One beautiful performance. Thank you, Chris. And thank you Blue Rock community. Photos by Rodney Bursiel. Stay tuned for video highlights.
Chris is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, whose career spans 40 years, 12 albums, and three DVDs. His recent CD, TIME STANDS STILL, is creating critical storms. He tours world-wide, performing at clubs, concert halls, and festivals in the US, Canada, Europe and Australia. His songs have appeared in various films and TV shows and have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and Diana Krall, among others. In 2006, Smither contributed an essay entitled “Become A Parent” to the book, Sixty Things To Do When You Turn Sixty (Ronnie Sellers Productions) and last year contributed a short story to Amplified, a collection of fiction by today’s best performing songwriters, including Mary Gauthier, Robbie Fulks, Jon Langford, Maria McKee, Rhett Miller, and others.
“Back in the old days,” muses resilient troubadour Chris Smither, “writing new songs and making new albums were just chores. My priority was, and still is, performing live. I guess I still write the songs and make the records so that I can go out and play – except that now I actually look forward to it. I’ve learned how to do it, and I’m very eager to get stuff recorded once I’ve written it.”
“Writing songs is like exercising,” he adds. “There are certain muscles that have to get toned up. You work for a while, and eventually they get strong again. Eventually, once you’ve written five or six songs, songs number seven, eight, and nine come a lot quicker. You know what you’re doing. I learn a little bit more every time I write a new batch of songs.”
The songs on Time Stands Still are somehow both vivid and mysterious, evoking contemporary culture and circumstance while remaining touchingly timeless. Smither’s concerns – personal and political – are wed to music that, while stripped down in terms of arrangement and presentation, is among his most intricate, melodic, and challenging. The stark settings only serve to throw the album’s themes into higher relief. “I’m still talking about what I think of as nitty-gritty questions,”Smither says. “Essential questions, existential questions.”