Jonah Smith

Jonah Smith

5.0 1
by Jonah Smith
     
 
Mixing blue-eyed soul vocals with swampy Southern Americana, Jonah Smith taps into a distinctive and inviting singer/songwriter groove on his nationally distributed debut for the Relix label (he has two previous indie records). The sound is similar to that of the Band, reinforced by the appearance of that group's organist/horn player, Garth

Overview

Mixing blue-eyed soul vocals with swampy Southern Americana, Jonah Smith taps into a distinctive and inviting singer/songwriter groove on his nationally distributed debut for the Relix label (he has two previous indie records). The sound is similar to that of the Band, reinforced by the appearance of that group's organist/horn player, Garth Hudson. Even though Hudson only officially contributes to one track, his presence looms large over the project. Still, this is very much Smith's album, and it is his songs and especially his warm voice -- somewhat like a combination of the Band's Levon Helm and Richard Manuel -- that makes these tunes come alive. Most songs ride a midtempo rhythm, barely breaking a sweat but connecting by sheer melodic force and Smith's charming, low-key singing. There is also a touch of Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection in the rootsy sound. The production and especially the sympathetic horn charts support the songs in supple and subtle ways. "Everything Is New," in particular, floats by like a dream you want to remember more of. Characters in Smith's songs are generally a sad lot, but all are searching for, and expect to find, better days. David Soler's guitar, especially his pedal steel, bolsters these songs without calling undue attention to itself. The unhurried quality of the album in no way makes it bland. Rather, these gorgeous songs drift on clouds of electric piano with traces of gospel, jazz, and blues added to the Southern singer/songwriter style. Smith's talented four-piece band supports the sound without overwhelming the material. Those familiar with the work of Randall Bramblett are encouraged to check out Smith, since both wade in similar waters. An extra track not listed on the back cover, "I Feel More Like I Did Back Then (Than I Do Right Now)," finds Smith edging into Dylan's late-'60s period. There is a hypnotic quality to this release and production that, like the best albums, stays on the back burner yet beckons the listener back for another spin.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2006
Label:
Image Entertainment
UPC:
0014381319620
catalogNumber:
3196

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jonah Smith   Primary Artist,Piano,Vocals,fender rhodes
Bill Frisell   Electric Guitar,Guest Appearance
Garth Hudson   Accordion,Guest Appearance
Ben Rubin   Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
Marko Djordjevic   Percussion,Drums
Carrie Rodriguez   Fiddle,Vocal Harmony,Guest Appearance
Bradley Mason   Trumpet,Flugelhorn,Guest Appearance
David Soler   Acoustic Guitar,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar

Technical Credits

Adam Muñoz   Engineer
Lee Townsend   Producer
Tucker Martine   Engineer
Malcolm Holcombe   Composer
Steven Bernstein   Executive Producer
Jonah Smith   Composer
Richard Bloom   Art Direction
Jeremy Backofen   Engineer
David Soler   Composer

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Jonah Smith 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This whole album is amazing! Jonah's voice is so unique. He's soul, blues, jazz and rock all rolled into one. I've seen him perform all over NYC and he's even better live! This is a must have. The more you listen the more you'll dig it!