Michael C Smith is an American singer/songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, and author. Although rooted firmly in the musical tradition of Dylan, Guthrie, Springsteen, Mellencamp, and Petty; lyrically he leans heavily into the literary influences of Flannery O'Connor, John Steinbeck, and The Bible. His work is often spiritual, sometimes dark, hauntingly personal, and always relatable.
His new record, coming Summer of 2022, is being described by early listeners as a masterpiece. Written during and around the breakup of his first marriage, the subsequent divorce, Covid 19 pandemic, new romance and the wonderful and surprising recognition that, at long last, he has found his soul mate; the record is fraught with hardship, depression, a real “grown up” look at relationships, combined with an undeterred spirit of optimism.
Written, for the first time, both for and with a band, the album, entitled: Taken, is at once a youthful record about new romance and a mournful surrender of a love allowed to bend under the erosive hands of neglect and denial.
Surrounded by a group of musicians consisting of long term band members, Jordan Armstrong, and Kelly King, and local Georgia bar legend, Bobby Andre, Michael also found himself in the company of Erik Kasyinski of the Tinsley Ellis band, and American Aquarium keyboardist Rhett Huffman. Engineered and Co Produced by the, truly magical, Damon Moon of Standard Electric Recordings, this record has all of the necessary ingredients needed to cook up a certifiably spectacular LP.
His first album, “Hands of the Wicked” is a comprehensive nine song-study of life, love, murder, sin, and redemption. The sparse instrumentation, played on a combination of vintage and handmade instruments creates the perfect world for the dense and thematic lyrics. There are 'electric' guitars on a handful of songs but the album never loses its core feelings of southern-gothic tales firmly established with Appalachian roots. It was recorded in Dahlonega GA by local legend John Grimm.
His second record, 'Prophet on a Barstool' ranges from heavy folk foot-stompers to classic country, and finishes off in epic narrative pieces accompanied by fiddle, piano, organ, and a tight Americana band. An enchanting 10 songs which showcases both growth as a songwriter as well as a large leap forward in musicality. Melodies soar, choruses are sung with big multi-layered harmonies, and the varied instrumentation for each song builds up to an album full with rich musical tapestries. However, even with all of these wonderful layers that Michael C Smith brings to 'Prophet..' at the core is a songwriter telling stories and weaving tales of bold lives lived within both the mundane and the everyday.