Folk and blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Chris Smither released his debut album in 1970, the beginning of an exceptional and influential body of work. A gifted songwriter and live performer, Smither was born and raised in New Orleans, and emerged out of the Boston folk music scene in the '60s.
Over the years, one of his biggest champions has been Bonnie Raitt, who knows a thing or two about covering great songs. Others who have recognized the strength of his songs are The Dixie Chicks, Diana Krall, and Emmylou Harris. A 2014 tribute album, Link of Chain: A Songwriters' Tribute to Chris Smither, included contributions from Raitt, Josh Ritter, Mary Gauthier, Dave Alvin, Eilen Jewel, and others, encapsulating his quiet influence to generations of singer-songwriters.
On March 2nd, Smither is releasing his 18th album, Call Me Lucky. Recorded at Blue Rock Studio in Texas' hill country, just outside Austin in Wimberley, it's his first studio recording of brand new songs in six years. Working with his longtime producer David Goodrich, who plays on the album, additional performers include the core group of Billy Conway (Morphone) on drums and percussion, Keith Gary (keyboards), Matt Lorenz (violin and vocals) and Mike Meadows (drums).
The first video from the album, "Blame's On Me," that we're premiering below, is quintessential Smither.
"I was really glad we had the cameras rolling while we recorded at Blue Rock," and also the concert at the end of our time in Wimberley, Texas," said Smither in an e-mail. "This video really captures the magic of the week and the guys on the record."
From the soulful finger-picking and bending acoustics of Smither's playing to the foot-stomping bounce and pulse of the song, it shows a mix of studio and live performance that captures the intimacy of the playing, and essence, of Chris Smither.