Press Quotes

ASSOCIATED PRESS:  Wise words pour forth from Chris Smither – observations and aphorisms, similes and internal rhymes, run-on sentences and concise quips, all in a conversational flow. The careful construction of Smither’s lyrics is a thing of beauty and the bedrock of his bluesy folk music. Smither is an excellent acoustic guitarist and first-rate foot-stomper.

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO:  [Smither] taps his foot to keep the rhythm, much like the late blues legend John Lee Hooker. His finger-picked guitar lines are sleek, unhurried and insistent. And then there’s the voice – equal parts gravel and molasses.

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.

MOJO (5 STARS):  Hundred Dollar Valentine is a thing of profound beauty; deep, sad, wise songs, allied to perfectly crafted arrangements, from a man who’s live long enough in darkness to address the big, heavy questions with a lightness of touch.

OXFORD AMERICAN:  It was that rhythmic push-and-pull, that New Orleans sensibility that made Smither stand out.

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.

MAVERICK:  Cast your mind back to the first time you heard Hank Williams, Big Bill Broonzy or JJ Cale and remember how good it felt. Think of the opening encounter with Leon Redbone or Leo Kottke. They say newcomers to Chris Smither’s brand of country blues-tinged southern folk experience those same emotions. It’s true.

UNCUT (UK):  The Miami native has built a cult reputation as a folk artist with a healthy wanderlust, peppering his tunes with rusted blues, country, some jazz and a wise lyric… Newcomers to Smither’s five-decade, multi-album career are advised to start right here.

BLUES MAGAZINE (NL):  There’s always a light blues edge to him while his lyrical skills are intelligent, witty and erudite. Americana roots and country are clearly part of his genetic make-up.

THE AUSTRALIAN:  Stoical and sometimes nihilistic reflections on the meaning of life flow fluently from a gruff, world-weary voice that falls somewhere between Bob Dylan and JJ Cale. Groove is of the essence for this acclaimed guitarist, whose propulsive Delta blues-influenced finger picking is augmented by trademark foot percussion.

INDEPENDENT (UK):  Chris Smither has been steadily releasing classy albums for decades, honing his craft as a songwriter of thoughtful ruminations on and acute observations about life’s bitter ironies.

MONTREAL GAZETTE:  With his Southern-drawl, tapping foot in constant motion and fingers pulling fluid blues patterns from his acoustic guitar, Smither is an engaging, sometimes intense singer-songwriter who can convert almost any audience he sits down in front of.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE:  … in the tradition of his influences such as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt as well as his late contemporaries Townes Van Zandt, Tim Hardin and Tim Buckley.

WASHINGTON POST:  His songbook is overflowing with rollicking, clever blues-based folk tunes, and he has been a consistently engaging live performer for more than four decades.

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE:  The never-precious lyrics make for elegantly stripped-down adages, steeped in the wisdom, hardships, joy and disappointments of real life……blending self-deprecating humor with rich kernels of poignant, often piercingly honest emotion.