Chris Smither: Leave The Light On (Shock)

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Chris Smither: Cold Trail Blues
Chris Smither: Leave The Light On (Shock)

Smith is a grizzled-sounding roots-country singer whose spare songs glisten with his guitar playing, and whose baritone sounds whiskey-cured and filled with gravitas.

He's no chicken (he's 62 and recorded his first album 33 years ago), but that only adds to his authentic, throaty country-blues which owes debts to Mississippi John Hurt, but also respects more recent songwriters. (He covers Dylan's Visions of Johanna --as a waltz -- and Peter Case's Cold Trail Blues here).

He's a fine writer himself and pens lyrics which can be hard and bone dry, or often quite witty.

He's the only singer-songwriter I know of who has worked "paramecium" into a foot tapping lyric. Respected by like of Bonnie Raitt, Smither is a diamond.

Rough, but a diamond nonetheless.

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