Rolling Stone writer David Fricke interviewed Chris at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival last weekend, and included the interview as one of his Top 10 highlights of the festival’s first weekend:
Chris Smither, Allison Miner Music Heritage Stage, April 26th, 12:30 P.M.
I conducted this interview but was, in every other way, a magnetized fan in the audience. Smither, a folk-blues singer-songwriter admired and covered by vocalists such as Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris, grew up in New Orleans and told illuminating stories about trying to be a solo cat in a saxophone and trombone city in the Sixties – learning from Lightnin’ Hopkins records and the New Orleans-based bluesman Babe Stovall – then running with fellow New Dylans like Townes Van Zandt. Smither illustrated each tale with brawny picking and the drawling emotion in his voice, in performances of “Devil Got Your Woman” and “Love You Like a Man.” Smither, based in Massachusetts, came home last year to cut a forthcoming two-CD retrospective, Still on the Levee (Signature Sounds). It sounds like he never left.