Sean Smith is an excellent guitarist and a visionary composer, in the field of steel-string guitar music.
He proved it over the years with several releases, though his talent was exposed to the world much thanks to the fantastic Tompkins Square compilation Berkley Guitar (this year they released the sequel – Beyond The Berkly Guitar).
In both compilations, Tompkins took the stars of the west coast acoustic guitar scene, and along Smith they included tracks by Matt Baldwin, Adam Snider and others, and the album documents in real time that west coast bubbling scene.
Smith is one of those guitarists I love so much. The kind that can mix their influences (Takoma school of music) and pour their inside world without risking themselves of being tagged as imitators. The last C Joynes album is just that (not an imitator! An innovator!)
In 2007, Smith had released Eternal on vinyl, 300 copies made and the record was gone. Lucky for all of us, the good guys at Strange Attractors Audio House, reissued it on CD, as a part of their Resurrection Series, so now it’s available again for everyone.
Disclosure for those who don’t read this blog often – I will have my album released by the label in this series, next month.
Eternal is an album that travels within the soul’s different emotions. It combines the technical playing of Leo Kottke, with the warm sounds of Jack Rose/John Fahey with his perfect playing on a six strings guitar and Weissenborn.
On the other hand, he doesn’t stay only in America and travels on the eastern wings that takes him to an interesting journey between Sandy Bull and even Bahso.
You can feel it in pieces like Prompter Of Conscience that opens a door for an eastern wind to penetrate and gently hoover above the Sarud and Tambura.
In the hypnotizing Holly, he takes a beautiful acoustic piece and slashes it with heavily distorted electric guitar, with a passion to demolish and drums he plays himself. His drums playing is loose and that breaks the symmetry of the perfect, Switzerland mountains sound and texture in the beginning of the piece.
The Real could have been easily a bonus track on Fahey’s Requia but thanks to the violin playing of Angela Hsu and Adam Snider’s banjo – he keeps it original again.
Since it’s a three years old album, I’m dying to hear where Sean Smith went with his composition skills in the last couple of years, and I eagerly say it – Sean, bring us a new album! Thank you.
[RYIL] C Joynes, Matt Baldwin, Anything from Takoma
[Buy] Strange Attractors Audio House (write ‘Small Town Romance’ in the order comments and get 10% off!)