Folk, blues and classic. These are three words I’d use to describe American singer and songwriter Chris Smither. Those three words also describe the exact kind of vibe one will be getting from Smither’s delightful and pleasing new album, “Call Me Lucky.”
For those of you who don’t know, Chris Smither is an American folk/blues singer who’s been performing for about 50 years now and toured with big names like B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt and Nanci Griffith. Some of his first albums include “I’m A Stranger, Too!” in 1971 and “Don’t it Drag On” in 1972. Famous singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris has even recorded his original song “Slow Surprise” for Robert Redford’s “The Horse Whisperer” soundtrack.
Recently, Smither has teamed up with producer and multi-instrumentalist David Goodrich, Billy Conway (Morphine) and Matt Lorenz (The Suitcase Junket) in the recording of new original songs for his album – “Call Me Lucky,” which dropped on March 2, 2018.
“Call Me Lucky” also happens to include some of Smither’s first studio recordings of original songs in six years– these songs include “The Blame’s on Me,” “By The Numbers,” “Change Your Mind,” and many more. Smither also covers a few classics on this album like Chuck Berry’s “Maybellene” and the Mississippi Sheik’s “Sittin’ on Top of the World.”
One of the songs I concentrated on the most from Smither’s album was “The Blame’s on Me” which include the lyrics “they call me lucky,” the album’s title, within the song. To me, this song, and many of Smither’s other songs, gave off a very rustic, old timey blues feel. I even felt a bit of a rough, 60s rock vibe mixed with a kind of coffeehouse twist.
“Call Me Lucky” includes very compelling and intriguing focus on the guitar. I found the inclusion of guitar to really have a more personal and folk appeal to it because Smither is known for his work with the instrument, as seen throughout his songs.
According to the “Call Me Lucky” press release – Smither’s songs offer commentary “on the human condition that only Chris Smither can put pen to. These songs pull from deep soul, making for a kind reflection – an introspection – that usually comes from someone only when facing a higher power or natural disaster.”
I found this statement rather interesting and reflective. Normally when I listen to a song, the first thing I pay attention to is the melody, but my favorite part are the lyrics. The lyrics are what really make a song impactful. Smither’s song, “Nobody’s Home”, dives into his own opinion and commentary about living in the 21st century. A lot of Smither’s songs in general seem to reflect on a philosophical or hot topic within our world. This adds a lot of character and personality to his music, ultimately making it more personal for someone listening along.
Overall, “Call Me Lucky” seems to embody an older, but intriguing, generation of music through its incorporation of a great deal of aspects from our modern society into the songs. With this variety and intriguing characteristics, it’s something to check out.
Smither is currently on tour, and will be performing on Thursday, July 12 at Stage One Theater in Fairfield, Conn. So if you’re interested in hearing more from Smither or like his music, head on down for a good time. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. while the show begins at 7:45 p.m.