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Bay Area based singer/songwriter Scott Smith creates music that consists of many different genres of music. Country, Blues and other styles all blend together to form Smith’s version of Americana. In order to help Scott Smith bring his musical vision to life, he called upon several talented people. Among them are: pianist Mitch Woods; drummer Vic Carberry; pianist and keyboardist Giovanni Imbesi; Smith’s vocal coach Gailene Elliot, sings backup; Bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman; virtuoso classical and rock violinist David LaFlamme and bassist Jeff Martin. These musicians bring Scott Smith’s The Sum of Life alive.

The Sum of Life album from Scott Smith begins with the instrumental title track of the release. The folk track “The Sum of Life” begins with a very soft acoustic guitar from Scott Smith that is quickly joined by violinist David LaFlamme who adds a gentle violin solo. The duo of Smith and LaFlamme are soon joined by lead guitarist Nina Gerber who adds the texture to the track. The trading off between guitarist Gerber and violinist LaFlamme create a gentle duet of sorts that helps to keep the track interesting for the short 3-minute playing time.

With the song “Eclipsing Moon,” The Sum of Life from Scott Smith picks up a lot of energy. Exchanging the folk feel of the previous track for a stronger Rock and Roll feel, Scott Smith and the rest of his musical ensemble add electric guitars, organ and a stronger bass part for a straight-out Rock and Roll track. The result is a rather unusual track that pairs up somewhat romantic lyrics about spending time together with a strong Rock approach in the music. Although it seems to be a slightly unusual combination, the track of “Eclipsing Moon” is strong and fun to listen to.

On “Blues Guitar Slinger,” Scott Smith creates the next chapter in the music book that already includes the likes of “Johnny B. Goode” from Chuck Berry and “Tupelo Mississippi Flash” from Jerry Reed. Like the previous two songs, “Blues Guitar Slinger” follows the exploits of a musician just making a living. Scott Smith’s song focuses on a slightly different instrument, a slightly different style of playing, yet the same way of storytelling about a legendary figure as he makes his rounds.

On the song “Payday,” Scott Smith takes the sound of his music back to the days of roots rock where people like Bill Hailey, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly were creating a new style that separated itself from the Country music of the time. “Payday” features that early Rock and Roll style that centers around the sound of a Honky Tonk piano. The Honky Tonk piano playing on “Payday” comes from Mitch Woods who really adds that classic sound that makes the track sound as genuine as anything that would have come from the days of the early 1950s.

While musically in the past, Scott Smith and the rest of the musicians create a track that brings back the sound and feel of classic Country music. The song “Bad Dreams” contains an easy pace and classic lyrical content that would easily fit in on Country radio back in the sixties. The violin from David LaFlamme helps to add that classic flavor to the track while Gailene Elliott’s vocals help to add a little bit of a duet feel to the song.

The feel of the music on Scott Smith’s new album changes yet again on the track “The Best Gift”. While the previous track contained an old-fashioned Country approach, Smith gives “The Best Gift” a definite Folk flavor to the music. The lyrics about the births of his two children add an emotional touch to the release. “The Best Gift” is one of the most beautiful moments on the release.

After spending a few tracks in the Folk/Country frame of mind, Scott Smith changes directions. For the track “Determination,” the music takes on more of a Rock and Roll feel. The track has a timeless feel to the music as it could fit in with almost any time period within the Rock and Roll era. The track has a strong refrain that makes the song feel just right for commercial radio play.

Along with “Determination,” the song of “The World is Strange” is also a track that features a strong Rock and Roll feel. The track begins with a sound and musical feel that will remind some of something from Eddie Cochran; most specifically, “Summertime Blues”. And while there is that Eddie Cochran influence, the track is equal parts electric guitar and piano so that it also feels like a combination of Cochran and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Throughout the eleven tracks that make up Bay Area singer/songwriter Scott Smith’s new release of The Sum of Life, the listener gets plenty of noteworthy moments to enjoy. The ever-changing styles of music contained within the album feels very much like an entire collection of music on one release. Smith and the rest of the musicians who brought the album to life have created a very strong debut that only hints at the talent of a talented singer-songwriter.

Bay Area based singer/songwriter Scott Smith creates music that consists of many different genres of music. Country, Blues and other styles all blend together to form Smith’s version of Americana. In order to help Scott Smith bring his musical vision to life, he called upon several talented people. Among them are: pianist Mitch Woods; drummer Vic Carberry; pianist and keyboardist Giovanni Imbesi; Smith’s vocal coach Gailene Elliot, sings backup; Bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman; virtuoso classical and rock violinist David LaFlamme and bassist Jeff Martin. These musicians bring Scott Smith’s The Sum of Life alive.

The Sum of Life album from Scott Smith begins with the instrumental title track of the release. The folk track “The Sum of Life” begins with a very soft acoustic guitar from Scott Smith that is quickly joined by violinist David LaFlamme who adds a gentle violin solo. The duo of Smith and LaFlamme are soon joined by lead guitarist Nina Gerber who adds the texture to the track. The trading off between guitarist Gerber and violinist LaFlamme create a gentle duet of sorts that helps to keep the track interesting for the short 3-minute playing time.

With the song “Eclipsing Moon,” The Sum of Life from Scott Smith picks up a lot of energy. Exchanging the folk feel of the previous track for a stronger Rock and Roll feel, Scott Smith and the rest of his musical ensemble add electric guitars, organ and a stronger bass part for a straight-out Rock and Roll track. The result is a rather unusual track that pairs up somewhat romantic lyrics about spending time together with a strong Rock approach in the music. Although it seems to be a slightly unusual combination, the track of “Eclipsing Moon” is strong and fun to listen to.

On “Blues Guitar Slinger,” Scott Smith creates the next chapter in the music book that already includes the likes of “Johnny B. Goode” from Chuck Berry and “Tupelo Mississippi Flash” from Jerry Reed. Like the previous two songs, “Blues Guitar Slinger” follows the exploits of a musician just making a living. Scott Smith’s song focuses on a slightly different instrument, a slightly different style of playing, yet the same way of storytelling about a legendary figure as he makes his rounds.

On the song “Payday,” Scott Smith takes the sound of his music back to the days of roots rock where people like Bill Hailey, Jerry Lee Lewis and Buddy Holly were creating a new style that separated itself from the Country music of the time. “Payday” features that early Rock and Roll style that centers around the sound of a Honky Tonk piano. The Honky Tonk piano playing on “Payday” comes from Mitch Woods who really adds that classic sound that makes the track sound as genuine as anything that would have come from the days of the early 1950s.

While musically in the past, Scott Smith and the rest of the musicians create a track that brings back the sound and feel of classic Country music. The song “Bad Dreams” contains an easy pace and classic lyrical content that would easily fit in on Country radio back in the sixties. The violin from David LaFlamme helps to add that classic flavor to the track while Gailene Elliott’s vocals help to add a little bit of a duet feel to the song.

The feel of the music on Scott Smith’s new album changes yet again on the track “The Best Gift”. While the previous track contained an old-fashioned Country approach, Smith gives “The Best Gift” a definite Folk flavor to the music. The lyrics about the births of his two children add an emotional touch to the release. “The Best Gift” is one of the most beautiful moments on the release.

After spending a few tracks in the Folk/Country frame of mind, Scott Smith changes directions. For the track “Determination,” the music takes on more of a Rock and Roll feel. The track has a timeless feel to the music as it could fit in with almost any time period within the Rock and Roll era. The track has a strong refrain that makes the song feel just right for commercial radio play.

Along with “Determination,” the song of “The World is Strange” is also a track that features a strong Rock and Roll feel. The track begins with a sound and musical feel that will remind some of something from Eddie Cochran; most specifically, “Summertime Blues”. And while there is that Eddie Cochran influence, the track is equal parts electric guitar and piano so that it also feels like a combination of Cochran and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Throughout the eleven tracks that make up Bay Area singer/songwriter Scott Smith’s new release of The Sum of Life, the listener gets plenty of noteworthy moments to enjoy. The ever-changing styles of music contained within the album feels very much like an entire collection of music on one release. Smith and the rest of the musicians who brought the album to life have created a very strong debut that only hints at the talent of a talented singer-songwriter.

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Music Review: Scott Smith – ‘The Sum of Life’

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Scott Smith 'The Sum of Life'Americana and blues rocker Scott Smith’s 11-track debut album, The Sum of Life, was released at the end of 2015. The singer/songwriter has a tendency of composing some pretty catchy melodies which, combined with thoughtful lyrics reflecting the state of society, make for some solid songs.

The title track, which opens up the album, is particularly noteworthy. As the lone instrumental number of the set, it immediately makes one word come to mind as the first notes hit: beautiful. Violins and plucked acoustic guitars gently tell a silent tale, its delicate nature making it soothing, and its tempo, neither slow nor fast, is uplifting in a reflective way. This elegant song could easily be something a bride would choose to walk down the aisle to. “The Best Gift”, a folk song with an almost Celtic touch, is the other gentle track, with the softly played violins and piano giving it a soothing sweetness.

The other tracks on The Sum of Life range from folk to Americana, and some of them are just pure rocking numbers. A keyboard opens the mid-tempo, yet energetic Americana-laced “Eclipsing Moon”. Of the same genre, “Bad Dreams” brings violins and guitars to the forefront, using them to create a quiet, almost dreamy introspective piece. Country tracks include “Payday”, a number that has a very up-tempo, danceable feel that contrasts with lyrics which reflect some of the challenges of working in today’s society.

Another up-tempo, infectious, and engaging number is “Blues Guitar Slinger”, which is a rocker despite its title. The distorted electric guitars in the loud, energetic, and fun “Over It Soon” make it a unique number in this set. Similarly, a stomping piano on “The World Is Strange” makes it too stand out from the rest of the pack. Smith chose “Messing with Reality” to end the album with another dose of high energy.

For fans of Americana, this might be a singer/songwriter worth giving a shot, both on studio recordings and live. More information about Scott Smith is available on his official website and on his Facebook page.

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2016-08-31

Musicemissions Album Review

Music Emissions: Rate, Recommend, Review

Click Here to Read Full Review

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.

Click Here to Read Full Review

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Skope Entertainment review

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Click to Read Full Review

Scott Smith’s “Sum of Life” is folk rock at its finest. Throughout “Sum of Life” Scott Smith weaves in a little tenderness, helping to give these songs a certain charm. His earnest, forthright vocal delivery serves as the album’s core. Lyrically the songs have a sense of reassurance that helps guide them forward. By letting this optimism shine through the songs serve as a kind of comfort. Lush in orchestration the songs vary from the hyperactive giddy work of “Payday” to the soothing sweetness of “The Best Gift”.

Gentle in delivery is the wordless opener “The Sum Of Life”. Particularly fine with its elegant tasteful string work the song teems with life without saying a word. “Eclipsing Moon” begins with a true burst of energy. This energy continues on “Blues Guitar Slinger” where Scott Smith develops a carefully crafted narrative. Shifting into quieter territory is the more introspective languid pace of “Bad Dreams”. By far the highlight of the album is the colorful sound of “Determination”. Aptly named the song contains a great deal of motivation, with longing for love. Showing off his impressive chops is the distorted electric guitar of “Over It Soon”. Ending things on a high energy note is the playful “Messing With Reality”. Full of blistering guitar solos the song simply soars.

Taking on a wide variety of styles, from honky tonk to folk rock to everywhere in between, Scott Smith’s “Sum of Life” is a pure joy.

* READ THE FULL REVIEW HERE

 

 

 

David LaFlamme

I was very excited to have David LaFlamme from It’s a Beautiful Day play on three tracks of my album. He’s a childhood idol and I was such a high point to get his signature on my music.

David and Linda still have a full touring schedule between the U.S. and Europe. What a life he has had, being right in the middle of the 60’s music scene. It was so much fun to hear stories about Woodstock and touring with Johnny Winter, The Doors, Dr. John and everyone else.

David was super gracious and wanted only to make sure his tracks were good. I was a little weird directing him on what to play.

I didn’t realize that David was the original violinist with Dan Hicks and his Hot Licks, who passed away this weekend.

David played on; The Sum of Life, Bad Dreams and The Best Gift.

He is also on a cut off the next album which his solo brings you right back to the Fillmore days.david-denver2