A gifted singer, songwriter, and versatile guitarist…
-The Illinois Times
Smith’s depth as a songwriter has brought him full circle on an effort that is all his own.
-Benjamin Cox, WEAI Radio
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Winchester, Illinois, 13 October 2018
For immediate release:
Upon leaving a decade as a minister, Stuart Smith is releasing his debut album, War Horse. Drawing inspiration from life within the religious world and the hardened stories of those around him, he set out to write a lyrically honest and musically diverse album chronicling his transition into a new world. Written over a three month period, War Horse was recorded in Central Illinois and features the most established local veterans and long time musical collaborators. Also backing Smith on the album is Nashville pedal steel legend Cowboy Eddie Long, whose credits include Jamey Johnson, Kenny Chesney, The Blind Boys Of Alabama, and twenty years as a member of Hank Williams Jr.’s band.
While firmly rooted in the Americana genre, the album displays a musical diversity reflective of Smith’s background. The mandolin and banjo flourishes harken to his deep family roots in the bluegrass regions of Appalachia, while resonator, harmonica, and electric guitar lines display his affinity and immersion into blues music. The gospel influences of his life as a minister are present in the piano and organ sounds of the church. Even more unfamiliar sounds like the guitarviol and sitar are rooted in his past of world music and studying Indian classical music with Hindu monks as a teenager. These sounds, anchored by pedal steel, intricate guitar work, and tour de force drums ground the harmonious mosaic of a sound that is all his own. His diversity and respect of the sonic landscape of American music is strongly influenced by the work of Gram Parsons, Bruce Springsteen, Ryan Adams, and Jason Isbell.
Smith’s songwriting and performances have been warmly received by regional venues and audiences. His recent collaborations include The Smithsonian Crossroads Exhibit project with American music producer Andy Wallace, and a July 2018 performance with singer songwriter William Fitzsimmons during his “Americana at the Ryman” concert at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium.
For more information, promo or booking requests, or to arrange an interview, contact: