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Delta Blues in His Veins

Delta Blues in His Veins

Who: Chris Smither
Where: Gallipoli Legion Club
When: Wednesday March 17, 2004

WHEN US singer-songwriter and guitarist CHRIS SMITHER ventures out on tour he never leaves home without his trusty piece of velcro-backed particle board.

``I realised years ago that when I played on carpeted stages the performance suffered,'' Smither said.

``I thought maybe I hadn't played that well on those occasions but my manager pointed out that if my foot stomping the rhythm couldn't be heard, a lot of the drive was lost.

``So now I have a mic on my foot and a piece of particle board in my suitcase and it all works fine.'' For the past three decades Smither has been winning over fans around the globe with his rich vocal style and intelligent lyrics.

Renowned for his Delta-style acoustic blues, his passion for music was apparent at a young age.

Smither first tried his hand on the ukulele as a child before progressing to guitar and discovering rock'n'roll after a friend played him a LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS album.

``I thought it was three guys playing it was blues, but to me it sounded like rock'n'roll so here was an opportunity for me to play rock'n'roll by myself without a band.

``I was a social misfit until I was into my 20s so that was a godsend.'' Smither's songwriting style is marked by the use of simple words in an elegant manner to create images that are both complex, rich and easily accessible.

His talent has not only been recognised by his fans but also by his peers. DIANA KRALL has recorded a cover of Smither's Love Me Like a Man for her forthcoming album The Girl in the Other Room , set for release in April.

The early triggers for his playing style include LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS, MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT, SKIP JAMES AND DOC WATSON , and he admires the songwriting talent of BOB DYLAN, RANDY NEWMAN and PAUL SIMON.

Smither recently released a new album titled Train Home which follows from his last album in 1999 titled Drive You Home Again.

Smither will perform at GALLIPOLI LEGION CLUB on March 17 as part of his month- long Australian tour.

Tickets will be available on the door.

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