Smith/McKay All Day — On the Smile Side (Independent Release)
Jimmy Smith (vocals, bass & drums) made his bones co-fronting The Gourds, a whimsical Austin-based Americana act. Logging hundreds of shows and hundreds of thousands of miles, The Gourds built an absolutely rabid underground following across the US and Europe. Their work earned the band a reputation as one of the funniest live acts on the planet and helped to inspire a new wave of alt Country & twang bands. While Jimmy was cutting his teeth in Austin, Pat McKay (Guitar & vocals) was cutting heads from Texas to Montana, where he’s become an institution in his own right. Over the past twenty-odd years, Pat has been the very definition of a blues journeyman, playing countless sets and sharing the stage with some of the most well-known acts in the business.
So what happens when two comets collide? On the Smile Side. Flying in and off the cuff, on the floor live. Cutting through space and time, slamming into your cranium like a super-charged nano-particle of Unobtainium. The whole record was birthed in an actual pig barn and is so loose and live you might get a hunch that the songs were written on the spot. But the real wizardry lies in the ingredients. Songs like “Back to School Savings” and “Read on Rhodesy” seem to come from that magical mysterious nursery rhyme place between sleeping and awake. Like “Yellow Submarine” or “Octopus’s Garden” (which were written in dreams), it doesn’t have to make sense right away, or ever, to be beautiful.
The humor throughout is refreshing and revitalizing, a bit reminiscent of Too Much Joy’s better efforts, making it difficult to turn away from the incoming punchline. “It’s People” captures it all recounting the adolescent consumption of soylent green as the singer transforms into a mindless robot of the system.
“Mozzarella” might be my favorite track, pummeling me with tempo changes, and nonsensical lyrics written by a mad scientist and later sung by 34 first graders after consuming, say, 8 Pixy Stix a piece. “Got time to lean, got time to glean and get hit by the vodka truck.”
“Esteline” calms things down with the sonic portrait of a smiling hangover. A man carrying on in the face of certain failure, finding solace in a bottle of Listerine.
I feel this is a band everyone should experience on principle alone. Maybe these young hipster acts who take their art way too seriously could take a note or two from SMAD. Lighten up. Eat your cereal with a fork. Do your homework in the dark. Art for the sake of Art. A strike against the Empire. One note at a time.
On the Smile Side by Smith/McKay All Day slams into the world on May 6th on all platforms. You can even watch a short documentary on the band HERE.!
Also enjoy our Key to the Highway – Americana Highways Interview HERE
The album was recorded and mixed at Sound Rich Productions in Missoula Montana by Mathew Bainton, and mastered by Jim Wilson. Musicians on the album are Jimmy Smith on vocals, bass and drums; Pat McKay on vocals and guitar; Charlie Hopkins on harmonica and Mathew Bainton on congas.