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Musicemissions Album Review

Music Emissions: Rate, Recommend, Review

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It makes for a strong homage to classic rock ‘n’ roll. Smith fits in snugly wrapped in the trappings of the great sounds of the music’s past. His vocals call to mind Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan among others. The music can take a bluesy sound, a  country flavor and on the opening cut there are prog touches. The lyrics call to mind the Rolling Stones, Johnny Rivers, Rick Derringer, Pink Floyd, Devo and others. “The Best Gift of My Life” shows he can come up with a beautiful melody. The words are worth reflection. Smith’s life experiences are worth sharing, and his vocal delivery underscores he’s not posing. It’s an upbeat journey he takes us on throughout these 11 cuts. Love is on his mind. And he doesn’t sound jaded in his tales. He doesn’t seem like a hopeless romantic. The music underscores a desire to connect with his listener as well as bear his soul.

All the analysis need not be ladled on in describing this record. It’s plenty of fun, listening to each song.  The tempos change freely from one  track to the next. Hard rock is comfortable terrain, displaying his rocking skills on “Over It Soon.”  It’s just plain catchy. This could serve as the description for much of what’s offered here. Even if I haven’t listened to as much classic rock lately, I can’t stop thinking about the masters. These cuts show their tradition can be built on and made into something, which represents solid entertainment and art. The words don’t make  me cringe. The hooks are welcome. I’m sure Smith has more tales of adventure to share with us as he explores his California roots. Whether whistling, strumming or singing. Smith should continue to make his mark. There’s plenty to revisit, making this album worth spinning over and over. There must be a breeding ground for more great music in his musical vision.

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Vents Magazine Interview

Hi Scott, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi Rafa, I have been staying busy, promoting my album and recording.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “The Sum Of Life”?

I have been playing this long before I started writing songs with lyrics. It’s kind of like a fiddle tune where it has 2 parts that repeat. It started out as just a fun song to finger pick and later when I started recording, realized That it had potential for some pretty soloing.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

No not really. As I played it over time, I found myself reflecting on my life and relationships, places I’ve been.

Any plans to release a video for the single or any track on this album?

Yes! I’m am working on that now someone. The plan is to combine live performance with animation.

Why naming the album after this track in particular?

I wanted the Sum of Life to be the title track because It had a ring to it. I didn’t think it would be so popular which usually why a song is picked for the album title. I wasn’t thinking about that, I just liked the name. It had meaning.

How was the recording and writing process?

One of the top experiences of my life. It had been on my bucket list to write songs and record in a studio. Now a days, so much is done in home studios. I wanted the synergy effect of working with other people in a professional studio. A lot was created by input of others. I also wanted to get plugged into a community of good musicians.

The writing process was magical. Once I started writing, the flood gate opened. It was a creative Journey of discovering melody lines, rhyming methods and story ideas. My wife was one of my main subjects Lol.

Known for blending different styles together, does one shines the most depending on the lyrics’ theme?

Do I have to pick one? Blue Guitar Slinger was written about the late Johnny Winter. He was a hard subject to come up with material to write. In the end, I was happy with how the words fit together. Like a puzzle. The Best Gift was written about my kids and I felt like I captured some key Moments for my wife and I. On Payday, I wanted to write a tribute for us working folks that kicked a little. That is one of the songs that I thought my rhyming methods shined.

Does the Bay plays a role in your music?

Pretty big, I grew up in the hay day of the Bay Area musical scene. I feel lucky to be in the main area that Bill Graham put on shows. There was always Something going on. Being able to see free show in Golden Gate Park with the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Starship was a great time. The Sons of Chaplin were one of the main highlights because They played so often and were great!  Bill Chaplin went on to play with Chicago. Jerry Garcia, Jorma Kaukenen, David Nelson and Steve Kimock are the biggest influences on my playing from this area.

You listed some legendary musicians to help you out – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?

One of the great things about the Bay Area, is that there are many great, famous Musicians around that are more than happy to do studio work. Most of the artists are part of the Studio E community, with the help of Jeff Martin (the owner) I was able to connect with all of the artists.

What did they brought to the table?

I had to work and apply pressure to get David LaFlamme. I wanted his signature violin, which really paid off. Nina Gerber is one of a kind and made such a great performances. She usually plays beautiful acoustic guitar, which she does on The Sum Of Life, but she performs rare electric rockin’ slide guitar on Over it Soon and Messing with Reality.  Mitch Woods, who plays on Payday and the World is Strange, we got on a total whim. He was so much fun to work with. The drummer is Vic Carberry who played with Tommy Tutone on Jenny Jenny. Is a big part sound success for the album along with bass from Jeff Martin. Vic’s nickname is Vic the Click for his impeccable timing. On Keyboards, I had Giovanna Imbesi. Giovanna Plays with, The Joy of Cooking, Yanni and Andy Summers. She played the kicking Hammond organ  on Eclipsing Moon and grand piano on The Best Gift.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not yet, but I hope to soon.

What else is happening next in Scott Smith’s world?

I’m in the middle of recording the next album. I have David LaFlamme on a song named Igniting the Flame, where he performs a wild solo that Takes you back to the old Fillmore days. Nina Gerber more slide on a southern rock tune, Drop Kick it. And I have David Grisman on a song I wrote about the Grateful Dead, called Skeleton and Roses. 

Review From JP’s Music Blog

JP title bar 2009 Finally from the Bay Area comes the debut album, “The Sum Of Life” from singer/songwriter Scott Smith. Smith invited some legendary musicians to help him accomplish his goal of producing a timeless album. Beginning with the title-song, “The Sum Of Life” is a gentle, acoustic instrumental that invites you in to experience the full range of what Smith has to offer. He picks the tempo up with the bluesy rocker “Eclipsing Moon” and the country swing of “Payday” to showcase his musicianship.

The old school, Americana sounds of “Bad Dreams” and “The Best Gift” are highlighted by David LaFlamme (It’s A Beautiful Day) on violin, who gives the songs an authenticity. The new eleven-song release finishes up with the guitar/piano boogie of “The World Is Strange” and the dirty blues rock of “Messing With Reality.” To find out more about Scott Smith and his latest release “The Sum Of Life,” please visit scottsmithband.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Giovanna performs Beautiful Tracks

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Giovanna Imbesi was up a few weeks ago to work on the new album of “The Joy of Cooking” and we were able to have her perform on a few songs for my album. She played on many of the song on my first album and it great to work with her again. It’s amazing to have such accomplished artists work on my project. Giovanna has played with Yanni and Andy Summers.

Here are so pictures from the session.