Essex-born John Smith has built a reputation as one of the UK’s finest guitarists and songwriters. Steeped in the lineage of British folk and taking his cue from Richard Thompson and John Martyn, John has evolved a transatlantic blend of fingerstyle and slide guitar techniques. His intimate takes on love, loss and the journey we make, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following. Hummingbird was released in 2018.
Against the backdrop of a universally difficult 2020, songwriter and guitarist John Smith found himself facing personal and unrelenting change. In the spring of 2020, Smith and his wife lost a pregnancy, and his mother was diagnosed with cancer. With his touring schedule of two hundred days a year on the road suddenly on indefinite hiatus, for the first time in over a decade, John was home.
“With newfound pain coming from so many directions, dealing with the uncertainty it brings, I closed the curtains and picked up the pen, turning to songwriting as a lifeline.” It’s unsurprising that the new songs reflect a shift in priorities. On his new album ‘The Fray’, Smith gives us an uplifting perspective on the path forward, but pays beautiful homage to the difficulties along the way.
‘The Fray’ is Smith’s sixth studio album, and his vulnerability throughout is offered to his listeners, unadorned. “It’s been a hell of a year, but I feel I’ve created my most honest work as a result, and as a necessity. A lot of these songs are about accepting that life is hard, but just holding on and trying to enjoy it anyway.”
Supported by Native Harrow
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