Darrin Kobetich feels wanderlust in more ways than one. It’s there in his sometimes mournful, sometimes blissful, always soulful acoustic guitarwork. And it’s there in, well, his itinerary. From the West Texas desert to Colorado and Utah and the East Coast of his youth, his 10-album discography unfolds like an aural map.
His latest is another transportive gem. The Yucca Tapes bristles with the veteran guitarist’s fleet fingerwork, summoning a mix of bluegrass, Delta Blues, and rock. It’s a fitting antidote to our locked-down lives.
The 55-year-old guitarist/composer relocated with his family from Long Island to Weatherford in 1979. He began playing guitar at a young age, and he said his long hair shocked the hippie-averse county to our west. In Fort Worth, he formed a pretty successful thrash band that played the North Texas circuit. When A Million Pounds broke up in the mid aughts, Kobetich, after nearly 20 years of thrash, unplugged and turned inward, beginning to experiment in the acoustic-forward sound he has well mastered.
“The response to The Yucca Tapes has been very good,” he said. “I think it’s my best album yet.”
Now that cities and states are opening up, Kobetich is ready to pack up his “Space Shuttle,” a.k.a. a Toyota Tacoma with a camper shell, and hit the road. “That’s how I roll,” he said. “I park wherever and crash out.”
Spots in Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia are on the itinerary.
“California’s not ready yet, and up northern New Mexico is not ready, but other places are kind of excited about having some people play,” he said, “so it’s a mixed bag while booking this tour. … I had a full tour two years ago, and I’m counting on it this time.”
Locally, you can catch Kobetich at HopFusion brewery and Pouring Glory, among other places, and he’s helping stir quite a few other pots. He also plays in the prog outfit Agita, bluegrass purveyors Boxcar Bandits, and The Yucca Men, a mostly improvisatory group.
Self-recorded, The Yucca Tapes was mastered at Dubwise Mastering in Zagreb, Croatia, by Tom Krizic, who was recommended by Yucca Men drummer Terry Valderas. The album is available on Bandcamp, Spotify, and iTunes.