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Dick Smith - Smoke Damage

Smoke Damage

Dick Smith


Clayhead Records
39W 173 Happy Hills Rd.
St. Charles, IL 60175

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Allen Price

Dick Smith is a trio of multi-instrumental playing singer-songwriters from somewhere around Chicago. None of them are named either Dick or Smith. They play an eclectic mix of bluesy, tongue-in-cheek, Cajun-flavored, country folk, Americana music that reminds one of Hot Tuna or Bad Livers. This is not to say that they are exactly like either of those bands, for they have created their own unique fusion of their collective musical influences. The album has an easy, rolling, bluesy feel to it with just a bit of a punkish edge.

The trio consists of:

  • Dave Nelson on Dobro, jaw harp and harmonica
  • Dave Ramont on vocals, banjo, concertina and jug, and
  • Bob Kuhn on vocals, mandolin, and mandola

Smoke Damage is a collection of all-original tunes contributed by all of the band members, either individually or in a collaborative effort. Topics covered include driving a beater car (Shitbox), enduring the hazards of a downpour (Pissing Rain) and the celebrity chain of recipients of the common cold (Paul Kissed the Girl). Its evident these guys are having a great time. They have managed to create some seriously fine music without taking themselves too seriously. The band is joined on the album by a number of other musicians from the Chicago area who add percussion, lap steel, accordion, and bass. Despite the vast array of instrumentation, the album retains a rootsy, living room feel that perfectly fits the songs.

It's a pity Dick Smith is ensconced far away in Chicago. I'd see these guys play in a minute. This album will be both a favorite and a unique addition to anyone's CD collection. Keep 'em coming, boys.

Track List:

  • Chicken Hand (prefrain) (Dave Nelson)
  • Kettle O' Fire (Dave Ramont)
  • Whiskey Bottle (Bob Kuhn)
  • Shitbox (Nelson/Ramont/Kuhn)
  • Box O' Bones (Bob Kuhn)
  • Trouble Bound (Nelson/Ramont/Kuhn)
  • Slim t' None (Dave Ramont)
  • Pissin' Rain (Kuhn /Ramont/Nelson)
  • One Day They'll Shoot Me Down (Bob Kuhn)
  • Hazard Pay (Dave Ramont)
  • Paul Kissed the Girl (Bob Kuhn)
  • Chicken Hand (Nelson/ Kuhn/Ramont)
  • Gravity (Bob Kuhn)

Edited by David N. Pyles

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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