Here's my friend James Lee Stanley's review of "Old Man Dancing":
I don’t know how many recordings you have listened to in the past decade or four, but I suspect a lot. Now how often do you come across something that is not only really good, but also really unique?
That’s what I thought.
I have actually been accused of curmudgeonry because I am not one to celebrate mediocrity. Can You believe it?
In any event today, I want to bring your attention to a CD that I cannot seem to stop listening to, Michael Smith’s “Old Man Danciing”.
For those of you familiar with the acoustic world (somewhat underground by the media lights here in the USA, but alive and thriving none the less), you know the name Michael Smith—not to be confused with the Christian singer Michael W Smith—this is Michael Peter Smith late of Chicago, Illinois.
He was a frequent collaborator and contributor to the late Steve Goodman recordings and wrote such acoustic classics as The Dutchman, The Ballad of Dan Moody and Spoon River. Songs recorded by countless acoustic artists over the last forty years.
For his latest project, Michael enlisted the aid of exactly no one else. Playing all the instruments, doing all the singing and even doing the engineering at his home studio, he has created one of the most original recordings I have ever heard in this genre.
I know that many a vanity project is done this way, but trust me, this time it is simply amazing what he is giving us.
The stories, the vocals, the songs, the simple ambience of this recording have yet to wear off on me. I love all the choices he made with regard to instrumentation, sound effect, etc.
Granted, this recording was not done in a multi-million dollar studio. It was done in Michael’s home with no one but him. However, the music, the songs and performance far outweigh any sonic complaints the high end afficianado’s might attempt to levy.
While Michael does not sing in the bel canto of many, his delivery, sense of time, intelligence and irony is not to be denied.
I love to hear him sing, and if you get a chance to hear him perform, you must!
And the songs are not your typical songwriter fare. From the opening cut, Accokeek, you know you are in for a different kind of ride. I won’t spoil anything for you by telling you anything other than the titles, but you will be delighted once you put on the phones and sit back.
After Accokeek, comes Sure Have Grown, Ghost of Lash Larue, Ballad of Dorian Gray, Poor Maurice, Roger Maris, Ballad of Phil Spector, Edward G Robinson, and finally Pittston Stove.
Tell me, where have you ever seen such titles? This is brilliant stuff.
Really, this is an entire CD you can listen to at one sitting…it’s a sonic journey through the heart and mind of the amazingly gifted and remarkably imaginative Michael Smith. I cannot wait for you to hear it.
I give it six stars.
Go buy it, dammit.
Michael Smith is represented by
J. O'Reilly Productions
For booking information,
please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Smith info page
Web questions: email@example.com
For information about booking Michael Smith, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org