Chris Smither - Drive You Home Again

Drive You Home Again

Chris Smither

HCD 8098

Hightone Records
220 Fourth St
Suite 101
Oakland, CA 94607
510-763-8500 voice
510-763-8558 fax

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Guntram Gudowius

Put this CD in your player and you´ll want to be out driving, top down on a small southern road, stop in New Orleans, and wind up with a few good friends around a camp fire on a clear night with the crickets providing backup for the slow, reflective songs.

Chris and the musicians he has gathered around him capture your attention with the intro notes of the first song, and never let you off the hook. His raspy yet gentle voice is the perfect instrument with which to tell stories of a fruit and vegetable vendor in the streets of New Orleans, a conversation about life from different perspectives, a disillusioned lover, and of various experiences you´re bound to have. There are enough twists even in the recurring theme of love gone bad that either put a smile on my face or surprised me... I won´t get into quoting my favorite lines as we have space limitations here, and I want you to be surprised as well.

Four of the eleven songs are by other writers, but with his interpretations, Smither makes them his own.

The production of the music creates the perfect mood for the lyrics. The brass sounds transport you directly to Bourbon Street, while the accordion makes your feet want to spin in a TexMex dance hall. Still, it never gets in the way of Chris´ singing and excellent guitar playing, but frames them to create multi-level pictures you won´t get tired of listening to.

If you like melodic intelligent blues and its variations, this one should be at the top of your list to add to your collection.

By going to the Smither web site you can get a printout of the lyrics of his songs. I still would prefer them in the booklet as there might be some music lovers out there without an electronic link.

Musicians appearing

Chris Smither - vocals, acoustic guitar
Stephen Bruton - electric guitar
Jon Dee Graham - lap steel
Marty Muse - pedal steel guitar
Joel Guzman - accordion, keyboards, melodica
Riley Osbourn - keyboards
Chris Maresh - bass
Brannen Temple - drums, percussion
Mambo John Treanor - drums, percussion
Mickey Raphael - harmonica
John Mills - saxophone and all horn arrangements
John Blondel - trombone
Raul Rodriguez - tuba
Malford Milligan - vocals
Lisa Tingle - vocals
Yoggie - vocals

Track List

Songs by Chris Smither except where noted:
  • Drive You Home Again
  • Steel Guitar (Danny O´Keefe)
  • No Love Today
  • Hey, Hey, Hey
  • Don´t Make Promises (Tim Hardin)
  • Get A Better One
  • Hold On II
  • Duncan & Brady (trad., arr. by Chris Smither)
  • Rattlesnake Preacher (Eric von Schmidt)
  • Tell Me Why You Love Me
  • So Long

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz

Copyright 1999, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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