REVIEW: Chris Smither’s “Call Me Lucky” Has a Lucky B Side

Reviews

Chris Smither’s new bluesy Americana release “Call Me Lucky” (Signature Sounds/Mighty Albert) strolled across our desks last week and everything came to a screeching halt as we stopped to pay immediate attention. Recorded in Wimberley, Texas at the Blue Rock Studio, it was produced by David Goodrich (Jeffrey Foucault). With rhythm section Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums and Keith Gary on keys, Matt Lorenz (violin and vocals) and Mike Meadows to support Smither’s easy fingerpickin’ manner the songs are as lively as they are complex. What this team came up with in that studio was a truly innovative double cd of the same ten songs twice: eight originals and two covers, played completely differently on Side B.

With several decades under his belt to perfect the songwriting style that he first offered to fans in the ‘60s even further, this, Smither’s 18th album, is a music listener’s dream. “The universe is guilty but the blame’s all mine,” he says in “Blame On Me,“ a song that showcases Smither’s abilities to flex in the low vocal register. Here’s video of that song as it was being recorded at the Wimberly studio:

Then there’s a snappy blues interpretation of the (traditional) “Maybelline.”   “Nobody Home” tells an empathetic story, and “Lower the Humble” is a mournful song that again emphasizes Smither’s easy mastery of the instrument.

On the B side is a very exciting surprise interpretation of the Beatles’ “She Said, She Said,” and then the rest of the songs from the A side, played in a more western, faster paced style, with Smither on electric and the rest of the band changing instruments. This puts the project over the top into your permanent “must have” collection.

Smither’s songwriting has been celebrated throughout the past several decades by greats such as Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and the Dixie Chicks. You need your copy today, find it here.

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