[MUSIC/Folk ~ UK]
Fortuna Spiegeltent at The Garden Of Unearthly Delights, Wed 11 Mar.
John Smith hasn’t graced the shores of Australia too often in his 20 years as a troubadour (he has done numerous tours of the USA. And he admits that it was perhaps a bit ambitious booking the Spiegeltent, where a modest crowd had gathered for what was a superbly intimate concert. John was very impressive with guitar, voice and some gorgeously crafted songs.
Only one cover song in the set, something written by a very young Jackson Browne, who John has toured with. The rest of the songs played came mostly from his most recent two albums, Hummingbird, produced by Sam Lakeman and Great Lakes, produced by Joe Henry (with a couple of co-writes), which is to say John is a very well regarded songwriter and performer. Each and every song grabbed our attention and took us on a journey to places he sings about, often to where he has lived, of people he has known and/or loved. John Smith was very keen to let us know where to find him online (‘Please don’t Google my name’, he asked. Johnsmithjohnsmith.com).
John has exquisite guitar technique, with finger-picking, plectrum, slide and some really intriguing lap style slapping techniques. His voice is similarly engaging and as for songs – these are well crafted, mostly gentle, lyrical and a joy to listen to.
Live on stage, John is friendly and has some great stories to tell, though we were few, we sang along quite happily when asked and I have seen full houses have less people lining up to purchase CDs after the show (Hummingbird is great listening).
Presented by I Hear Django