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Darden Smith always loved music, but an episode of “Austin City Limits” is what made him decide to be a musician for a living.
“Once I found out I could get paid for writing songs and singing, that was all I need to hear,” Smith says, recalling watching the show when he was 16 years old.
Today, Smith has toured the world as a “guy with a guitar,” playing his songs and inspiring others to jump into the world of singing and songwriting. Smith’s love for music has also translated into service to others, as the musician co-founded SongwritingWith:Soldiers, an organization which aims to “to use the art of songwriting in the service of our brothers and sisters in arms.” The organization has worked with veterans across the country and has more than thirty-five events, according to its website.
Smith says his work with the organization has been a fulfilling and life changing experience.
“It’s amazing,” Smith says. “It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever done.”
With a discography that includes two albums on the Columbia label from the 1990s, Smith has been well known for taking his folk and Americana influences that have taken him across the globe. His work has also led him to work with various service organizations and as a Artist-In-Residence at Oklahoma State University’s Institute for Creativity and Innovation and the Riata School of Entrepreneurship.
But when fans attend Sunday’s performance, they won’t see just any musician on stage. Instead, they will see someone who truly cares about the songs he writes and performs.
“I just love songs,” Smith says.
Smith will perform at the Cactus Theater on Sunday, June 23rd with Radney Foster on the “Songs, Books, Jokes & Tears Tour.” Tickets range from $20 to $50 and are available through cactustheater.com.