Music » Livewire

Chris Smither

With Darden Smith. Wednesday, September 29, at the Beachland Ballroom.


Chris Smither
  • Chris Smither
Talk about an endorsement that makes you take notice: Bonnie Raitt called Chris Smither "My Eric Clapton." Grand praise indeed, and Smither's six-string finger-picking is certainly worthy of such hyperbole. But the 60-year-old troubadour from New Orleans is a fine artist in his own right, who has been in a groove since the early 1990s, following almost 30 years of dues-paying in the best country-blues tradition.

Smither is a disciple of rural-blues legend Mississippi John Hurt and the seminal Greenwich Village folkie Eric Von Schmidt; he sounds like Gordon Lightfoot's more world-weary brother. There's an eerie quality to Smither's deep voice, which adorns some articulate lyrics, both his and others'. His much-lauded 2003 CD Train Home includes deft covers of songs by Hurt (the classic "Candy Man"), Bob Dylan, Dave Carter, and Richie Furay. Smither also celebrates the release of Honeysuckle Dog, his erstwhile third album, which was recorded in 1973, but shelved until March of this year.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.