Folk Blues Master Chris Smither Coming To The Bluebird
Photo by Jo Chattman

Folk Blues Master Chris Smither Coming To The Bluebird

Folk blues legend Chris Smither is back with a new single, “Down In Thibodaux,” out today. It’s the first track from his 20th album, All About The Bones, out May 3 on Signature Sounds. Recorded at Sonelab Studios in Easthampton MA by Justin Pizzoferrato. All About the Bones has a feel that is somehow baroque and austere at once. The video features longtime producer David Goodrich on diddley bow and Austin artist BettySoo on vocals. (watch above)

Smither shares, “When I was a kid my next door neighbor was a man named Boudreaux from Thibodaux, LA. I made up the rest of the story as a chance to use a few French terms and throw out some cultural references from Cajun country.

“The rhythm has a sort of Cajun feel to it, and Goody playing the diddley bow adds a perfect homemade touch to what is really just a home-made song in the nicest sense. Zak (Trojano) would fit in with any band at a fais do-do, and BettySoo can sing with any one, while showing my favorite smile.”

The sound and imagery All About the Bones is as elemental as the inky black shadows cast by a shockingly bright moon. The listener is welcomed into some gothic mansion on an imaginary New Orleans street, and there in the lamplit parlor confronts the band, a minimalist skeleton crew: Smither’s inimitable propulsive guitar and rumbling baritone are joined seamlessly to producer Goodrich’s carpetbag of instruments, Zak Trojano’s rock-steady, primal drumming, BettySoo’s diaphanous harmony vocals, and the flat, mournful flood of Jazz legend Chris Cheek’s saxophone. Smither and David Goodrich have been refining their musical conversation for decades, both in the studio and onstage, and by now, their bond verges on the telepathic. Goodrich plays on nearly every track. His sound is by now so translucent that it seems to function as a swath of silence, allowing the songs to burn like ciphers in the crackling air.

Smither turns 80 this year, but his tour schedule, including dates at the Iridium in New York City, Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock and two nights at McCabe’s in Los Angeles, shows he has no intention of slowing down. (Scroll down for complete dates.)

Look for Smither right here in Nashville at the Bluebird Cafe on May 20th.

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About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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