Darius is a songwriter, guitarist, vocalist, and producer. He's released seven CDs, aired on various radio and TV shows, and performed on many stages in the US and Europe. Somewhat confusingly for those seeking out his music online, he's released solo albums under both the names Darius Degher and Darius. Most recently, he's recorded as The Westwatcher. Previously, be played in the bands the ShamSaints, Burning Bridges,and Darius and the Magnets. All of his albums are available on streaming services like Spotify. Additionally, Darius is a poet and writing teacher. (Please see the Poetry tab for more on this.)
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“Darius was a postmodern eclectic long before it was cool.” – Jay Allen Sanford, San Diego Reader
Darius is a songwriter, poet, singer, guitarist, and producer. (He also played sitar on Warren Zevon’s classic song "Bad Karma.") He has released seven CDs and performed at venues such CBGB, the Bitter End, Passim, Continental Club, Shrine Auditorium, the Troubadour and the Whiskey, as well as the South By Southwest Music Conference and the New Music Seminar. He and his bands have played on bills with Don McLean, Lucinda Williams, Los Lobos, Doctor John, and Guy Clark, to name just a few.
His most recent work (2021) is the instrumental album Groundswell Corduroy by the Westwatcher.
His CD The Coyote Cantos was was nominated for a San Diego Music Award as was The Sham Saints' EP Out of Tune.
Darius appeared on the San Diego scene in the early 1980s as a psychedelic art rocker, with his band Darius and the Magnets. The band soon relocated to Los Angeles, but by the mid 80s, he had become disillusioned with band politics and rock and roll volume. In search of a more direct vehicle for his lyrics, he broke up the band and was reborn as a folksinger. He soon found himself part of the blossoming Los Angeles neo-folk scene of the late 80s, along with Peter Case, Lucinda Williams, and others, which was centered around the Breakaway club. That was the start of a folk-singer/songwriter career that’s persisted for thirty years, both in California and Sweden.
Darius’ first solo CD Cardboard Confessional came out on Gold Castle/Capitol Records (the folk label of Bruce Cockburn, Joan Baez, and Don McLean). The CD was released nationally and received radio airplay in numerous American cities. The video for the song "White Boy Raving" aired on MTV and other music video shows. It also made Billboard Magazine's Top Twenty Video List. He performed live on KPFK, KCRW, and the Larman’s Folkscene show.
Darius didn’t release his second solo CD, Garage Sale of the Soul (F Hole Records), until 1997. The following year, Darius and his family relocated to Sweden, his wife’s native country. In Sweden, he was the singer and songwriter in the folk/Americana band Burning Bridges. Their CD Poor Man’s Vacation (and other Tales of the Wild and the Weary) was released in 2003. The band performed at numerous festivals and clubs around Sweden from 2000 to 2005, opening shows for the likes of Sixteen Horsepower and Dr. John.
Darius returned to San Diego County in 2011. He is also a poet, and his poetry collection To See the Sound was published in 2014. He’s currently working on his next music CD, scheduled for release late in 2014. Darius also has two singer-songwriter daughters, Cleopatra and Cordelia.
From reviews of The Coyote Cantos, Cardboard Confessional, Garage Sale of the Soul, & Poor Man’s Vacation
“If it weren’t for the fact that he’s [several albums] into a career, I’m sure there’d be a call to label him the next Bob Dylan.” -- Leicester Bangs Music Blog
“Darius was a postmodern eclectic long before it was cool.” -- Jay Allen Sanford, San Diego Reader
“More down to the ground than even Dylan achieved in his talking blues days. Darius is . . . proud of but not stuck on tradition.” -- Kurt Wolf, San Francisco Bay Guardian
“Every once in a while an album comes along with lyrics so wondrous, so vital, that they should be scripted on parchment, bound in fine leather and handed out . . . Darius -- songwriter or poet?” -- Robert J. Hawkins, San Diego Union Tribune
“Hearing Hollywood’s poet laureate in concert is always a treat . . . his lyrical abilities are still unsurpassed.” -- Rich Robinson, Los Angeles Reader”
“Cardboard Confessional is a veritable cornucopia of bright, lyrical wit and intelligently crafted songs . . . Darius is a unique talent.” -- Richard Foss, L.A. Reader and Bam Magazine