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CD: ALEX SMITH Live with Dylan Rice – The North Country Sessions

ALEX SMITH
Live with Dylan Rice – The North Country Sessions
Hudson Bay – The Mountain – Place In The
Mountains – My Girl’s Waiting For Me – Between Here And Boston –
Adirondack Blues – Senor – Tracks – Flannel and Curls – North Point Road
 
Alex Smith came to Fremont, Nebraska, to receive a CD of
the Year award from the Rural Roots Music Commission in the year of
2015.  He was given the award for his graceful folk music.  He’s back. 
This time (on this CD) he is in concert with mandolin picker Dylan
Rice.  With Alex’s very strong rhythm guitar backing, it’s easy for
Dylan to shine on those high notes the mandolin does so well.  Add to
that the incredibly strong voice of Alex Smith and you have a very
unique and strangely heroic music that reveals the ‘thoughts’ of the
young today.  Remarkably well done, this is a ‘must’ CD for anyone who
likes uniqueness and versatility happening at the instant. Alex played
for a much older audience at the famous Fremont Festival which features
traditional and acoustic music from the genres of old-time, country,
bluegrass, and folk.  The response he received was also remarkable.  The
older folks loved his original songs, songs with a story attached,
songs that came from the original ‘country’ music genre, way back when
it was folk music.  Way back when it was original.  Way back when you
could be born on a mountain and tell us that story in a song.  Did I
tell you Alex is from Maine?  Hmmmm you are wondering why would a young
man with such expressive thoughts make the trek to Nebraska to receive a
CD of the year award?  Because, like many artists, looking for respect,
honor, gratitude, and a true appreciation for an artists work.  He was
originally scheduled to appear at the National Old Time Music Festival
in LeMars, Iowa, but a conflict of dates prevented that.  So rather than
‘not’ give the award, the Commission suggested he try to make a smaller
event in Nebraska.  Which he did.  Music is a strange enticement.  If
it’s in you, you can’t make it go away.  If you are a good songwriter as
well as a good instrumentalist and singer, it demands you pick up a pen
or pencil and jot down ideas, with a melody line already in your head,
you can’t change that.  Drugs certainly won’t do it, neither will
liquor. Alex comes from a very different environment, a place in Maine
that lets him explore his versatility as well as his ability. All of the
songs on this album were written by Alex, except “Senor” which was
written by Bob Dylan, and “The Mountain” by Steve Earle.  One of his
best songs is “Between Here & Boston” which gallantly shows his very
high ability to play a delightful acoustic guitar at the same time he
displays his distinct and versatile voice.  Well done Alex.  Maine’s a
long way from LeMars, Iowa, but if the flag goes up, I hope you’ll try
to take another award.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART – www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International

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