OK bluesy folk fans, ready to win some tickets? Just be the first commenter to tell us Smither’s hometown (NOT Miami, his birth city, but…).
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Having distilled his own signature sound of blues and folk for over 40 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original. A profound songwriter, Chris continues to draw deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and philosophers with this 14th record of his lengthy career. From his early days in the Boston folk scene, through his wilderness years, to his reemergence in the 1990s as one of America’s most distinctive acoustic performers, Chris Smither continues to hone his distinctive sound. He has always traveled his own road, eschewing sophisticated studio tricks and staying true to his musical vision. He has developed and maintained loyal friendships over the years with kindred-spirited musicians like Bonnie Raitt and the late Stephen Bruton while at the same time throughout his career been inspired by and inspiring to today’s next-generation of musicians. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting. The New York Times: With a weary, well-traveled voice and a serenely intricate finger-picking style, Mr. Smither turns the blues into songs that accept hard-won lessons and try to make peace with fate.
June 19, 2012 marks the release of Hundred Dollar Valentine (Signature Sounds) – and this, Chris’ 12th studio record, is a masterwork. It sports the unmistakable sound he has made his trademark: fingerpicked acoustic guitar and evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs, delivered in a bone-wise, hard-won voice. It is also his first recording to feature all Smither-penned, original songs. Along with longtime producer, David “Goody” Goodrich, other featured musicians on Hundred Dollar Valentine are drummer Billy Conway (Morphine, Treat Her Right), Jimmy Fitting on harmonica, and Goodrich’s ex-Groovasaurus bandmates, Anita Suhanin (vocals) and violinist Ian Kennedy (Page/Plant, Lemonheads, Juliana Hatfield, Peter Wolf, Susan Tedeschi).
ASSOCIATED PRESS: Smither is an American original, a product of the musical melting pot, and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world.
ROLLING STONE: Bathed in the flickering glow of passing headlights and neon bar signs, Smither’s roots are as blue as they come. There is plenty of misty Louisiana and Lightnin’ Hopkins in Smither’s weathered singing and unhurried picking. So fine.
WIRED: The masterful combination of pure folk songwriting and intricate guitar blues are tangible signs of the singer-songwriter’s vigorous genius. A megawatt solo performer.
NEW YORK TIMES: With a weary, well-traveled voice and a serenely intricate finger-picking style, Mr. Smither turns the blues into songs that accept hard-won lessons and try to make peace with fate.
AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN: Chris Smither is America’s great blues poet, a master acoustic guitarist whose music suggests the power of Son House and a wisdom informed by the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.
THE HERALD/SCOTLAND (UK): A true and sharp-witted poet of the human condition, he can play the shame-faced, late-arriving lover hoping for a sleepy welcome in Leave the Light On but he’ll also tackle anthropology from Adam to Darwin in a three-minute masterpiece or turn his young daughter’s incessant quest for answers into an increasingly humorous illustration of benign fatherly exasperation. And it all plays out to that fabulous guitar locomotion.
WASHINGTON POST (Live review): Chris Smither has been so good for so long that it was a given that his show Saturday night would be nothing less than a competent, entirely professional exhibition of American blues-based folk music. Smither shapes the chords to fit non-traditional tempos. It’s that missing beat that draws in the ear and points to the lyrics, lyrics that find the compelling crease between literature and poetry.
8pm. $15 advance/$18 day of show.
Advance tickets are available online and at local outlets.
Fully seated show.