Today we’re thrilled to share a video of blues-folk icon Chris Smither playing his live acoustic performance of his classic song, “Devil Got Your Man.”
This song holds a special place in Smither’s catalog, as it’s the first song he ever wrote!
It and many other classics are part of Smither's Still on the Levee, a retrospective two-CD set due out July 22.
This laid back, acoustic performance highlights Smither’s legendary songwriting skill and his velvety dirt-laced voice. You hear the resignation of the tune, but its sad beauty shines through as well.
Smithers shares, “It was the sixties and Bob Dylan had shown the world that a songwriter could perform his own music. I was in Paris. I'd quit going to my college classes and instead all I wanted to do was play music. This is the first song I ever wrote. What does a 19 year-old know about devils? Not a lot, but it's amazing what he can learn in 50 years. The song holds up. "
Watch it here:
Smither has long been revered for both his guitar prowess and his way with a lyric, inspiring artists from Bonnie Raitt and John Mayall to Emmylou Harris and Diana Krall.
He toured as one of the original monsters of folk with Dave Alvin, Tom Russell and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott in 1998, and continues to live up to the title with accolades such as Mojo magazine’s five-star review for his 2012 release, Hundred Dollar Valentine.
Smither still makes music and tours regularly; his April 2014 appearances at the revered New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival earned him a spot on Rolling Stone Senior Editor David Fricke’s Personal Top 10 list of best festival performances.
As Smither marks his 50th year of music-making in 2014, the New Orleans-raised troubadour takes a look back at his career with Still on the Levee, a two-CD retrospective releasing July 22 on Mighty Albert/Signature Sounds.
He’s also releasing his full lyric collection as a book titled Chris Smither Lyrics 1966-2012, and in September, Signature Sounds will salute him with Link of Chain, a tribute album featuring contributions by Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Patty Larkin, Josh Ritter, Peter Case, Tim O’Brien and other friends and admirers from his beloved Boston music scene and beyond.
Reconnecting with his roots, Smither recorded Still on the Levee at New Orleans’ Music Shed with longtime producer David Goodrich. Their aim was to give fresh perspective to a selection of songs from his vast career — from “Devil Got Your Man,” his first composition, to recent originals.
Among those who joined him on the project are famed pianist Allen Toussaint, members of the band Morphine and fellow folk-Americana artists Wainwright, Kris Delmhorst and Rusty Belle. It’s also a family affair, with backing-vocal contributions by Smither’s sister, Catherine Norr, and fiddling by his daughter, Robin.
Find out more at http://smither.com/