BAY AREA AMERICANA COUNTRY ROCKER SCOTT SMITH FOLLOWS HIS BLISTERING, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED EP ‘IGNITING THE FLAME’ WITH TWO FRESH TRACKS THAT SHOWCASE A MORE ROMANTIC AND POETIC SIDE OF HIS ARTISTRY.
Scott Smith releases two distinctive and endearing tracks to fans old and new, both tracks are Folk / Rock inspired, but with grace and elegance that make them fall into the Love Song / Ballad Genres. A truly multi-talented artist, Scott Smith, whose music ranges from the old school rock and blues camps, also takes time to develop music that has a softer side, but just as “spicy”, the new single “I Will Love You” is a truly inspiring devotion of love to the one that stands by you in all the steps you take in your days on earth. This song is followed up a “B-Side” single “Spinning Round” which, on its own, will be just as lovable, in a time old story of life moving so fast, you just might miss it if you don’t take time to enjoy it.
Sometimes the most fascinating indie artists, and the ones who keep our senses hinging on every chord and lyric, are the ones who throw us stylistic curves when we least expect them. Bay Area Americana Country Rocker Scott Smith got tons of critical love for his 2017 EP Igniting the Flame, which Skope Magazine praised as a “blistering bluesy take on the classic rock sound. . .neatly drawing from folk, country, all anchored within a careful singer-songwriter tradition.” The review also made mention of riffs that “roll across the luxurious hyperactive pieces,” and concluded with: “Aptly named, Igniting the Flame shows off Scott Smith’s sense of defiance as everything merges into a singular whole.”
The easiest thing for Smith to do would have been to gather the same batch of high end Northern California musicians to create a like-minded, barn-burning follow-up. Instead, on his new double sided single, the multi-talented artist treats us to the more romantic, poetic side of his expansive artistry.
Working once again with producer Julie Wolf (Bruce Cockburn, Ani DiFranco), who “really stretched me as we worked intensely hard on these,” Smith shares a beautiful and lighthearted, acoustic guitar and banjo driven homage to his wife Karen on “I Will Love You,” and taps into his nature as a “free spirit child” on the playful, jangling pop/rocker “Spinning Round” – a tune inspired by the landscape around his home in Sebastopol, CA. On “Spinning Round,” he sings, “Went outside, watch the sunrise, colors stretched across the sky. . .water’s running from the mountain down.” These images swirl in his head, “spinning round and round” till he “got so dizzy, fell on the ground.”
Both tracks feature the gorgeous harmony vocals of Vickie Randall, who has worked with Mavis Staples and sang for years on “The Tonight Show.” Randall, whom Smith estimates sang over 100 parts to get her vocal textures perfect, also performed on Igniting the Flame. An interesting anecdote about “I Will Love You” is that Smith altered the tempo of the studio track after performing the song live for the upcoming video set in Sedona. “In the studio, I used a metronome to keep the song on time,” Smith says, “but I checked what we recorded in the field against the initial track and it was too fast – so we moved the tempo of the song up.”
No matter what time signature he’s grooving in, or whether he’s rockin’ the blues or singing more heartfelt songs about his wife or natural beauty, Smith’s vocals and songwriting talents have been commanding our attention for a long time, and fans and critics alike have compared him to Tom Petty and Neil Young. The critical raves for his 2016 debut album The Sum of Life found the emerging artist earning praise for his “strong homage to rock and roll” and “vocals that call to mind Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan.” Thus far, Smith’s journey as an indie artist has taken him to places – and opened the door to exciting collaborations – far beyond where he dreamed growing up in the Bay Area absorbing the insights of his first guitar teacher, David Nelson of The New Riders of the Purple Sage.
“The SF music scene greatly inspired me along with birth of the 60’s music,” he says. “My older brother introduced a lot music to me. I bought my first Grateful Dead album when I was six. But I loved the Stones and Beatles, Cream – all that stuff, too. There was so much happening musically living in the Bay Area at that time. It was very alive. It was great to learn from David and listen to stories of the birth of the Bay Area music scene and legends like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead. What inspired those performers were old time music and old blues.”
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