Steve Smith | Hard Road

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Hard Road

by Steve Smith

Oldtime, bluegrass,gospel Americana acoustic original, traditional and covers performed on mandolin, mandola, mandocello, guitar and vocals in "LIVE" studio settings including solo's, duo'd, trio's and quartets.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Poor Man
3:17 album only
2. Trumbull School
2:31 album only
3. The Jig Set
3:50 album only
4. I'll Remember You Love
2:56 album only
5. Dig A Hole
2:43 album only
6. Hard Road
3:10 album only
7. Suger Babe
4:50 album only
8. Norwegian Wood
2:19 album only
9. Me And My Uncle
3:56 album only
10. The Four Points
2:29 album only
11. Muddy Water
3:49 album only
12. Hornpipes
4:37 album only
13. Went For A Ride
2:49 album only


Album Notes
HARD ROAD, Steve Smith's fourth solo cd is a collection of live studio takes ranging from original instrumental and vocals to traditional works and tunes from John Phillips, Radney Foster, Phil Rosenthal and the Beatles. The eleven vocal and two instrumental tunes are performed on voice, mandolin, guitar, mandola, mandocello, banjo, bass and percussion and are performed in solo, duo, trio and quartet settings as they went to tape. The musicians include Jim Hurst, Missy Raines, Wayne Shrubsall, Jane Horton, Robin Russell, Sally Barnes, George Rhee, Bob Hull, Fred Bugbee and Bruce Johnson.
HARD ROAD works well in all traditional bluegrass, old time, celtic, gospel and Americana radio formats.

Steve Smith has been performing mandolin,guitar, mandola and vocals for over twenty five years in about as many types of musical situations as one can imagine. From hard driving traditional Bluegrass, his first love, to New Acoustic, Celtic and Jazz ensembles along with Old-Time and chamber music. His solo shows incorporate original vocal and instrumental works and include unique arrangements of traditional and modern tunes from delicate fingerstyle to hard driving rhythms.
Smith has been involved in a number of theatrical productions including composing the score for the Sam Sheppard play "Curse of the Starving Class ", and a stint in music school studying 20th century composition and theory. His music was most recently used in the PBS film "The Bataan Death March, a New Mexico Story".
In addition to a regular touring schedule which has taken him from Florida to Alaska, Smith maintains a busy teaching and workshop schedule including his sixth year as mandolin instructor at Camp Bluegrass ( along with a broad pallet of recording sessions including mandolin, mandola and guitar.

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to write a review

Joe Ross

A superior instrumentalist in various idioms who also sings with unrivaled verve
Playing Time – 43:16 -- On Steve Smith’s fourth solo CD, he takes an interesting approach to his traditional and original tunes. Smith spent six years capturing live takes with solo, duo, trio or quartet arrangements. A self-penned “Trumbull School” has a gutsy presentation of only vocal and mandolin. I’d like to hear that one covered by a full bluegrass band. “Norwegian Wood” was recorded with just Steve’s singing to his own mandocello accompaniment. Similarly, Steve closes the CD with only his guitar and vocal on “Went for a Ride” (written by Radney Foster and Alice Randall). His duo tracks feature such eclectic treats a “Jig Set” with his mandolin and George Rhee’s guitar, or songs like the traditional “Dig a Hole” and Phil Rosenthal’s “Muddy Water” with guitar and vocals. The former is sung with Jane Horton; the latter with Robin Russell. “The Four Points” pairs Smith up with Wayne Shrubsall on banjo.

The trio and quartet settings bring in some additional musicians like Jim Hurst, Missy Raines, Bob Hull, Fred Bugbee, Eli Copeland and Bruce Johnson. Songs like “I’ll Remember You Love,” “Sugar Baby,” and “Me and My Uncle” seem especially appropriate for airplay. The former is getting some good radio coverage from its inclusion on the Oasis Acoustic Sampler.

Steve Smith is a consummate multi-instrumentalist whose axes of choice include mandola, mandocello, and guitar. He has a unique and appealing flair in his emotionally-charged vocalizing. Originally from Virginia, Smith now lives in New Mexico. He has toured widely during his 20+ years of professional music experience. Some of his music has appeared in commercials, jingles and PBS broadcasts. He also hosts a weekly radio show that includes bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, blues, and folk music -- apparently many of his own diverse tastes in music. A former member of the groups Cloud Valley and Nothin' Doin' Band, Steve Smith now performs with a multitude of bands (duos with Tom Espinola or Dan Crow, Steve Smith & Hard Road, Steve Smith Quintet, Ballyheigue Trio, and Junior Hot Cell).

Smith has some strong Americana leanings due to his eclectic tastes. “Hard Road” is a well-wrought entry to the contemporary acoustic body of music. I’d like to hear his next album in a full ensemble setting, with more of his impressive original material, and also with some fiddle and dobro into the mix. In the meantime, “Hard Road” will give us a much greater appreciation for a superior instrumentalist in various idioms who also sings with unrivaled verve. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

Coy Wylie

Awesome accoustic music!
I've had this CD in my player for a week and can't get enough. My favorite cut is "Trumball School," just mando and vocals. "Sugar Babe" is another favorite. Steve's vocals, mando and guitar playing just blow me away. Even my hardcore bluegrass friends love this album.

Pat Cherrie

Hard Road
Great music. Nice remake of 'Norwegian Wood.' The entire CD is just very nice to listen to.