Having been in country radio for 37 years, I can honestly say there have been only a handful of times I've received music by a local or regional artist that is this good.
In early 2002 I received a new CD, "Left For Dead", by Darl Enga. The party that brought me the CD said he was a local artist. I hadn't heard of him, even though I know many artists in the area. I thought to myself, "oh no, here's another artist I'm going to have to tell I can't play his music." I got around to listening to it a week later and was pleasantly surprised. Not only was it professionally produced, but great songs and a "doggone good singer".
I tracked the CD several times and decided to feature each cut for our "Sneak Preview CD" on KXRB. I contacted Darl and asked him to arrange for a local outlet before featuring it. He did, and listener response was tremendous. I understand the original stock sold out in several days and customers were waiting for the next shipment of CD's to arrive.
I'm particularly impressed with Darl's songwriting. He told me during an on-air interview, it's a lengthy struggle for him to write songs. I feel he should pursue songwriting vigorously! Listen to "Good Country Music" and "Time Hasn't Changed You." I hear lyrics my listeners can relate to and would like to be able to express as he has. Darl interprets lyrics of others with the same sincerity and emotion as those he wrote himself, as shown with "Even The Jukebox Cried" and "Safety In Numbers," written by Randy Albright. Pretty "heady" to cover songs like "North To Alaska" and "Me And Paul"...Darl pulls it off like a pro!
As I told Dwight Yoakam in 1986.."If you keep things on the straight and narrow, I think you have a great future in country music." Could it happen for Darl? Without knowing him personally, I feel the raw talent is there. With more studio time, and the right breaks, I'm confident he has the potential. After all, things didn't turn out too bad for Dwight.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Check out the artist's website:
1. Good Country Music
2. I've Been There
3. Hang My Heartaches Out To Dry
4. Time Hasn't Changed You
5. Spend My Nights In Love With You
6. North To Alaska
7. Even The Juke Box Cried
8. Me And Paul
9. Safety In Numbers
10. Never No More