Country artist Darryl Worley to play Gering to promote greatest hits
SCOTTSBLUFF — Country music artist Darryl Worley, who is set to play the Oregon Trail Roadhouse on Gering on Saturday evening, described the scene in his native Hardin County, Tennessee, during a telephone interview Wednesday.
“We are in some serious trouble down here,” Worley said.
Over the weekend, the Tennessee river swelled over its banks after heavy rainfall late last week, prompting Tennessee’s governor to declare a Level 3 State of Emergency.
“It’s the worst flood since the late 1800s,” Worley said. “It’s never been this high. We had a bad one in ’73, but this one takes the cake.”
Worley said that he and his foundation have been looking for ways to help.
“Say a prayer for us,” he said. “We’re waiting for the water to go back in the banks so that we can get an assessment of what all we have lost.”
Worley said that he went with his cousin earlier on Wednesday to try and salvage some things from his cousin’s home.
“There are cottonmouth snakes out on people’s porches,” he said. “He had one on his back porch that was as big around as a 2-liter Coke bottle. It looked like a log.”
Worley said that there are many people who bought property in the flood plane of the river who do not have flood insurance. He plans on launching a GoFundMe linked to his foundation, which decided on Wednesday morning that will match every dollar donated up to $50,000. A link to the GoFundMe was not available at press time, but will likely be posted to Worley’s Facebook in the coming days.
“We’re gonna do something pretty strong through my foundation and through all the folks that have helped us over the years,” he said. “We’re just trying to get the word out all over the country so that people who might be able to donate a little something to help us out.”
In spite of all the trouble at home, the show will still be on this coming Saturday.
While the Gering performance is not affiliated with Worley’s “Coming to Your House Tour,” the efforts are a link to the promotion of his upcoming record, “Greatest Hits: Latest and Greatest.”
“We’re pretty excited to bring in some songs and hang out,” he said. “It will be fun.”
Worley said he has done “tons” of USO tours, as well as separate visits through other outfits to entertain U.S. troops deployed abroad.
“We got to a point where we just loved getting of the beaten path and going to places where the guys never get to see anyone,” he said. “I think we’ve been to the war zone in Afghanistan 13 or 14 times, and about the same for Iraq.”
He said he’s also entertained troops in the Philippines, South Korea and Honduras.
“Anywhere our guys will go, we try to go,” Worley said.
The performances help troops take their minds of the immediate worries of the war, and have helped many make it through being away from home.
“We’ve got a lot of military in our family, and a lot of good people go out there and put it all on the line so that the rest of us can live free,” he said. “That means the world to me and my family.”
While most country radio today seems to be concerned with navel-gazing and singers talking about themselves, Worley said, he conveys a different message through songs like “Have You Forgotten.” He couldn’t be bothered, however.
“I’ve moved away from Nashville and I’m doing all of my recording in Muscle Shoals, (Alabama),” he said. “To be honest, I don’t miss it at all. I don’t know what those people are thinking, or what they’re doing, but it doesn’t seem to be messing with my work too much.”
Worley said he’s still staying busy and putting out music he enjoys.
“Muscle Shoals has a bit of a different vibe, but it’s got a vibe that I like better,” Worley said. “We’re having fun.”
He might not sell as many records or get paid as much for the shows, but that’s not important.
“I’m still loving what I do and paying the bills,” he said. “We can get up there and play the music I want to play and represent what I want to represent, and I don’t have to answer to any record label about that. It’s just a pretty comfortable place right now, and I’m thankful for that.”
Saturday’s set will be acoustic, and Worley will be joined on stage by guitar player Mark Moree, who will sing harmony on the songs.
“He’s a good dude, one of my East Tennessee boys,” he said.
The show will start at 7 p.m. with local artist Justin Kane opening. Tickets can be purchased at the OT Roadhouse and are $20 in advance, or $25 at the door on the night of the show.