When you call bluegrass artist Darrin Vincent’s cell phone, you will hear Peter Cetera singing these words:
“You’re the meaning in my life. You’re the inspiration. You bring feeling to my life. You’re the inspiration. Wanna have you near me. I wanna have you hear me sayin’, ‘No one needs you more than I need you.’ ”
Well, the truth is there are a lot of children in Jackson and DeKalb counties near Nashville, Tenn., who have needed Vincent and his singing partner, Jamie Dailey, in their lives.
The twosome will be back in the Imperial Theatre with their great band at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, for the Morris Museum of Art Budweiser True Music Southern Soul & Song series.
Tickets are $24, $19 and $13. Call (706) 722-8341 or order online at imperialtheatre.com.
Dailey & Vincent has become one of the hottest acts on the bluegrass festival and concert circuit in just a few years.
Dailey was with Doyle Lawson’s Quicksilver band for eight years and Vincent (brother of bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent) was with Ricky Skaggs’ Kentucky Thunder band for 10 years before the twosome formed their own band in early 2007.
Their success has allowed them to help others less fortunate especially through the Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund they formed in 2009.
The fund is administered through the Cookeville (Tenn.) Regional Medical Foundation. Its stated purpose is “to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged children of Tennessee’s Jackson and DeKalb counties to meet immediate medical, nutritional and educational needs not covered by insurance or other means, while acknowledging the God-given gifts, potential and dignity of each child.”
In 2010, the duo held its first homecoming concert at the Jackson County High School football field in Gainesboro, Tenn., where Dailey grew up. The result was $31,693.50 raised for the Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund.
“We started this out of love for these kids,” Vincent said. “My wife, at the time we started this, was a school teacher, and was telling us about kids with holes in their shoes and no coats in the winter.
“I’d come home from being on the road with Ricky (Skaggs), and my wife would say, ‘There’s a child here with holes in his shoes, size 3,’ and we’d go buy some with money out of our pockets or we’d go to Walmart and buy six coats for kids who needed them.”
That early personal giving evolved into the Dailey & Vincent Helping Hands Fund. Subsequent concerts by the duo and their musical friends as guests (tickets are only $15) also have raised large sums of money to help children in Jackson and DeKalb counties.
“We get a lot of donations on the road at our regular concerts and from our friends,” Vincent said. “One friend of mine gave $10,000 alone. My mother-in-law made a quilt for us to raffle off, and Cracker Barrel restaurants help us out.”
Cracker Barrels, in fact, sell Dailey & Vincent’s last two albums: Daily & Vincent Sing The Statler Brothers and The Gospel Side of Dailey & Vincent.
It’s nice to receive the big checks but Vincent equally was moved by a particular recent incident.
“A man came up to me and slipped me some cash. He said, ‘I have four kids. I’m blessed, and I want to help others.’ And I looked down, and he had given me $400 which came out to be $100 for each of his kids.”
Vincent’s empathy for others partially comes from his parents, Johnny and Carolyn Vincent, who raised their musical children (Darrin, Rhonda and Brian) as performers on the Vincent family-operated Sally Mountain Show near Queen City, Mo.
“My dad broke his neck in a car accident when Rhonda was 2 and before I was born,” Vincent said. “My dad prayed to God, ‘Give me one good leg to use and I’ll drag the other one.’
“I grew up not knowing him any different,” Vincent continued. “Living with him partly paralyzed was normal for me. Anything Daddy needed from me, I was glad to help him.
“Now, when I see kids coming through the lines at our concerts in wheelchairs to say hello, I identify with them. It’s like my wife says, ‘You really don’t understand something until you go through it.’ ”