“Chris Smither has traveled countless miles with his careworn blend of folk and acoustic blues. His hallmarks include the fingers of an effortless musician, a voice as craggy and deep as the earth, the soul of a philosopher and master poet, and the foot-tapping percussion of a restless wanderer…”
Chris Smither: Folk/blues musician and voracious re-reader
Chris Smither has had the well-sanded, world-weary voice of an old blues man since the New Orleans transplant first landed on Boston’s folk scene in the 1960s. This summer he comes out with his 12th studio record, Hundred Dollar Valentine, which locals can get a preview of at his May 19 show at Arlington’s Regent Theatre.
BOOKS: What are you reading currently?
SMITHER: I just read Donna Leon’s last one, “Drawing Conclusions,” another one of her mysteries set in Venice…
Troubadour Blues is a journey into the world of well-traveled singer-songwriters like Peter Case, Mary Gauthier, Chris Smither, Dave Alvin, Slaid Cleaves and many more. This 95-minute documentary, produced over a 10-year period by filmmaker Tom Weber, provides a revealing look at the heartbreaks and joys of these modern-day wandering minstrels. The film contains live performances of 40 brilliantly crafted songs by these assorted artists, as well as informal moments and interviews in which the artists reflect on audiences, songwriting, the music business, and life.
This past summer, Chris took a break from writing songs for his new studio record (hint!) and strapped on and plugged in an arch top jazz guitar. He invited some very fine musicians (Billy Conway of Morphine, Smither vocal favorite Anita Suhanin, and Johnny Sciascia & Jerry Miller from Eilen Jewell’s band) to the studio. With long-time producer David Goodrich at the helm, they rocked the house. Chris put the Smither spin on some Rock & Roll classics, including “Take Out Some Insurance” and “You Can’t Catch Me” – reaching back to some of his earliest sound/musical influences. Take a ride with Chris on his sure-to-make-you-grin road trip. Available online and at Chris Smither concerts only.
Chris’s recent appearance on the syndicated radio program Mountain Stage aired around the country on October 7. It will soon be posted at on the Mountain Stage website and archived for continued access.