Get this crazy baby off my head!


The Kirk Smithhart Band

The Kirk Smithhart Band - So Long - 1999 - Independent Label

A great album recorded in Memphis in 1999. This is a very good album by an extremely talented musician. The guy is a hugely talented guitar player, in the style of SRV, and definitely should be heard by a bigger audience. It seems that Kirk and his band are Beale Street regulars, and are reckoned to be a terrific live band. Unfortunately, A.O.O.F.C cannot give you any more info about The Kirk Smithhart Band, outside the few articles on this blog. This album may not be on general sale.The band also have an album released, entitled "Open Up" which may also be an independent pressing. If you do see them on sale, buy them, and any other albums the KSB may have on release, and if the band are in your area, go and see them. Music like this desperately needs more exposure. If you have any info on Kirk Smithhart, please send your comments to A.O.O.F.C


01. So Long
02. Second Chance
03. I Feel Alright Now
04. These Blues Won't Leave Me Alone
05. Slide Baby
06. Cold To The Bone
07. Home
08. Someday
09. 10 Miles To Clarksdale
10. Midnight

All songs composed by Kirk Smithhart


Kirk Smithhart - Guitar & Vocals
Leroy Clay - Drums
Tom Louis - Bass
Freddie Kirksey - Keyboards
Scott Thompson - Trumpet
Art Edmaiston - Tenor Sax


Making a name for themselves on the Beale Street club circuit is the Kirk Smithhart Band. Countless gigging has built up to give Kirk confidence in releasing independent CDs in the hopes of being recognized by major labels. Whether this pans out for this hard working young musician remains to be seen. If commercial or overall success eludes him, there will always remain that strong cult grassroots following. Those who make a pilgrimage to Memphis and catch Kirk on Beale Street will most likely buy his CD So Long. What people will get are ten original cuts showcasing a young talent too good to be put on the back shelves of the blues industry in general. "10 Miles To Clarksdale" with its long acoustic intro jams into a real juke joint shuffle you can only get from the edge of the Dockery Plantation. "Home" synthesizes the playing of Stevie Ray, Tab Benoit and Alvin Lee into a Beale Street dance fest. Small wonder that the Kirk Smithhart band were the winners of the 1998 International Blues Talent Competition, and an Albert King Award is another feather in the hat. Particularly when Kirk acknowledges King in the slow sermon of "These Blues Won't Leave Me Alone". The kid can also play a pretty mean slide. Smithhart does conscientiously avoid becoming another Stevie Ray wannabe. Even "Cold To The Bone" that waves the Vaughan flag still bears Kirk's imprint of Memphis rock and blues. Kirk knows of those lovers who want to hold each other close on the dance floor as he slows the pace down with "Someday". Drummer Leroy Clay and bassist Tom Louis are the perfect fuses for the Smithhart cannon. Guest musicians Freddie Kirksey, Scott Thompson and Art Edmaiston spike up the playing even more with B3 Organ, trumpet and sax fills that dot additional i's and cross more t's. If I ever get to Memphis again, I will be sure to check out the Kirk Smithhart Band on Beale Street. Studio efforts are always one-dimensional compared to a live performance showing where the real deals are always that. © 2003 by Gary Weeks, and Blues On Stage at: www.mnblues.com, all rights reserved

ABOUT KIRK SMITHHART [ Taken from www.bellyup4blues.com/node/339 ]

The most important thing to know about Kirk Smithhart is that he is a phenomenal talent. A guitarist whose signature style combines the best aspects of lead and rhythm simultaneously with mood altering techniques that make something truly special of every song he performs, he plays with an ease and elegance that makes poetry of every note. In a rock arena so often driven by gimmickry to attract an audience, it is Smithhart’s simplicity, even on lightning fast solo runs, that amazes audiences. Secondly, Smithhart is a singer whose rich vocal textures connect to the musical message in a rich, meaningful manner. At times romantic, at times playful, at times dejected or wounded, Smithhart
focuses on the feeling that transcends words. You can feel the intense emotion in each note he sings. Last, but not least, Smithhart is a songwriter who penned his first tune at nine years of age. When Smithhart performs his original material, it competes on an equal basis with the popular covers he plays. Arguments have been waged over exactly what genre Kirk belongs in. While he still loves the blues that brought him attention initially, he is a rocker at heart; however, he has been known to bring out his “redneck side” just as comfortably. But as Kirk says “I am simply writing what comes out of my heart, soul, and fingers… Don’t label music... listen to music...and listen hard! “. Kirk’s talent comes naturally. He grew up in a musical family, who gigged six nights a week in Jackson, Mississippi, where they moved when he was only three months old. His father, Kirk Sr., played organ and harmonica, his mother, Paula, played piano. Both were phenomenal singers, keenly tuned into funky blues and soulful rhythm and blues music aptly suited to their Delta country life. Although Smithhart picked up the guitar when he was only eight, it was not until knee injuries plagued the high school football and baseball star that he began to hone his technique and develop his personable style. When Smithhart was 17, his father came out of retirement to join his son in forming a blues band. Three years later, the aspiring guitarist packed his bags and headed back to his birthplace: Memphis, Tennessee. A week after debuting at the Stage Stop, Smithhart’s new band entered the Beale Street Blues Society’s talent contest winning the right to represent that organization in the city’s International Blues Talent Competition. His three-piece band finished third among the 37 blues bands competing from around the world, but Smithhart, at the tender age of 20, walked away with the judges’ prestigious “Albert King Award” for best guitarist. As a result of that victory, Smithhart recorded a CD of original tunes that has sold several thousand copies on Beale Street alone. In 2001, Kirk was nominated for the “Sam Phillips Newcomer Award” at the 16th Annual Premiere Players Awards presented by the Memphis Chapter of NARAS. After releasing his second CD in the spring of 2002, Kirk is now hard at work writing yet more material for his third self release album. Having won critical approval and nationwide support from savvy music professionals, hometown fans and tourists throughout the world, Smithhart IS ready.

1 comment:

A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w if needed is aoofc