Smith celebrates release of new CD
Posted October 18, 2010 on augustafreepress.com by Jenny Hypes
Bryan Elijah Smith is a local artist from Dayton who just released a new self-produced CD, “Pour On Me.” The album’s release party was held at Byers Street Bistro in Downtown Staunton this past Saturday evening.
The party was to begin at 9 p.m. By 8:30 p.m., there was a 40-minute wait to get into the Bistro with everyone wanting to hear the smooth sounds of Smith and his backing band, The Wild Hearts wh,ich include Jeff Miller on the banjo and Jay Austin on the fiddle.
Smith’s sound is a pleasant mix of folk with a hint of blues and rock; the music was very reminiscent of the great Bob Dylan. An interesting thing about this performance was that there was no drum kit, it was simply guitar, banjo and fiddle. In most cases the lack of drums would make people feel as though something was missing from the performance, but not in the case of these three men. The sound filled the restaurant and poured over into the street, where passersby could hear and join in the celebration of the newest CD for Smith.
Only a couple of cover songs were thrown into Smith’s set list on Saturday night; the rest were all originals written by this award-winning musician. By the end of the night, people were dancing and signing along with Smith and The Wild Hearts.
“I’ve been playing instruments since I was 5, but I have made music my career for about two years,” says Smith. “There’s so much I do outside of performing. I work a regular work week with booking shows and producing myself, you always have to think three months ahead.”
Smith has his own recording studio right in his house and has been recording and producing for over six years. This local musician is known all up and down the East Coast.
“I do shows in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and I do shows in New York City sometimes, too,” he says.
Reflecting on past shows, Smith says, “My favorite thing about performing is trying to break down the walls people have built and just show them a good time.”
The album, Pour On Me, is on sale for $15. For upcoming shows, and to hear some tracks from the newly released album, check out Smith’s website www.bryanelijahsmith.com
Story by Jenny Hypes. Jenny can be reached at email@example.com.
100 Shows of 2010 - #45: Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts @ Fireflies, 7/24/10
Posted July 30th on lesenfantsterriblesmusic.blogspot.com by Megan Terrible
MINI RECAP: Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts = Better Then The Average Bear! Overall score: A.
Bryan and Jeff sat themselves on the stage and proceeded to play over two hours’ worth of a mix of wonderful original material and wonderful cover songs. Let’s face it, any song that starts off with a cover of “Folsom Prison Blues” is gonna be a good one. The two of them made one heck of a pair; Bryan with his acoustic guitar and harmonica, and Jeff with his banjo. It was a simple, classic sound they made, stripped down and pure. And Bryan’s voice, well, that’s something else altogether. You know me, I’m sometimes easily impressed, but this boy has one hell of a voice on him. It’s breathy and rich, a little reminiscent of Ryan Adams and those sensational Love Is Hell EPs, along with shades of the great Joseph Arthur, but with the honesty and purity of the mountains coursing through it. Very salt of the earth, you might say. The timbre of his voice backed by the genuine simplicity of the acoustic and Jeff’s banjo was nothing short of beautiful.
Among the set were excellent covers of Creedence’s “Fortunate Son”, more Cash (“Ring of Fire”), a jaw-dropping rendition of “Wonderwall” that rivaled the Oasis original, and “Blowin’ In the Wind”, to name but a few. And I’ll just go ahead and blaspheme, but this version of “Wonderwall” eclipsed the Ryan Adams cover, in my humble opinion. Each song, cover or no, was given special care, and was played with attention to detail. Towards the end of their set, the boys took requests from the persons in attendance, and my request for the Rolling Stones was kindly granted by covers of “Wild Horses” (gorgeous) and “Dead Flowers”, which sounded a wee bit like that amazing Townes Van Zandt cover.
When it was all over, and Bryan and Jeff packed up and headed off into the night, I was left feeling totally impressed, and rather proud. Hearing a voice like Bryan’s is rare indeed, and I can’t encourage you enough to go see the guys if you happen to get the chance. Fellow Virginians, the trio has dates all over scheduled for this summer, so make sure you don’t miss ‘em.”
Story by by Megan Terrible