Darrell Arnold Darrell Arnold


Portraits of the Blues

Darrell has scheduled the release of Portraits of the Blues, an album and book on blues for June 15, 2024.

Portraits of the Blues is a book and musical recording package (Sisyphus Publishing and Arco Records) introducing the music and worldviews of key Delta and Texas blues artists from the early twentieth century. It highlights the songs and lives of Bessie Smith, Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt, Skip James, Robert Petway, and Lightnin’ Hopkins.

The album has music from each of these musicians. In the book, an illustration of each musician is also provided. The chapters thematize the lives and legacies of the musicians, as well as their views of the blues and religion. They also accentuate ways in which the artists’ music came to have a political importance, often without the intent of the artists themselves. The narrative draws attention to the assemblage factors that birthed the blues—black sorrow songs, hollers, and spirituals, merged with white, southern, folk music. But more than that, the African cultural inheritance shared by the musicians who developed the blues was transformed when transplanted into the new soil of a new land. The music was not only affected by new musical styles, but also by new ways of life and religious and political realities. The result was a new musical genre expressive of the black American experience, yet one that also expresses elements of the universal human experience. The featured artists—many who fell into obscurity after some early successes—ultimately bequeath to the world a uniquely expressive artform that becomes a basic musical vocabulary for later music of people globally.

The recording artist and book author is Darrell Arnold, a Miami-based philosophy professor and performing singer-songwriter. Darrell has numerous academic publications, including edited volumes with Routledge and Palgrave/MacMillian, and he has recorded five albums of his own folk-rock songs. Darrell has recorded the album for Portraits of the Blues together with the Nashville-based guitarist and producer, Jack Shawde. The recordings lean on traditional versions of the songs, honoring them without trying to duplicate them. They range from guitar/vocal arrangements with keyboard accompaniment to five-piece band arrangements. The book illustrations are portraits of the musicians, created by Irena Gapkovska, a Macedonian-born artist, who lives in Perpignan, France and Skopje, Macedonia. The music, writing, and artwork of Portraits of the Blues make for a unique multifaceted presentation of early Delta and Texas blues artists and their work.

Darrell will be doing a book tour beginning in June 2024. Please contact him for if you are interested in booking a show.

For a sample chapter from the book, see the blog on this page: Portraits of the Blues: Further description and Chapter 1


Changing World

This roots rock, Americana album features ten songs that thematically run the gamut from existential thought pieces to love and lost-love songs, all with gripping vocal hooks, grooving rhythms, and layers of guitars, wondrous guitars.

The album was released in 2017. Jack Shawde produced the album and plays multiple instruments. In addition to Darrell’s vocals and acoustic guitar, the album features a stellar cast of traditional South Florida musicians, now some transplanted to Nashville: Diane Ward on drums and background vocals, Matthew Sabatella on bass and background vocals, Max Farber on keyboards, and Sarah Jacob and Lynn Bobby on background vocals. It is recorded, mixed and mastered by Luciano Delgado(Looch) at Miami Beach Recording Studios.



Darrell Arnold is a country blues and Americana performer. His own compositions are soulful folk-rock, with a twist of country blues. Darrell has recorded five studio CDs and is now recording an EP of Delta country blues songs.

In the 1990s and early 2000s Darrell lived in Germany and played regularly in Germany and the Netherlands. There he played with two bands, the Dead Buffaloes and the Buffalo Fish. Highlights from that period include opening for two tours with the Yardbirds as well as festivals with Canned Heat, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, Alvin Lee, and Joe Cocker. Darrell produced four CDs while in Germany. For Everyday Stories (2002), Darrell Arnold and the Dead Buffaloes won a national prize for CD production of the Year with the German Pop and Rock Music Association.

Since 2010 Darrell has lived in the Miami area. In 2017, joining forces with some excellent South Florida musicians, he recorded his fifth album, Changing World (2017).  Produced by Jack Shawde, that album features Darrell (lead vocal, acoustic guitar) with Jack (guitars, banjo, mandolin), Diane Ward (drums, percussion and background vocals), Matthew Sabatella (bass and background vocals), and Max Farber (keyboards), along with Lynn Bobby and Sarah Jacob on background vocals.

About the other players:

Jack Shawde is one of the US Southeast’s most in-demand performing and recording musicians and producers. In addition to being a craftsman of the electric guitar, nylon string and steel string acoustic guitar, Jack also plays the mandolin, resonator ‘Dobro’ style guitar, lap steel, dulcimer and banjo. Throughout his career, Jack has performed, recorded or toured with such legends as Bob Dylan, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, Richie Havens, Stan Lynch (Tom Petty), Al Cooper (Blood Sweat & Tears), Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry. Jack has performed and recorded all over the world, including accompanying Enrique Iglesias at the Latin Grammy Awards, which were televised live to a world-wide audience of 10 million.

Diane Ward is one of South Florida’s most compelling musical talents, who plays guitar, keyboards, drums and percussion. She has lent her drumming and percussion talents to many of South Florida’s finest folk and rock players for over 20 years. Diane has produced five CDs of her own music, toured nationally, had her songs placed in television and films and had national airplay. With numerous musical awards to her name, Diane is one of South Florida’s most highly acclaimed musicians.

Matthew Sabatella has been a widely recognized local bass player, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist performer for over two decades. By the early 2000s Matthew had produced his own critically acclaimed albums as a singer/songwriter and provided musical support for a variety of rock/pop artists in Florida. Matthew and his Rambling String Band have also recorded three CDs in a ballad of America series, commemorating the history of American music.

Max Farber, originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, was raised in New York City and South Florida. While Max’s main focus has been straight ahead jazz, over the years he has worked with many artists in genres ranging from Latin, Rock, Pop, R&B and many others. Since that time, Max has been performing regularly with some of the finest jazz musicians in South Florida and New York.

Lynn Bobby, who sings background on two tracks of this CD, has her own California based band, the Lynn Bobby Band, and has played over the past few years with Darrell in a duo project in South Florida, the Earthshine Duo.

Sarah Jacob, who sings background vocals on New Kind of War, is also an active South Florida songwriter, originally stemming from London. Darrell and some other musicians featured on this album regularly play together with her in her live band project, the (now misnamed) Sarah Jacob Trio.


Changing World

by Darrell Arnold

Fish out of Water

by Darrell Arnold and the Buffalo Fish


by Darrell Arnold and the Buffalo Fish

Everyday Stories

by Darrell Arnold

Out of circulation