via Commoner / Thirty Tigers
Release date: 5th October 2018
+ Ireland dates announced for October:
10 Oct Cork IE Coughlan’s
11 Oct Cork IE Coughlan’s
12 Oct Limerick IE Dolan’s
13 Oct Dublin IE Unitarian Church
14 Oct Bangor NI Studio Theatre
Essex-born John Smith has built a reputation as one of the UK’s finest guitarists and songwriters. Raised by the Devon seaside and making his bones in the bars and clubs of Liverpool, John has released five albums with over 10 million Spotify streams. He has played to audiences all over the world in living rooms, festival tents and sold-out concert halls. He is a genuine folksinger, an inquisitive truth-seeker, devoted song interpreter, and enchanting writer.
Steeped in the lineage of British folk, taking his cue from Richard Thompson and John Martyn, Smith has evolved a transatlantic blend of fingerstyle and slide guitar techniques. John’s intimate takes on love, loss and the journey we make, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following. His honey-on-gravel voice and mesmerizing fingerstyle guitar are undeniable. Sometimes using a slide, sometimes with guitar on his lap, sometimes detuning mid-song, Smith’s obsession with the instrument has made a master of him. Whether by way of album or concert, he leads the listener, enthralled in his presence, on a viscerally emotional journey.
A contributor and collaborator, John quickly and effortlessly earns the esteem of his comrades and heroes. He has opened for folk greats including John Martyn, Davy Graham and John Renbourn, who called John Smith “the future of folk music.” On the contemporary side, he has also opened for Iron and Wine, Tinariwen, and Ben Howard. He has guested with artists such as Jackson Browne, Martin Carthy, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Jerry Douglas, Glen Hansard and Rodney Crowell; and in his occasional role as sideman, he has played guitar for artists such as David Gray, Lisa Hannigan, Lianne La Havas, Joe Henry and Joan Baez.
He has released five records – his most recent “Headlong” (2017) reached #15 in the Indie Breakers chart, #1 on iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter chart, and amassed over 10 million Spotify streams.
His forthcoming album “Hummingbird” will be released 5 October in Europe and in early 2019 in the rest of the world on his own imprint, Commoner Records, via Thirty Tigers worldwide.
Featured on the album are six of John’s favourite folk songs to tape, alongside one cover version and three original songs. John invited several good friends to join him in this process: Cara Dillon, John McCusker and Ben Nicholls. Each a giant in their own right, they offered subtle and deeply nuanced performances to what he felt were his most restrained recordings so far.
Producer Sam Lakeman and John adopted the motto ‘less is more’ in Sam’s Somerset Studio back in March 2018. We all know that a Folk Song’s clarity of purpose is exactly the reason why it has been played in pubs, living rooms and concert halls for hundreds of years.
John made this record for himself, for his heroes and for you.
Check out ‘Willy Moore’ from the new album: