John Smith's HUMMINGBIRD LP Released via Commoner Records/Thirty Tigers
Hummingbird, the new album from UK-based critically-acclaimed folk maestro John Smith, is out today via Commoner Records/Thirty Tigers. Hummingbird, Smith's purest, most elegant set of recordings to date, is a moving mix of modern-day folk tunes and other traditional songs that reach as far back as the 15th century. "Some artists are a bit precious, when approaching old folk songs, not trusting the sturdiness with which they've survived hundreds of years of interpretation. Smith doesn't do that," said Folk Alley in its premiere of the album yesterday. "He wraps himself around them and them around him, tugging here and stretching there to make them fit his own needs, while never abandoning the heart of their matters. Two things hit the listener right away: Smith's singing and playing. He's exceedingly gifted at both," they remarked. "His honey voice is the raw, unfiltered sort - sweet, smooth, and healing, but with a hint of grit when you want it most." "Folklore must maintain an ongoing conversation between the past and present," says PopMatters, "and that is what we hear in the beauty and mastery of Smith's playing."
Smith, who has released five albums and toured the world for almost fifteen years playing as a session guitarist and singer for the likes of Joan Baez, Lisa Hannigan, and David Gray, became a folk devotee as a teenager after hearing artists like John Renbourn for the first time. Renbourn, a major inspiration and influence on Smith's art, has since dubbed the artist "the future of folk music."
"The six strings of my guitar have granted me access to a sacred space between things, the unconscious interweaving sensations that allow us that gentle buzz on hearing a good folk song," Smith explains of his journey. "I've been immeasurably fortunate to open for and even play with some of my heroes and influences in the folk world. Their work and their generosity of spirit have been a constant reminder that I must keep playing, recording and touring, no matter the cost," he continues. "There is always work to be done in the service of good music."
Hummingbird is available for download HERE. In support of the release, Smith is currently touring the US with artist Peter Mulvey, see below for a list of tour dates.
HUMMINGBIRD TRACK LIST:
Lowlands Of Holland
Hares On The Mountain
The Time Has Come
Axe Mountain (Revisited)
JOHN SMITH TOUR DATES:
3/22 - The Loft at City Winery - NY, NY*
3/25 - MUSEXPO showcase - Los Angeles, CA
3/27 - Jammin Java - Vienna, VA*
3/28 - The Locks at Sona - Philadelphia, PA*
3/29 - The Parlor Room - Northampton, MA*
3/30 - The Parlor Room - Northampton, MA*
3/31 - The Sinclair - Cambridge, MA*
5/2 - The Lounge at City Winery - Nashville, TN*
5/3 - Eddie's Attic - Decatur, GA*
5/4 - The Lounge at Isis Music Hall - Asheville, NC*
5/5 - The Evening Muse - Charlotte, NC*
* w/ Peter Mulvey