Daryl Mosely – The Genuine “Gospel Music” Article!
I have known Daryl Mosely most of my life. His voice is so melodic and wonderful; it flows as naturally and smooth as a mighty river. Daryl doesn’t just sing the words, he projects emotion into them. When he sings you experience the song. His praise for God is genuine and heartfelt. Daryl acknowledges the genesis of his talent and has spent his entire professional career praising God who makes it all possible. Bill Gaither is quoted as saying, “Daryl is a poet, and we don’t have many poets left.”
Daryl started his singing career in the Church. At sixteen, he became a regular performer at Loretta Lynn’s ranch, playing piano, bass and guitar. A few years later he teamed up with my father Jeff Belcher on a project called Barron Hollow. This was a super group in the making. Soon after sprung forth New Tradition, the group in which Daryl made his mark with the song “Can You Hear Jerusalem Moan.” This song—in my opinion—is one of the greatest songs ever recorded.
Daryl was a regular at the Grand Ole Opry, playing bass in the house band for anyone and everyone in the country music business. He toured with Bobby Osbourne and Rocky Top Express and is currently performing with a bluegrass super group The Farm Hands Quartet.
Daryl Mosley is an accomplished singer, musician, and songwriter. “(Ask The Blind Man) He Saw It All”, was voted one of the greatest southern gospel songs of all time by Singing News magazine. In spite of his busy schedule, Daryl made the time to give me an interview:
You have one of the finest voices in all of Bluegrass and Gospel Music. How did you discover you had this talent?
I’ve been singing as long as I can remember. My mom sang at church, played guitar and piano. I was singing with her when I was really young. When I was about 13, I started learning to play the guitar so I could accompany myself, and things kind of went from there.
“Jerusalem Moan” with New Tradition is one of my favorite songs. How did you discover that song?
I didn’t discover Bluegrass music until I was grown. I grew up on Southern Gospel and Country music. Once I discovered Bluegrass, I kind of migrated towards the Gospel songs because that’s where my roots were. ‘Can’t You Hear Jerusalem Moan’ was an old spiritual song that had been around a long time and recorded by several artists. I heard Hot Rize and New Grass Revival both sing it, but I’m not sure who I heard sing it first. I just loved the feel of the song and it lent itself well to the a cappella style that we sung it with.
What made you decide that bass was your instrument of choice?
Great question. I actually thought I was a guitar player—until I met some guitar players! I went to a picking contest one day and saw some guys flat-picking. I knew that I couldn’t do that. I was strictly rhythm. But I always liked fooling around on the bass. I started getting more serious on the bass after that. I started out playing electric, then switched to upright bass with New Tradition and the Osborne Brothers. I switched back to electric bass with Bobby Osborne and now with my own band, The Farm Hands. Currently I am endorsed by the Gibson Guitar Company, and I play an Epiphone Zenith bass.
What inspires you as a songwriter?
Different things, really. Sometimes it’s an idea that the song is built around. Sometimes it’s the need for a certain type of song. Songs come in a variety of ways.
How does your faith reflect in your music, singing, and songwriting?
I think that music is such a personal expression; it will always reflect the heart of the individual. My relationship with God is very important to me. It is also a constantly changing relationship, which I think is normal with any relationship. The things I deal with at my age are different from when I was 35 or 25. I also like to think that I am more honest with God now than I once was. I truly talk to Him like He is a friend, which I believe He wants to be. It’s an open, comfortable relationship. I hope that transfers through the music. Songs like “You Never Gave Up On Me” that Sharron Kay King recorded, and “I Would” that was a #1 song for Ronnie Booth are very transparent examples of my life coming through my music. I write and relate to songs that talk about the desire to live a godly life in today’s world—the struggles against self and the joy of having a Savior who understands.
Any new projects?
In 2011 I left the Grand Ole Opry and started my own band, the Farm Hands Bluegrass Quartet. Since then we’ve been touring about 150 dates each year. Right now, we’re getting ready to go back into the studio to start our third album.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
I’ve always leaned onto Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. For me, that sums up the Christian’s walk: Get out of His way, He knows what He’s doing. (laughs)
You have so many awards and accolades, what part of your musical career are you most proud of?
I think it would have to be “(Ask the Blind Man) He Saw It All.” When I wrote that song, I had no idea of the impact it would make in the Gospel music world or in the lives of people. I’ve talked to many, many people who have been affected by that song in amazing ways. Having it on the list as one of the top 35 Southern Gospel songs of all time is quite an honor but, for me, just knowing that, if the Lord tarries, that song will still be sung and blessing others even after I’m no longer here. That’s legacy enough for me.