John Smith isn’t from Nashville and he doesn’t try to be like other artists on the radio. He’s a folk artist from the United Kingdom. All he needs is his voice and his guitar get my attention. It’s not a style anyone can pull, off though. It requires having a strong enough voice to carry that kind of arrangement, and he does.
One thing that really interested me about this project was the skill of the guitar playing. The acoustic guitar is my favorite instrument and I can listen to a good singer and guitarist for hours. I guess that’s part of Smith’s appeal.
I was interested in the songs that Smith selected for his album. He could have picked a lot of different songs, but he didn’t. Instead, he picked folk songs, some of which have been around for centuries. I can’t compare them to other versions since I haven’t heard most of them. I can say, however, that I like Smith’s versions because I find them authentic. He is a great storyteller. Since Smith is from a different country, I found listening to the album educational as well. I would love to travel to the United Kingdom one day. I appreciated that Smith took the opportunity to share the songs.
It also made me wonder what it might be like to attend one of his concerts. I don’t imagine I would see lights and smoke, lasers or see him running around the stage. I would expect to see him sit or stand and play his music, as he included some personal stories from his country in between songs. I would find that quite entertaining.
Smith started his tour today, March 22, in New York City, New York. He’s not going to be playing big arenas. Instead, he will be playing smaller venues which will allow him to connect with his fans.
Rick Amburgey is an experienced journalist and country music fan. He can be contacted on Twitter at @ViewsCountry.