New Faces: Darren Kozelsky
Artist: Darren Kozelsky
Hometown: San Angelo, Texas
Why We Dig Him: Darren could have followed in the cleated footsteps of his older brother, a star athlete, but found an entirely new direction early in life, literally by accident.
"I tried Little League one year and got hit in the head by the fastest pitcher in the league," Darren recalls. "I had a helmet on. I put the bat down and said 'Man, forget this!'"
And that's just what he did. Working alongside his country-music-loving dad in his auto shop, Darren instead absorbed the sounds of George Jones, Merle Haggard, George Strait and Vern Gosdin -- who name even makes it into the title of a tune from his current album: 'Seven Vern Gosdin's Ago.'
Darren now plays more than 200 shows a year and writes his fair share of tunes -- he penned the current album's title track. But the disc also features songs from some of Music City's finest tunesmiths, including Casey Beathard, Kevin Welch, Tom Shapiro and Liz Hengber.