By Rick Coates
At 67, singer/songwriter Chris Smither has not lost his passion for
performing. He plans to cut his tour schedule from 120 shows to 80 shows a
year, but it has nothing to do with his age.
I have a six-year-old daughter and I dont want to miss out on her
growing up, said Smither. I love performing, I just dont like getting
Smither will appear at the InsideOut Gallery in the Warehouse District
this Thursday, March 24 as part of the Connemara Concert series. He is
still touring in support of his 2009 release Time Stands Still.
I am sort of on this every three years of releasing a new album, so
sometime next year with original works, said Smither. Currently I am
working on some covers from late 50s and early 60s, essentially rock
songs that I grew up listening to. I wanted to do something different.
He enjoys performing his new songs and getting feedback on them before he
releases new songs on his CDs.
I love it when people say at the record table after the show, Do you
have such-and-such song on a CD? said Smither. I say, No thats a
new one. Its great when they start asking about it right away.
While Smither is looking forward to going back into the studio, his
passion remains performing.
I like the fact we are seeing the end to artists who are simply recording
phenomenons and not performers. It is going back to the paradigm of making
their living from live shows, said Smither.
I think this is great -- that is what I do -- essentially, I have been on
a non-stop tour for the past 40 years. I think that is what performers
On songwriting, Smither says in some ways it comes easier to him now than
when he started.
Writing songs is like exercising, said Smither. There are certain
muscles that have to get toned up. You work for a while, and eventually
they get strong again. Eventually, once youve written five or six songs,
songs number seven, eight and nine come a lot quicker. You know what
youre doing. I learn a little bit more every time I write a new batch of
Smither has seen a lot of changes in his 40-plus year career.
I started in this business back in the days when no one made their own
records. Today with technology and the Internet, everyone is able to
self-start, said Smither. It is quite a change. It is
funny because the record companies finally got what they wanted -- control
over everything -- and by the time they got it, it was too late.
While he sees some positive changes, there are some negatives such as too
One thing that has happened with technology and the ability for virtually
anyone to record music is that there is a lot more music out there today
than when I started. But that is not to say that it is any better. The old
saying that 90% of everything
is pure crap still holds true, but to look at it in a positive way: 10% of
a million records is better than 10% of 100,000 records.
As for where Smither falls into the equation, he remains in that top 10%
and is currently enjoying the best success of his career.
I am doing better today in terms of record sales, concert draws, and
general income than I have ever done in my life. The Internet is
responsible for all of that. It has given me access to a market and
audience that was denied to me in the past.
Chris Smither will perform at the InsideOut Gallery (downtown Warehouse
District) 229 Garland Street in TC on Thursday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door and are available at the
InsideOut Gallery, Oryana Food Cooperative, Treat Tickets. For tickets or
more information call the InsideOut Gallery at 231-929-3254.