A Life Well Lived
Daryl Mosley, a former member of New Tradition, the Osborne Brothers band and The Farm Hands, is a charismatic singer and a remarkable songwriter. The songs on his third album, much like on his 2020 The Secret of Life and his 2021 follow-up Small Town Dreamer, poignantly capture everyday virtues, sentiments, reminisces and musings on small town life, both the way it is, the way it once was and the way it should be once again.
The title tune (one of several that Mosley cowrote with Rick Lang) artfully captures the process by which the values that bind communities—love, loyalty, generosity, compassion, etc.—are passed from one generation to the next.
The deeply moving “Walking Man” is a tribute to John L. Mays, a real-life local hero from Mosley’s hometown of Waverly, Tennessee who spent his life giving back to his community and brightening many lives.
In “Back When We Were Boys” (also cowritten with Lang), grown men look back longingly at the unblemished and uncompromised freedom and innocence of their youthful days when, “we didn’t even realize we had it made.”
The lovely “Mayberry State of Mind” explores similar emotional territory, as does the swingy “We Need More of That.” “Hillbilly Graham” (which Mosley wrote in the spirit of Tom T. Hall) and “Big God” (on which Ronnie Booth of the Booth Brothers provides a vocal assist) are a pair of quirky yet profound gospel outings.
“The Bible in the Drawer” (on which Mosley is joined on vocals by Sarah Davidson of High Road) is a particularly intriguing and unusual narrative. It’s told from the first-hand perspective of one of those countless Gideon Bibles moldering in hotels and motels far and wide, waiting silently to be picked up and read by a lost soul seeking clarity and redemption.
The arrangements throughout A Life Well Lived are sparse and impeccable as Mosley enlightens us about all that is ennobling in small town America.