Album Review: Chris Smither’s ‘More from the Levee’ Offers Unfiltered Bayou Blues


From the July/August 2021 issue of Acoustic Guitar | By Pat Moran

With jaunty, spiraling picking, veteran singer-songwriter Chris Smither kicks off More from the Levee with “Lonely Time,” a song he first recorded on his 1972 debut album I’m a Stranger Too. Aside from a sashaying original, “What I Do,” the bulk of the tunes on Smither’s 18th album also draw from the past—they are previously unreleased gems from the 2013 New Orleans sessions that resulted in Smither’s stunning career retrospective Still on the Levee.

A listen to the existential front porch saunter “Caveman,” or the cyclical and wistful “Father’s Day,” will assure fans that these tunes are not mere leftovers from the lauded sessions that included the late Allen Toussaint, the Motivators, and members of Morphine. The present collection features unfiltered Smither—philosophical fatalism delivered in a bourbon-smooth rasp over picking that moves like a like a river’s current. In the intoxicating roadside gothic “Drive You Home Again,” Smither’s effortless, bouncing guitar floats over rolling and crashing drums as his guttural vocal promises a seductive and terrible journey. Toussaint’s piano crests like breakers as Smither’s slivery, razor-sharp guitar unfurls the loping melody of “Let It Go.”

On the swaggering “Old Man Down,” Smither’s bent-note blues picking is countered by distant dissonant piano, just as Anita Suhanin’s spectral whisper shadows Smither’s sepulchral growl. And the insouciant and airy “Hey Hey Hey” may be Smither’s most cogent combination of picking and philosophizing to date. As whirlwind guitar weaves through rambling drums, Smither grapples with the absurdist cosmos and decides to make it his friend. 


This article originally appeared in the July/August 2021 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.

Source link

Add Comment

Apparel

Guitar Gear

Books

Amplifiers

REACTION 🎧🎸To Alip Ba TA -"Numb" (Linkin Park Acoustic Guitar Cover) 🎸👀🎧🔥 Amazing Cover 🎧 Incredible
Mark O’Connor’s First Acoustic Guitar Record in Four Decades Is Flashy and Substantive
D’Addario Classical Guitar Performance by Liying Zhu
Martin Guitars Names New CEO
5 Essential Strumming Patterns – Beginner Guitar Lessons
Igor Paspalj: Speed Picking Advanced Masterclass
Basic Strumming Techniques For Guitar | GuitarZoom.com | Steve Stine
theGUITARaddict: Black iron
What should you learn first – BASS or GUITAR? | Andriy Vasylenko
The Process Behind the Cliff Williams Icon Series StingRay Bass – Ernie Ball Music Man
Pleasure GLIDE How To Play On Bass Guitar lesson Tutorial @EricBlackmonGuitar
Morgan Wallen Brings the Joe Dart Bass and the Mariposa Guitar to Saturday Night Live – Ernie Ball Music Man
Learn Fingerpicking in 20 minutes – BEGINNER fingerstyle exercises – GUITAR MASTERCLASS
Guitar Lesson 7 – Play 10 Songs with 4 Chords – Free Guitar Lessons
Are you an intermediate guitar player? Here’s how to know.
Beginner Acoustic Lesson 1 – Your Very First Guitar Lesson (E Minor + Asus2)
Tips For Beginner Guitarists
5 Mistakes Beginners Make When Learning Guitar Online
10 Things ANYONE Can Do To Get Better At Guitar Faster
7 Mistakes Guitar Players Make – Online Guitar Lessons
Learn Fingerpicking in 20 minutes – BEGINNER fingerstyle exercises – GUITAR MASTERCLASS
Santana – Black Magic Woman Live @ Montreux 2011
Guitar Lesson 7 – Play 10 Songs with 4 Chords – Free Guitar Lessons
Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Christie Lenée: Acoustic Guitar Session