Bluesy Americana singer-songwriter Chris Smither is a musician’s musician in that his music is often covered by top-notch artists like the Dixie Chicks, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and more. In addition, he’s known a masterful interpreter of other writers’ work. So for disc two of Smither‘s new album, Call Me Lucky coming 2 March via Signature Sounds, he reinterprets some of his own work. But that’s just the second part of the record. The first disc sets up the eight new songs and two covers and the second offers different approaches to the same work. That’s a master musician at work, one with such high levels of inventiveness and creativity, that he can turn on a dime with a new song and create a new interpretation just like that.
By way of introduction to Call Me Lucky, enjoy the understated blues shuffle of “Nobody Home” played live by Smither and band. Some intricate guitar work and a killer chorus underpin a rather humorous take on the state of the political world in 2018. What impresses is the gentle ease with which Smither performs these songs, as though they always existed and grew out of his mind fully formed. Smither says, “‘Nobody Home’ is a blues ballad in E about the futility of trying to fill up your life with things that are empty. Hard to do. Something a little more substantial than Death, Defunct Religion, and Donald Trump are usually required, but that’s what we’ve got to deal with.”