Big Yard has released their latest single titled ‘State of Mind’. ‘State of Mind’ is a compelling smoke-laden tune that will lure in everyone from ‘Dan Fans’ to fusion lovers.

Big Yard is a complex, multi-genre trio that features three experienced musicians- Two producers and one songwriter. Together, they create a tasteful collection of seamless fusion sounds. ‘State of Mind’ is the group’s second release, following their debut single titled ‘Proof’.

Right off the bat ‘State of Mind’ is a likable, determined bluesy tune. The chuggy grooving introduction leads into triplets and drums, a slow but steady crescendo… But as the song develops further builds into an unexpected combination of sounds: More specifically, jazz meets blues/country.

As this desert marigold begins to open, we hear the dulcet combination of a brass and sax section and even a peppering of gospel-style vocals in the background.

But the real star of the show is Darryl Scotti’s vocals, which are laid-back raspy, and raw.

‘Our streets that I now roam
Got a carefree state of mind
I get a laid back easy feeling
I can’t explain it, no…’

Aaron Howard & Alex Chacon’s production is clean and unobtrusive- allowing just enough grit to come through for that vintage nostalgic feel. The grooving horns, supportive keys, drums, and guitars provide a beautiful bed of sound for everything to build upon.

‘State of Mind’ is anthemic, and even sultry at moments. As we listen, we can almost feel the smoke enter a nostalgic, vintage bar- the creak of hardwood floors and the scent of whiskey sours… From lines about the ‘black mountain sky’ and souls ‘gone to rest’ to the soulful wailing muted brass solos, everything about this shuffle-feeling song is very familiar.

‘Well there ain’t no doubt about it
This carefree state of mind
(I got a carefree state of mind)’

‘State of Mind’ could easily fit into your classical rock/blues playlist or a feel-good driving playlist. Be sure to also check out their official lyric video, which features photos of the charming yet rugged West.

”State of Mind’ is a reflection of where I am today,’ shares Scotti. ‘It captures the essence of my surroundings and the talent that surrounds me.’


‘State of Mind'(to me) almost feels as if it were taking place in a smoky, chilled-out bar back in time. Were you imagining a specific location in Phoenix when writing the tune?

First off, I want to thank everyone at Jammerzine. These are great questions. I appreciate you guys taking the time to listen to ‘State Of Mind’ and do the deep dive. Spot on!

‘State of Mind’ came to me one day when I was visiting the Black Mountain Guitar Company, here in town. I was sitting on a couch in the showroom checking out one of their vintage acoustics. I just started playing this riff that ultimately became the groove for ’State of Mind’. I just dug the vibe, it was chill and kinda morphed between a jazz and blues thing like a Steely Dan or ZZ Top feel. I took it home and started writing a lyric inspired by this place that I now call home and that’s how the song happened.

Actually, it’s a total vibe song, no real life changing message in the lyrics like I wanted to do with our first release ‘Proof’. It’s just a song that reflects this community and how I feel living in this small mountain town north of Phoenix named Cave Creek which by the way, neighbors another small town called Carefree… yeah it’s that cool little town right off ‘Carefree Highway’ of the late Gordon Lightfoot fame. Here, I could feel a sense of tranquility, a vibe that was hard to explain at first. The streets have cool names like Ho Hum and Easy St. It’s quite a mecca for artists, the retired folk and tourists. Lot’s of great places, art galleries and shops to visit.

Can you tell us a bit more about what it was like to work with the instrumentalists and backup vocalists?

After the song was ready to record I sat down with Alex Chacon, my producer on the project and we laid down the basic tracks in my studio just to see what might happen. We started with the basic Guitar riff, I did a scratch bass track that was later replaced by Felipe Carrillo. We programmed a drum track and started to lay down overdubs with a scratch vocal on the lyric.

We liked the vibe that was shaping up so we decided to write some horn parts, hire a horn section (Jerry Donato, sax and Greg Varlotta, trumpet), bring in Carl Herrgesell (Kenny Logins Band) for keyboards and add live drums. We took all our stems in my studio to Pyramix studios in Phoenix, engineered by Duane Woods. We brought the horn players in, recorded live drums (Jonathon Withem) and did my final vocals.

At the time we were working with another young talented producer, Aaron Howard on the background vocal tracks for the EP ‘54th St. We had put together an ensemble of local female vocalists; Rachel Sweet, Stephanie Chacon (Alex’s sister), Nancy Bagley and Victoria Noreide (no particular order… I love em all) to work with Aaron and he produced them.

What kind of a theme do you imagine for your third release?

We want to keep showcasing the diverse nature of ‘54th St. the EP so we haven’t yet decided on the third single but it will most likely be another one with a horn section, a driving up-tempo groove and melodic vocals. This seems to have become the Big Yard sound. We’re figuring all that out now with plans to get the video and marketing up and running soon.

Our first single ‘Proof’ has done quite well with the folks over at Liberty Music PR, so we’ll see what happens with ‘State Of Mind’. We’ll definitely be keeping you guys in the loop.

Can you tell us a bit more about the production side of things? How did you get this nostalgic yet clean/fresh tune?

Thank you so much that’s exactly what we set out to do. I feel there is an audience both young and old for the resurgence of classic rock, blues and jazz with a POP feel. As a songwriter I wear everything I’ve ever heard, played and written on my sleeve. I’ve been involved with music my whole life and it’s no secret I go back a LONG way.

My songs have a nostalgic feel, reminiscent of the early 70’s and 80’s, I grew up in that era but I’m also a huge fan of modern contemporary music. I love bands like Black Keys, The Head and the Heart along with guys like Nathanial Ratliff, Billie Eilish, Marcus Mumford, Matt Kearney, the list goes on. I love the modern production values I hear sonically in the mixes today.

Alex and Aaron are both in their 30’s so they have fresh ears and tastes with individual perspectives on modern music. Alex is an incredible musician of many styles. He was the first musician I met when I moved to Arizona and Aaron is an amazing Pop Producer, Songwriter and Artist in his own right.

When the record ‘54th St was done we knew it was a unique collaboration, with a diverse sound that we felt was compelling. That’s when we knew it was bigger than me and ‘Big Yard’ the band was born. It just made sense to us and our marketing team at Liberty.

Back to the quote you gave us – What musicians were you thinking of when you mentioned being surrounded by talent?

Yea, after we moved to Cave Creek I started meeting some incredible local talent, I mean amazing talent; Guys like Alex Chacon, Aaron Howard, Sarah James, Bill Dutcher; acoustic guitar virtuoso, Chuck Hall; legendary blues artist and Carl Herrgesell; (Kenny Logans keyboardist) who played keys on ‘State Of Mind’ along with all the other ’54th St. tracks.

Spending most of my career in a melding pot of world class talent in California I was super impressed with the music scene here in Cave Creek and really Arizona in general. Meeting the musicians I was being drawn to led me to kicking around some new material.

My last record was in 2005 and I never ever imagined recording again, much less writing enough material for a project but… the creative floodgate opened and before long I was sitting on 20 new songs. We narrowed them down to the six we believed in and that was enough material to start the EP. We’re already working on a follow up EP with the title track ‘Poet’s and Heroes’ as the first release in the fall of 2024, God willing.

Your line about ‘Where the skies are filled with thunder, and ancient souls have come to rest’- How did it come to you?

Interesting question, stick with me on this. The home we bought is on a golf course that was once a tribal Indian reservation surrounded by mountains that was settled in the late 1870’s my miners here on what was an ancient Indian reservation. They were part of the Tonto Tribe, a peaceful tribe that had this incredible location nestled between mountain ranges with amazing vista’s, sunrises and sunsets with thunder and lightning storms that become monsoons during the summer that are amazing to see.

The smell after a monsoon fills the air with a bush called the Creosote that’s quite aromatic, almost hypnotic. I have several of these bush’s on my property. The monsoon’s, the thunder and lightning is none like I’ve ever experienced. After an evening storm I can feel the spiritual vibe of the ancient souls whose bones were laid to rest.

Weird maybe but… I tap into weird stuff like that at night when it’s quiet… I had to find a way to get this word picture phrase into the song somehow. There you have it.

How do you immerse yourself in a carefree state of mind?

First, I thank God for allowing us at the start of the Pandemic enough trust to, metaphorically jump into the river on a leap of faith, leave California (on a whim) with my wife, Yvonne and land right here in Cave Creek, Arizona. Just amazing when I think back on it.

Second, I keep my heart open and count my blessings for what has happened in the last three years; emotionally, spiritually and musically. Then when the sun goes down we catch a sunset on our deck or back patio, throw something on the Que or I take Yvonne out for dinner and indulge in the local culinary, culture and music scene. It’s a ‘Carefree State of Mind’ and we love it. We’re excited to see where Big Yard Nation takes us all.

About Big Yard

In the union of two seasoned producers and a veteran singer-songwriter emerges Big Yard, a dynamic collaboration creating a multifaceted fusion of contemporary rock, pop, smooth jazz, big band and R&B, spun with a modernized and sophisticated touch.

Singer-songwriter Darryl Scotti, accomplished musician and former guitarist for Columbia Recording Artists ‘Spiral Starecase’, toured alongside legends Ray Charles, Billy Joe Royal, and Wayne Cochran & The CC Riders, as well as producing for notable names, has teamed up with two phenomenally talented musicians and producers, Alex Chacon and Aaron Howard, to birth the band known as Big Yard alongside their record label Big Yard Nation in 2022 founded by Scotti, Chacon, Howard and Larry Antonino with Pablo Cruise.

Fresh off the release of their debut single ‘Proof’ at the beginning of this year, which introduced the band’s fresh approach to country rock ‘n’ roll with a modernized touch, the Arizona collective’s love of all genres ranging from smooth pop to jazz and rock results in a sound that feels traversable in so many ways. Now, Darryl and Big Yard return with the sultry jazz-pop number ‘State of Mind’.

A departure from their debut, ‘State of Mind’ showcases a new dimension of Big Yard’s musical prowess. Drawing inspiration from the sounds of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, the track is a smooth shuffle that transports listeners to a bygone era. Scotti’s vocals exude charm and sophistication, while the expertly arranged horn section adds a touch of nostalgia and class.

Embodying a fusion of past influences with a contemporary twist, ‘State of Mind’ resonates with fans across genres, offering a refreshing and dynamic listening experience. With its infectious groove and captivating lyrics, the track invites listeners to embark on a journey through time and sound.

For those seeking a seamless blend of nostalgia and innovation, ‘State of Mind’ is the quintessential addition to any playlist. Prepare to be swept away by Big Yard’s musical mastery, who have certainly put themselves on the map with this exciting sophomore release.