Darren Beachley
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Darren Beachley

Point of Rocks, Maryland, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1989 | INDIE | AFM

Point of Rocks, Maryland, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 1989
Solo Americana Bluegrass




"The Road Not Taken"

The Road Not Taken
Written by Michael K. Brantley Posted on January 1, 2023

It’s always nice when a familiar bluegrass face that’s been lying low for a while returns to the scene. Well-regarded Darren Beachley, who pulled service with Bill Harrell and The Virginians, Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver and fronted his own Legends of the Potomac (as well as some other groups) is back with a new album.

Beachley has released The Road Not Taken, his first solo project in more than 10 years. It’s a mix of solid covers and some new material and the album is packed with well-known bluegrass talent.

The first single off The Road Not Taken is “New Ballard Branch,” but “River Full of Blues” is strong as well. One of the highlights is Eric Clapton’s 80s hit, “Forever Man” and Mike Phipps steps in to take lead vocals on a nice cover of Marty Robbins’ “Big Iron.” One of the catchiest is the well-done Rick Bartlett tune, “Memories of My Younger Days.” Bartlett also wrote “River Full of Blues.”

Beachley lined up a star-studded cast for support which is to long to list here, but is highlighted by Scott Vestal (banjo), Clay Hess (guitar), Alan Bibey (mandolin), Stephen Burwell (fiddle), Sam Bush, Marshal Wilborn, Josh Swift, Shawn Lane and Wyatt Rice. - Bluegrass Unlimited

"The Road Not Taken"

Darren Beachley is a recognizable force in bluegrass music. Known for his years as a member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, as well as his leadership of the all star band, Darren Beachley & The Legends of the Potomac, The Road Not Taken is Beachley’s first new release in a number of years. With this project, Darren has not only gone back to his roots as a resophonic guitarist, but has also put together an eclectic mix of bluegrass and Americana material with backing from an incredible supporting cast of instrumentalists and vocalists.

The opening track, New Ballard Branch, written by Eli Johnston and Kevin McKinnon, sets the stage for what this project has to offer. Featuring Scott Vestal on banjo, Curtis Vestal on bass and baritone vocals, Clay Hess on guitar, Alan Bibey on mandolin, and Stephen Burwell on fiddle, this piece is also a great demonstration of Beachley’s vocal abilities as well as his skill on the dobro.

Listen To The Radio is perhaps the greatest example of Darren’s powerful voice. On this track he is singing all of the vocal parts and doing so strongly. Though the song was written by Nanci Griffith and recorded by Jonathan Edwards, Beachley’s rendition is captivating and unforgettable. This piece also leans into more of the Americana sound by incorporating the lap steel guitar (which is played by Darren), pedal steel by Troy Engle, and percussion by Josh Swift.

Forever Man, originally recorded by Eric Clapton, is given a fun newgrass treatment by Darren. Appropriately Sam Bush is featured on mandolin giving the song an authentic yet progressive flavor.

There’s several instances in which Beachley spotlights the talents of other vocalists. One such track is Ghost Of Who We Were which features Christy Shaver. Another is Big Iron featuring Mike Phipps of the Country Gentlemen Tribute Band. Though the arrangement follows Marty Robbins’ original 1959 recording fairly closely, Phipps’ overall delivery breathes new life into the song. This track also features T. Michael Coleman on fretless bass, lead guitar, and percussion, Wyatt Rice on rhythm guitar, and Pat White on fiddle and mandolin.

Memories Of My Younger Days is a traditional sounding piece which is reminiscent of the material Darren recorded as a member of Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Fittingly the track features Scott and Curtis Vestal, and Stephen Burwell who were members of Quicksilver at different points in their careers.

River Full Of Blues written by Rick Bartley features incredible duo singing from Beachley and Shawn Lane. With instrumental backing from Scott and Curtis Vestal, Clay Hess, Alan Bibey, and Stephen Burwell, this is without question a well-defined bluegrass song.

The Road Not Taken is arguably one of the best recordings released in 2022. This project has it all. Incredible vocals, musicianship, variety, and not a single bit of filler. This release is a marvelous comeback for Darren Beachley. It’s difficult to sum up how excellent this effort is. Take a trip down the road that Darren takes us on with this album. It’s a wonderful journey! - Bluegrass Today

"This Open Book Tells No Lies"

I’m an open book, and I tell no lies,” Darren Beachley began the conversation. The multi-instrumentalist and singer testifies that he was born into music. His grandmother Beachley played autoharp and sang at a local radio station with Mac Wiseman. There was always music in the family home.
“It’s not like I discovered it. I think it was more of a bloodline thing. I joke around a lot saying that I was bouncing around in the crib listening to Jimmy Martin.”
Darren shared that as an extrovert, he found music to be an avenue to be around more people. He began playing the bass and started playing in bars at eleven years old. “I saw things that no eleven-year-old kid should probably see,” Darren laughed.

After some time playing bass with his dad’s band, Darren remembers seeing Mike Auldridge playing at a bluegrass festival, and he knew that he wanted to play the dobro. “I was a dobro player up to when I was 25 or 30 years old. I played guitar some, but I was basically a dobro player. I left it and started singing, and one thing led to another. I went back to the bass and guitar again.” Darren’s dream of playing with Doyle Lawson influenced this change.

“Doyle won’t remember it, but I remember it very well. I was seven years old, and he was with the Country Gentlemen, and they came to Maryland. The cool thing about being a kid is that your fear factor is very little, so I started going to the guys that were on stage and started asking them questions. I remember meeting Doyle at the time. I was very fortunate that those guys were open to answering kids’ questions.” At 14 years old, Darren would see Doyle Lawson playing with his new band at a festival in Virginia. After watching Doyle on stage, Darren told his parents, “I know what I want to do with my life. I want to play music. I want to play with that band.” Darren wasn’t singing or anything like that at the time. It was just a dream. One thing led to another, and it worked out.

In 1993 John Bowman was leaving Doyle’s band to work with Alison Krauss. Darren knew John was leaving, and he saw an opportunity. With guitar in tow, Darren drove to see Doyle.

Darren shared that it felt like someone had run over him with a truck. He went back to doing his own thing playing dobro around town until 2003. Darren ran into Jamie Daily at IBMA, and they started talking and singing, and they even pulled Doyle in to jam with them; nothing serious. In the spring of 2005, Jamie Daily went to Switzerland with the US young ambassadors’ program, and Doyle asked Darren to fill in for two weeks. However, on November 17, 2005, Darren got his dream job. Doyle offered Darren the position to play in Quicksilver, which he accepted.

After four years of playing in Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Darren decided that it was time to move to the next chapter. “My kids were growing up without me, so I wanted to be closer to home, and I wanted to do some different things musically.” Darren put together a band with Mike Aldridge, Tom Gray, Mark Delaney, and Norman Wright, a very D.C.-centric band. Their first record went to number eleven on the Billboard charts. Still, there was more Darren wanted to try.

“After a while, you want to put your mark on whatever you’re doing, pick your songs, record your way with all the lessons that you’ve learned over the years.” With his latest single, “New Ballard Branch,” it sounds like Darren has done just that. Curt Vestal introduced the song to Darren.
Darren is forging forward with new releases on Turnberry Records. He shared that a new single and album should be available this spring. - The Bluegrass Standard

"Point of Rocks bluegrass artist Darren Beachley signed to Turnberry Records"

Darren Beachley is known in bluegrass circles for his 30-plus years in the genre, most notably as the lead vocalist and guitarist for Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver.

The Point of Rocks resident also played dobro with Bill Harrell’s band The Virginians and, more locally, formed Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac, which performed primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Most recently, Turnberry Records, based in Rancho Mirage, California, signed Beachley to their label with a commitment to release two albums within the next three years, the first of which will likely drop later this year and contain a mix of original and traditional bluegrass songs.

This new project also marks a return to Beachley’s first love, the resonator guitar.

Beachley took a few minutes to talk with us about what he’s been up to in recent years and his excitement to work with Turnberry and a number of guest artists on the next album.

What have you been up to since performing regularly with Doyle Lawson and also Legends of the Potomac?

When I left Doyle in 2009, I formed The Legends and we had a great time, with our first and only release reaching No. 11 on Billboard and No. 1 on the Roots Music Charts.

Mike Auldridge became ill and eventually left the road before his passing, and I am not sure I have really ever gotten over Mike’s passing. He was a hero and mentor. So in 2011, I just decided it wasn’t the same and went and got a “real job.”

It was also time to prepare for my future and retirement — et cetera, et cetera, seeing my kids and wife more. So I took a job with Environmental Services at Frederick Memorial Hospital and eventually became the assistant director in the department. Three years ago, Inova Loudoun Hospital came calling, offering the director’s position, and I took that.

In the winter of 2019, I started playing resophonic [or resonator] guitar again, which was my first love as an instrument.

Tell us a little about Mid Maryland United, your involvement with it, and why it was important to you.

I was involved in Mid Maryland United Baseball Organization until November of last year. I had been there five years. It is a boys baseball organization that travels all over the country, and we try to coach these boys about not only baseball but life. We try to get them into colleges to play baseball, get an education, come back to the community, and raise a family and give back — building better communities through baseball.

I stepped down as president last November. Every kid I coached, I still try and follow via Facebook, and it makes my heart happy to see them doing well. Mid Maryland United continues on to this day with the same mission.

Will these three albums with Turnberry Records be released under the name Darren Beachley? Do you have a new band you’ll be performing with?

I wasn’t really looking for a label, but Rebekah Speer is working for them as well, and she is singing a song my new project. I jokingly said, “Y’all looking for an artist?” She replied, “Maybe.”

After talking with Daniel Routh, the director of artist relations, and Keith [Turnberry Records owner Keith Barncastle], I was pumped, because they are going to do things outside the box.

I didn’t want a band. I didn’t want to be a band leader again. Keith and Daniel were totally onboard with Darren Beachley making the record he wants to make, and the record I want to make is a mix of bluegrass and Americana. Turnberry is allowing me to be me.

Are you writing much on the first album?

I do have a few songs on this album that I had a hand in writing. “36’ Flood,” with Kenny Ray Horton, we wrote with the aid of my grandfather, who passed away in January. It’s a song about the grandaddy of all the floods on the Potomac in 1936. My grandparents farmed the river bottoms in Lander, and my grandfather was 8 years old and told me stories of the flood and the sights and stories he remembered. I wish he had lived to hear the completed project.

Is there a timeline on a projected release date, or is it too early to say?

Hard to say on release date, as it will have singles released before the full project releases, and Turnberry has some different ideas that I love. I would say late fall, early winter for a full release.

How is this project different from your past work?

This project, I would say, is going to be the best work I have done to date. These are songs that I have had 10 years to pick out or write. The difference is the treatment of each song, and the production of each song is based more on what treatment the song needs, rather than forcing it into a genre.

It sounds like you’re bringing lots of guest artists onto the album. Is there anyone you’ve not played with before that you’re excited to work with or other highlights you’re looking forward to?

Oh, I have some really great people working on this. The cool part, if there is a cool part of COVID, is all musicians were sitting home, all looking for work. I really had a ball working with Scott Vestal, who won the Steve Martin award for banjo a couple years back, and his brother Curtis. Also Clay Hess and Alan Bibey — Clay worked with Ricky Skaggs for a time and Alan Bibey has been an IBMA mandolin player many, many times. Truth is, all of the people on the this project had a specific quality or sound that I wanted.

Where will the first album be recorded?

In October and November, I built a studio in my basement. My youngest son, Bryan, has, for the last year, been into production of R&B and rap music, so we built the studio, and he’s been helping produce me. His brutal honesty is something that took some getting used to.

All the guest artists have their own studios, so we are using the modern technology of emailing tracks to musicians, they do the performance and send it back, and we edit it and put it in the song. - Frederick News Post

"Darren Beachley & Legends keep Bluegrass flowing"

When Darren Beachley and Legends of the Potomac formed recently, he and his band mates -- some of the best known bluegrass players in the region -- opted to develop a style all their own and not look back. That may just prove to be the formula for success.
"We didn't get into this per se to sound like a Washington, D.C., band," Beachley said. "We wanted to play material that wasn't done by anyone else to make the songs and the sound uniquely ours."

Beachley, a Frederick, Md., native, and his band mates certainly have the right music credentials to develop their own style. As veterans of such renowned bands as Bill Harrell and the Virginians, the Seldom Scene, the Travelers and, of course, Darren Beachley and the Maryland Line the members are among the best in the format.

"After you accomplish one dream, there are always others down the road," he said. "After winning so many awards and performing at so many events I realized what is next is to make my own music."

But don't think that the band is all about Beachley.
"It is a five-man vision in this band," he said. "When we go into a rehearsal, there aren't any ideas that go untried."

Although the sagging economy has kept many venues scampering for revenue, the bluegrass scene in the Washington area is alive and well considering the crowds Beachley has seen.

"I think people are looking for something different other than canned music you hear on pop music and country music," he said. "I think people are looking for something real -- the real deal -- and I believe we are offering up music that is fresh and exciting."

That's why you'll often find the band playing for community fundraisers and benefits or just taking time at "meet and greets" with their fans.
"Our fans always have time for us so we have time for them," Beachley said. "We feel an obligation to them."
Expect that fan base to grow as the band makes even more of a name for itself behind its just released album "Take Off."

"The record is great; I am tickled to death with it," Beachley said. "I have to pinch myself to make sure it is real. The [band members] are like a bluegrass fantasy picks. I am very blessed I've gotten these guys." - Washington Examiner

"Darren Beachley & Legends of The Potomac "Take Off""

For decades, the greater Washington, D.C., region has been an incubator for great bluegrass and newgrass bands, both long-lived (Seldom Scene) and ephemeral (Chesapeake). Darren Beachley & Legends Of The Potomac is the latest supergroup to emerge from this ever-shifting constellation, and its name pays homage to the region’s glorious tradition.

Though this band is fresh to the scene, the faces in it certainly aren’t. All five members of Legends—Beachley, tenor vocals/guitar; Mike Auldridge, resonator guitar/pedal steel guitar/vocals; Norman Wright, mandolin/vocals; Mark Delaney, banjo/guitar; and Tom Gray, acoustic bass—are veterans of acclaimed ensembles from whose shadows Legends Of The Potomac has emerged. Not surprisingly, there’s a strong sense of continuity in the music, as well. The rich, impeccable harmonies, the clean, spacious production, and imaginative song choices conjure up immediate and positive comparisons with formative bands like the Seldom Scene and the Country Gentlemen.

These 14 tracks include blasts from the distant and not so distant past, such as the Louvin Brothers’ “You’ll Forget” and “Leavin’ And Sayin’ Goodbye” (a ’70s Faron Young “countrypolitan” hit). But, there is also a healthy offering of noteworthy new material, including a pair of ballads, “Other Side Of Lonely” and “Love Don’t Know,” penned by Paula Breedlove and Brad Davis.

Most satisfying is “Tall Weeds And Rust,” a powerful and timely ballad about losing an ancestral forty acres to suburban sprawl and blight. Cowritten by Don Rigsby, Tom T. Hall, and Dixie Hall, it features a fine guest vocal from Tom T. with stellar backing from this exceedingly accomplished new bluegrass supergroup. (Patuxent Music, P.O. Box 572, Rockville, MD 20848, www.pxrec.com.) BA - Bluegrass Unlimited

"Darren Beachley & Legends of The Potomac"

Though it’s sometimes oversold, the MD-DC-VA area really is a bluegrass hotbed, and has been for a long time. Upon his departure from Doyle Lawson’s Quicksilver, lead and tenor singer Darren Beachley got the idea to round up some stellar area veterans from across several generations, and their Patuxent Music debut Take Off shows it as a fine one. Tom Gray’s the first bassist into the IBMA Hall of Fame and Mike Auldridge, as they say, needs no introduction — he’s one of the greatest dobro players ever. But Norman Wright has been a favorite among the cognoscenti, too, for his years with the Country Gentlemen, Bluegrass Cardinals and the Travelers, while banjo man Mark Delaney has pitched in with a variety of regional players; check out his break on the Jeannie Seely classic “Leavin’ And Sayin’ Goodbye.” Good stuff from a good bunch.
— Jon Weisberber - Nashville Scene

"Darren Beachley & Legends of The Potomac"

If you like the "high lonesome sound" of bluegrass keeps this album from Darren Beachley and
Legends of the Potomac definitely recommended. Guitarist and singer Beachley was playing in Doyle
Lawson & Quicksilver and the members of his band are all old hands in the bluegrassvak. Norman
Wright played the mandolin at the Bluegrass Cardinals and the Country Gentlemen, banjo and Mark Delaney
guitar, also at the Country Gentlemen, while Mike Auldridge (pedal steel and resophonic guitar) a
bluegrass legend - he played in many bands and bluegrass on countless CDs as
session musician. Tom Gray is the last row of the top musicians in this band, which is really just
robust, antiquarian bluegrass playing with the piercing tenor of Beachley sometimes in the foreground.
The guys running already for quite a while, but the approach is extremely energetic and fresh. Musicians
with experience, who are very much looking forward to and which have a particularly contagious, crystal clear picture
created. Lovely. Tom T Hall you can hear as a guest singer in Tall Weeds and Rust, Rachel Johnson and Ray
Legere the gastfiddlers and Nate Leath plays as guest the Ampex tape box for percussion effect. - Moors Magazine (Dutch)

"Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - 'Lonely Street'"

Finest Moments on 'Lonely Street'

The whole album kicks off with one of the collection's best songs, "Monroe's Mandolin" (purchase/download). Later comes a terrific vocal turn on "Johnny and Sally" (purchase/download), featureing Darren Beachley's great lead vocals (Lawson and Carl White on harmonies).
"Down Around Bear Cove" (purchase/download) is a fantastic instrumental that the liner notes attributes to Josh Swift (resophonic guitar) and co-written with Lawson. Lawson's mandolin, Brandon Godman's fiddle, and Swift pull of some pretty impressive, incredibly tight arpeggios.

Although Lonely Street is chock full of fantastic performances, it all culminates with a terrific gospel tune, "When the Last of Our Days Shall Come" (purchase/download). Not only are Beachley's vocals at peak form here, but the song also shows off the exquisite instrumental skills of Lawson, Swift, and the rest of the band. - Folk Music About dot Com


1989 "Cant Return To The Homeplace" South Central Bluegrass -Webco Records
1991 " I Need A Song" Jeff Presley & South Central Bluegrass - Webco Records
1991 " Caution to The Wind" Jack Sandbower - Buck Hollow Records
1999 "Ridin' The Lines" The Travelers - Hay Holler
2003 " Remembrances" Darbe Music
2005 " I Love You To The Moon and Back" Blue Circle Records
2005 " Country Gentlemen Tribute Vol 1" Bill Yates and Friends - Mastershield
2005 "Sounds of Heaven" Tribute To Vince Gill -CMH Records
2006 "He Lives In Me" Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver- Horizon
2007 "More Behind The Picture" Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver-Rounder
2007 "Country Gentlemen Tribute Vol 2 Bill Yates and Friends-Mastershield
2007 "Bill Emerson & Sweet Dixie" Bill Emerson -Rebel
2008 " Help Is On The Way" Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - Horizon
2009 "Lonely Street" Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver - Rounder
2010 "Take Off" Darren Beachley & Legends of The Potomac - Patuxent
2010 "Going To The Dance" Chris Warner - Patuxent
2010 "Canarys Song" Kenny Ray Horton -Fader 4
2011 " Daydreams" Cory Piatt - Patuxent

2013 "The Songs That I Sing" -Mike Andes 

2020 " Happiness of Having You"- Linda Lay  Mountain Fever

2020  " Still" -Kenny Ray Horton  Fader 4

2022 The Road Not Taken - Darren Beachley  Turnberry Records



One of the more seasoned voices and instrumentalist in the world of Americana and bluegrass music, Darren Beachley approaches music like the wide-eyed twenty-something he was so long ago when he began his career. The Maryland native has strung together an impressive and successful thirty-plus-year career in the industry. From the days of playing alongside his mother and father on stage in the DMV area to getting his big break as the Dobro player in Bill Harrells band The Virginians, Darren polished his skillset every step of the way. When he became the lead singer and guitarist for Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver he built his name up to become one of the most recognizable in the world as they performed across the globe at some of the most acclaimed venues such as the Hollywood Bowl and The Grand Ole Opry. He would form Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac and achieve new heights with his innovative performances and heartfelt lyrics. His unique and powerful vocals and instrumental stylings have carried him across stages and into the hearts of fans and friends. The next step in his career is another chance to cement his legacy while doing the thing he has enjoyed since the days of his childhood. 

Band Members