Western Skies

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Pub Date 05 Mar 2022 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2022

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Description

Part prose, part album, and part photographic essay, Western Skies is singer-songwriter Darden Smith’s stunning homage to the mythologies of Texas and companion to his music release of the same name.


Amid a series of road trips across West Texas, Darden Smith—Austin-based musician, author, and creative—found himself writing songs at the wheel and taking Polaroid photographs of the stark and ghostly terrain. Inspired by the spirit of the landscape, Smith scribbled his observations in a notebook and found new life in old lyrics—and between the prose, the music, and the Polaroid images he captured with his camera, Western Skies came vividly to life.


This beautifully designed and collectible book combines everything Smith captured and created during his travels. Features include:


- Dozens of Smith’s personal Polaroid images

- Sixteen new essays 

- A foreword by Grammy Award–winner Rodney Crowell

- The lyrics of Smith’s latest album, also entitled Western Skies

- Link to a free download of the complete Western Skies album with book purchase


The perfect companion piece to his latest album, also titled Western Skies, this arresting travelogue celebrates the sights and sounds of West Texas in a truly immersive and transportive way. 

Part prose, part album, and part photographic essay, Western Skies is singer-songwriter Darden Smith’s stunning homage to the mythologies of Texas and companion to his music release of the same name.


...


Advance Praise

“This multi-front production by one of Texas’s great songwriters feels not only urgent, but authentic, as if the songs, poems, essays and photographs gathered here were things that could no longer be withheld. They blur into each other in the richest possible way, erasing genres and leaving only a singular voice that demands to be heard.”

 —Stephen Harrigan, Author of the New York Times best-selling novel, The Gates of the Alamo and writer for Texas Monthly magazine

"What a lovely, lovely, evocative piece of work. Maybe because of this pandemic my heart breaks more easily than it used to, but some of this is flat heartbreaking. Darden Smith is doing many things here. One of them is conjuring that hard, wild, beautiful, tragic thing called Texas that we all mostly love."

—S.C. Gwynne, Pulitzer finalist and New York Times best-selling author of Empire of the Summer Moon

“Darden Smiths new multi-media project Western Skies is big, bold, and beautiful. With perception and vision, an artist’s job is to help us all to see more, and to see better. Western Skies does exactly that, it helps us to see these West Texas landscapes through the loving eyes of the artist. There is plenty of love in Darden’s new work, and as a result, we are given the chance to see and to love as well. Well done my friend, well done.”

– Mary Gauthier

Western Skies is better than Northern, Eastern and Southern Skies combined! West side rules!”

– Jack Ingram

“Darden and I have been friends for over 30 years now. His artistic appetite has never been sharper than with this extraordinary collection. Through songs, prose and images he honours who and where he is now. He eschews nostalgia for something more vital that takes us to the now. His beautiful songs are Polaroids.”

– Boo Hewerdine

Western Skies is totally inspired and performed by poet, essayist, photographer, singer and songwriter, Darden Smith. I was moved so much by what I have heard. I love the textures and how the stories are woven in a tapestry of musical harmony.” 

– Chris Difford, (Squeeze)

"These are songs and observations from a man who has come to terms with who and where he is in life and is ultimately satisfied in finding that place. 

Songs of life, regret, satisfaction all wrapped in the best Austin Texas Americana landscape and soundscape you could hope for. Many songwriters have tried to accomplish this and missed by a mile, Darden Smith has hit the nail on the head with this audio visual delight. Voice and eye colliding beautifully letting us all share and touch the Western Skies."

– Midge Ure (Songwriter (Ultravox) / Speaker / Photographer)

"Darden sees with his heart. Using an old Polaroid camera, he has created a poem of visual fragments scattered across West Texas. Sky, wind, pony, river and yucca are some of Darden’s subjects that are combined with his songs and spoken word essays to create a magical mosaic of West Texas."

– Michael O’Brien, photographer

“With Western Skies Darden puts music to the deep mystery, words to vast loneliness and love , and images to the heartache and beauty of the West-thanks for this out of this world road trip of the West.”

– Roy Spence, GSD&M


“This multi-front production by one of Texas’s great songwriters feels not only urgent, but authentic, as if the songs, poems, essays and photographs gathered here were things that could no longer be...


Marketing Plan

Western Skies book, album, and photographs - “A love song to the mythologies of Texas.”

Concert tour with songs and readings from Western Skies

Author events at indie bookstores throughout Texas and major metro markets throughout the country

Gallery exhibits, including launch event exhibition at Redbud Gallery in Houston, TX, on March 5, 2022

Endorsements and promotional videos featuring high-profile artists and friends

Extensive media and publicity coverage in local and national markets

Western Skies book, album, and photographs - “A love song to the mythologies of Texas.”

Concert tour with songs and readings from Western Skies

Author events at indie bookstores throughout Texas and...


Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781947297425
PRICE $50.00 (USD)

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