with other folks including Kenny Ray Horton, Paula Breedlove and Brad Davis. The songs "I'm Gonna Build It was recorded by Tom Wurth. "Ride" was recorded by the band Nightflyer.