Last night we went to hear a remarkable U.S. folk/roots artist called Chris Smither, at Hugh's Room in Toronto.....the evening was outstanding.
About 2 years ago an un-named preview CD by Chris Smither arrived for review from Blues On Stage. I listened to it and thought it a great CD but was not sure about the blues part....it seemed more of a folk/ballad CD with a touch of blues maybe...anyway I reviewed it and continued to listen to it because it had some really good material on it....The CD was recorded live but had none of the usual problems with live recordings...they did a great job.
Over the next months, I noticed that on blues and folk DJ lists various cuts from the CD were getting lots of airplay...then I noticed that Chris Smither was scheduled to come to Hugh's Room (Toronto). And so, last night we went to hear Chris in person.
Well, the performance was no disappointment. Big, lanky and easy going with a beautiful smile, Chris shambles up to the stage and then you are held immovable while he performs. His repertoire is mostly original material, with a smattering of covers...his lyrics are thoughtful, humorous and touching.
Chris has a great rapport with the audience and they love him. You can tell that he really likes to perform, as he plays and sings with this big grin on his face. His guitar playing is really topnotch and he has this really great voice that he makes sweet and kind of high sometimes, and then he roughens it up and belts out an old blues standard like "Dust My Broom" with totally convincing grit.
Chris is friendly and outgoing during the interval and happily signs CD's and chats genially with admirers.
His second set was received with the same enthusiasm as the first and Chris receives a standing ovation, he plays one encore, thanks the audience for coming out, thanks Hugh's room and then wanders back to sign more CD's...A truly wonderful evening, kudos to Hugh's Room for bringing Chris to their wonderful venue.
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