CD Review: ALEX SMITH – Close To Home


Close To Home

Chasing Ghosts – Like We Know How – Close To
Home – We Were Young – Sunrise – Forces – A Car That’ll Start In The
Cold – Maggie’s Song – We Can’t All Go To Heaven – Barkeaters


What I like best of Alex Smith is that he is a ‘true’
folk-style songwriter.  That also means he’s a darn good one.  He writes
about his own experiences, not someone else’s, and he also writes in a
‘true’ style, which is his own.  He keeps a ‘story’ in the lyrics, so
that also gives him a standing ovation for ‘keeping it the way it once
was, but doing it in a nice warm hug of the old with a good shake of the
new.”  He from the far Northeast, last I heard Maine or Vermont, or
maybe New York, but he’s moving around the geography keeping his faith
in his work and his abilities.  It’s hard in America to receive
recognition for work as a songwriter and performer.  All the doors are
shut by the money-controlled industry, much like it was way way back
during the dust bowl when property owners would pay the Oklahoma
newcomers to California, twenty-five cents and hour instead of the
regular thirty cents and hour, simply because there were more needy
workers than there were jobs.  Have you noticed the symbol for ‘cents’
is no longer on the keyboard of your computer.  Interesting huh?  Alex
Smith would note that, because he is an observer, a watcher if you will,
of the American life style, and he knows what he is writing about, and
he does it well.   As a distinctive folk-singer, he does some amazing
performances in that genre, and his ‘coffee-house’ manner is extremely
well done.  As a recording artist he has the distinct taste to bring his
music to a larger audience. With the help of Markus Gartner on lead
guitar; Jacob Brillhart on fiddle; Ross Rice on bass and keyboard; Don
Barry on acoustic stand-up bass; Mike Ranellone on cello (what a nice
addition).  All of it recorded in Massachusetts under the auspices of
engineer Corey Sherman.  Nicely done studio work, this CD should be
getting some airplay in several ‘genre’ areas: Folk, Country, and Rock.
Our friend Jack Radcliffe did the producing, I’m surprised he’s not on
keyboard, but the end result is extremely well done.  Much
congratulations to this young man Alex Smith who diligently does it the
Paul Anka way.  He does it his way!

RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, President, National Traditional Country Music Assn., for Country Music News International

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