Live with Dylan Rice - The North Country Sessions
Hudson Bay - The Mountain - Place In The Mountains - My Girl's Waiting For Me - Between Here And Boston - Adirondack Blues - Senor - Tracks - Flannel and Curls - North Point Road
Alex Smith came to Fremont, Nebraska, to receive a CD of the Year award from the Rural Roots Music Commission in the year of 2015. He was given the award for his graceful folk music. He's back. This time (on this CD) he is in concert with mandolin picker Dylan Rice. With Alex's very strong rhythm guitar backing, it's easy for Dylan to shine on those high notes the mandolin does so well. Add to that the incredibly strong voice of Alex Smith and you have a very unique and strangely heroic music that reveals the 'thoughts' of the young today. Remarkably well done, this is a 'must' CD for anyone who likes uniqueness and versatility happening at the instant. Alex played for a much older audience at the famous Fremont Festival which features traditional and acoustic music from the genres of old-time, country, bluegrass, and folk. The response he received was also remarkable. The older folks loved his original songs, songs with a story attached, songs that came from the original 'country' music genre, way back when it was folk music. Way back when it was original. Way back when you could be born on a mountain and tell us that story in a song. Did I tell you Alex is from Maine? Hmmmm you are wondering why would a young man with such expressive thoughts make the trek to Nebraska to receive a CD of the year award? Because, like many artists, looking for respect, honor, gratitude, and a true appreciation for an artists work. He was originally scheduled to appear at the National Old Time Music Festival in LeMars, Iowa, but a conflict of dates prevented that. So rather than 'not' give the award, the Commission suggested he try to make a smaller event in Nebraska. Which he did. Music is a strange enticement. If it's in you, you can't make it go away. If you are a good songwriter as well as a good instrumentalist and singer, it demands you pick up a pen or pencil and jot down ideas, with a melody line already in your head, you can't change that. Drugs certainly won't do it, neither will liquor. Alex comes from a very different environment, a place in Maine that lets him explore his versatility as well as his ability. All of the songs on this album were written by Alex, except "Senor" which was written by Bob Dylan, and "The Mountain" by Steve Earle. One of his best songs is "Between Here & Boston" which gallantly shows his very high ability to play a delightful acoustic guitar at the same time he displays his distinct and versatile voice. Well done Alex. Maine's a long way from LeMars, Iowa, but if the flag goes up, I hope you'll try to take another award.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International