Daryl Mosley Talks Road Life, Country Influences, and Being a Bluegrass Believer

Daryl Mosley is one of the genre’s most respected names in the bluegrass and bluegrass Gospel arenas, having practiced his art for decades with acts like New Tradition, the Osborne Brothers (not the Brothers Osborne), and the Farm Boys, and working as a Nashville staff songwriter as well. Mosley’s fans know that, with each new solo release, they will find heartfelt material from the pen of a man who honors the traditions of the small town he came from as well as his Christian faith.

The Waverly, Tennessee native’s latest album is A Life Well Lived, a collection of original tunes produced by Mosley and Danny Roberts of the Grascals. And as he has done for decades, Mosley is taking those songs and others on the road to his loyal following around the country.

“I’m right at 150 dates a year for the past two years, and next year looks like it’s shaping up to be at least that,” he said via phone, just before heading to Northern Kentucky to perform at a church as part of his Christmas schedule. “I’m already booking into 2025. I still do any kind of songwriter events, I do a lot of festivals, I do a lot of house concerts in the summertime, just pretty much anything that fits into what I do.”

Mosley has found a way to fill a niche as a solo artist that few others fit into. “I actually came in at a really good time,” he said. “I started playing bluegrass on a professional level in the late 1980s, and I was actually working festivals with Alison Krauss before she became the monster act that she became, and the Dixie Chicks before they became a country act. Prior to Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? and all of that, I knew a lot of those people, and I got to see how that changed the industry, how it put a new spotlight on the music.”

As a band guy, Mosley had been primarily known as an accomplished singer and bass player, though his songwriting was no secret either. “I think mostly what kept me working was my singing,” he said. “I kind of became the bass player by default. Singing was what I brought to the table the most. I was the lead singer in New Tradition, and I sang harmony with the Osborne Brothers and played bass for them. I wrote for Ronnie Milsap’s publishing company for a few years and I also wrote for Brentwood-Benson (Music Publishing).”

“I wrote some stuff that was recorded by other folks,” he continued, “but that wasn’t my intent necessarily. I write songs that matter to me, I write story songs, I don’t write exclusively Gospel. But I also try not to write anything that I couldn’t sing in church, anything that somebody would find offensive. I lean heavily on nostalgia and the good old days and the way things used to be and that sort of thing. And that seems to resonate with my audience. I grew up listening to the songs of Tom T. Hall, but I also listened to Don Williams and Merle Haggard and other folks. I love the way they painted those pictures.”

Mosley said that people who come to one of his shows aren’t in for any surprises, but for a set list as advertised by a man who sings about real people, real life, and God. “I think people, by this point, pretty much know what they’re going to be getting when they book me,” he said.  “That’s the great thing about the bluegrass world, there are a lot of believers in the industry who are writing and recording songs from the heart. Those (Christian) songs have always been a part of the genre, even if they were being sung by people who maybe weren’t believers. I’ve always felt it was important to create a body of work that really represented who I am.”

You can follow Mosley at darylmosley.com.

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