REVIEW: Charlie Roth’s “I’m The Smile” Will Put a Smile on Your Face


I’m The Smile is Charlie Roth’s 8th album and while the songs run the gambit, the sentiment of the album is very personal and full of rich emotion.  Each song seamlessly fits with the next and weather written by Charlie or covers, the song selections make for a wonderful listen.  Charlie has a great album on his hands and I can say that I enjoyed each track that is included.

The album starts with the song “I’m The Smile” and also finished with “I’m The Smile (Reprise).”  Each version is unique from the other with track 1 being a full band version while the reprise is stripped down and oozes with emotion.  It’s a great segue into the rest of the album and is a great introduction to Charlie and his music.

Charlie also performs a number of track written by various friends including Ray Bonneville’s “Good Times” which also features Ray on guitar.  “Gloves” is another great cover that Charlie really makes his own that was written by George Ensle and Chuck Hawthorne. “Pretty Little Lights of Town” is a Steve Doerr song and features some smoking Telecaster leads by both Bill Kirchen and Red Volkaert.

This album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Pat Manske at The Zone recording Studio in Dripping Springs, Texas with additional recording, tracking, mixing, and guitar playing by John Inmon in Barstop, Tx.  “Where You’ll Be & “I’m The Smile (reprise)” were recorded at The Tree House in St Cloud, Mn by Michael Shynes.  The album also includes Javier Chaparro on violins, Lloyd Maines on dobro, Chris Gage on organ, Mike Morgan on bass, Pat Manske on drums, percussion, and organ, Michael Shynes on harmony vocals, Mark Stuart on guitar, Greg Byers on cells, Ted Manderfeld on piano, and Beth Galiger on saxophone.

The liner notes for the album quote Charlie as saying “I smile a lot when I perform.  It is natural because I am most happy when I get to sing and play guitar.”  If I hadn’t read that, I would have just assumed that was how Charlie looked while performing as the joy and happiness comes through in each track on the album.  You can pick up this wonderful album at his website,

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