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A Weekend with Kenny White

I had the great opportunity of hanging and going to the shows of Kenny White Last weekend.

He is a renowned singer songwriter from New York who writes some great songs! He has worked

with many big name like Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Peter Wolf, David Crosby and Dr. John to name

a few. His music and words sink deep into me. His website is www.kennywhite.net

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My First Video on YouTube

Hot of the press: Here is my first video for the title song off of my debut album “The Sum of Life”

Nina Gerber Laying it Down

Here is a picture of Nina from a session she performed on my album a few weeks ago.

She is playing on the opening track Down to Memphis. I feel so lucky to have her on my tracks.

 

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Matheson’s Entertainment Review

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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

Radio Airplay

Truly a labor of love, here I am filling over 200 envelopes with my CD going out to radio stations.

Mostly in the US and some in Canada and Europe.

 

radio promo 2

Here is the list of artists I am included with on the radio ad campaign.

Airplay list     20160830_132348

 

 

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. 

IndieMinded Album Review

The Sum Of Life by Scott Smith.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REVIEW

Growing up in the Bay Area, California singer-songwriter Scott Smith was constantly exposed to music and artistic souls. “There was so much happening musically living in the Bay Area at that time. It was very alive.” So when Smith decided to get serious about writing and recording his own LP four years ago, he found that geography had blessed him with access to an incredibly talented pool of musician friends. In short time, Smith was able to bring aboard violin virtuoso David LaFlamme, acoustic guitarist Nina Gerber, pianist Mitch Woods, drummer Vic Carberry, keyboardist Giovanni Imbesi, and vocalist Gailene Elliot to help fine tune his first release. The result is an awe inspiring display of musicianship to complement Smith’s natural Americana blues style which, when combined, creates quite a unique listening experience on Smith’s 11 track debut release The Sum of Life, available now.

The Sum of Life opens with its title track and it is safe to assume no one will see this one coming. An absolutely beautiful instrumental piece highlighting LaFlamme on violin and Gerber on acoustic guitar, “The Sum of Life” paints a picture with its music and sets a mood. But as the opening track, the mood it sets is deceptive as the next track, “Eclipsing Moon,” is much more representative of the release in general. From the second the keyboard blares, you will know you are in for quite the upcoming ride. Smith’s guitar playing and vocals, supported by his long time coach Elliot, mix well with the keyboards to produce a head shaking, toe tapper of a track.

Smith continues to push the pace on the energetic “Blues Guitar Slinger.” Elliot continues her work on back up helping to balance Smith’s vocals a bit while he continues to hit it out of the park with his distinct style on guitar. “Payday” is a hilarious song about the drudgery and monotony of the work week, the kind of song you can imagine doing a line dance to in a country bar on a Friday night with a beer in hand. There continues to be solid guitar work here but being left alone on vocals tends to highlight where Smith’s strengths lie. “Bad Dreams” is a typical country track that takes things down slightly pace wise. A song about moving forward and looking to the future for sunnier days, “Bad Dreams” sees LaFlamme return on violin which works well together with the other elements to create a pretty unique sound.

The mid-point of The Sum of Life sees Smith reflecting on his personal life with “The Best Gift.”     A ballad dedicated to his children, “The Best Gift” is a reflective piece with sentimental lyrics and violin components that accent the emotionality of the track. Guitars and percussion drive “Determination,” as Smith sings about being “determined” to win someone over. “Turn Out the Lights” is highlighted by its continuous, pulsating guitar riff. Elliot once again adds greatly to the vocals and overall, “Turn Out the Lights” has some strong harmony and melodies that stay with you as the song fades. “The World is Strange” brings the energy back on this fun, piano heavy track that looks at how insane everything, everywhere is becoming. How can you not love a song with lyrics such as “The Lord’s gone away/He ain’t comin’ back/He’s on his way to Vegas in a new Cadillac?”

The Sum of Life begins to wrap up with “Over It Soon.” Continuing to blend blues and country, “Over It Soon” is another quick paced track that will have you up and dancing. Like most good, uptempo, country influenced songs, this one manages to create a feel good vibe despite the lyrics which are about a guy who is hung up on a woman and his friends would kindly like him to “get over it soon.” Closing out The Sum of Life on a high note is “Messing With Reality.” The quick paced culmination of everything Smith had been relaying throughout the release is the perfect end to his debut effort.

Scott Smith’s full length debut The Sum of Life is an 11 track concept type album that also manages to be a masterclass in musicianship. Drawing on older musical influences such as The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Cream and The Rolling Stones, while staying true to his own Americana-country blues base, Scott Smith manages to develop a newer sounding style all his own.

Keep up with Scott Smith at the following links:

Website | Reverbnation | Facebook | @scottsmithband

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL REVIEW

ASCAP EXPO 2016

I just came back from an extended weekend in L.A. where I attended the 2016 ASCAP EXPO. I was pretty incredible!

Some of the music artists there were Pat Benatar and her husband Neil Giraldo, Rob Thomas from Matchbox 20, Timbaland, Paul Williams (who I road in the elevator with), Melissa Etheridge, Desmond Child (who wrote Living on a Prayer and Angel for “Arrow Smith”), Suzanne Vega, Brett James (wrote Jesus Take the Wheel for Carrie Underwood along with songs for Kenny Chesney), Brian McKnight, Kevin Kadish (It’s All About That Bass), Charles Kelley (Lady Antebellum) and many others.

I met a lot of good folks and was great to be in a total supportive environment for songwriters. They covered everything, from writing techniques to recording and selling. It’s a whole different world down there, these writers are pumping out the songs everyday and there is all kinds of buzz around it. On the first night they had a songwriter in the round performance in this club, with Desmond Child, Brett James, Kevin Kadish, Suzanne Vega and Rob Thomas. It was the coolest experience. There was this comradery because we were all songwriters. We sang along with the songs like they were are own. I’ll never forget it!

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