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Music

Chris Smither's Howl Whispers In His Audience's Ear

Chris-Smither_resized.jpg
courtesy of Chris Smither
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"Cast your mind back to the first time you heard Hank Williams, Big Bill Broonzy or JJ Cale and remember how good it felt. Think of the opening encounter with Leon Redbone or Leo Kottke. They say newcomers to Chris Smither’s brand of country blues-tinged southern folk experience those same emotions. It’s true." - Maverick

Chris Smither's songs gallop with the push-pull tempo of New Orleans, while his lyrics fluently translate nuggets culled from modern poetry and philosophy into a conversational flow of stripped-down insights and aphorisms, the ghosts of Lightnin' Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt stomping right along. As a performer, he possesses remarkable presence and gravitas. Smither appeared on the folk music scene of Boston in 1965, recorded his first album in 1970, and ever since, he's been playing, writing, performing and recording music. Now in his mid-seventies, Smither says that his 'friendship' with music is just hitting its stride.

Smither returns to Musician’s Spotlight to discuss his most recent recording, More From The Levee.  He and host John Floridis take a look at one of Bonnie Raitt's signature songs, “Love Me Like A Man,” Smither's standard of modern blues-folk and rock that Raitt recorded in 1972.

Chris Smither grew up the son of a Tulane University professor in New Orleans, where he learned the rudiments of instrumentation from his uncle on his mother’s ukulele. “Uncle Howard,” Smither says, “showed me that if you knew three chords, you could play a lot of the songs you heard on the radio. And if you knew four chords, you could pretty much rule the world.” With that bit of knowledge under his belt, he was hooked.

(Broadcast: Musician's Spotlight,  11/24/20 and 3/9/21. Listen on the radio Tuesdays, 7 p.m., or via podcast.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IBIX4abKBc

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