Singer/Songwriter F.Michael Smith has produced what looks like his first CD release on his own label. The album is a laid back affair with some good songs, 10 songs in all. There is also some excellent acoustic guitar playing from Rob Bonaccorsi, W.D.Marsland and also F.M. himself.
The album starts off with "I keep Walking" which sets the tone of the album, an acoustic guitar interlude get the song going and the vocals come in at walking pace almost and gently builds with keyboards and even some percussion. The one thing noticeable about F.M. is that his voice on "Face The Camera" sounds like a cross between Michael Franks and Phil Collins, on this well sung song. "Child's Play (Ali's Song)" is an instrumental and comes over all gentle and just crying out to be used on a movie soundscore. The title track "Red Guitar" is also an instrumental though nicely played, but a bit short. On "Gonna Come A Day" we get two versions of this song, one a studio cut and one a live cut, recorded live at "The Dead End Cafe". This is my favorite song on the album, the live cut having the edge for me, simply for the great harmonica playing from Jack Corazza.
"Time" is another song I particularly liked and F.M. certainly does sound like Michael Franks on this one, a gentle yet forceful song about how time marches on and there isn't anyway way to stop it. The album unusually finishes with a short joke. I found the album was a pleasant listen and enjoyed the stripped down approach of the music.
F.M.Smith, P.O.box 1051, Park Ridge, IL 60068
This review is copyright © 1999 by Dave Thomas, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.