Music

John Smith Revisits British Folk Classic "The Time Has Come" (premiere)

Photo: Rose Cousins

Praised by John Renbourn as "the future of folk music", John Smith continues to exemplify that with his LP, Hummingbird and the single, "The Time Has Come".

John Smith is one of the great voices in the British folk tradition, building upon a foundation laid by John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, John Martyn, and others. With his latest release, Hummingbird, Smith further solidifies his role as rightful successor to the Brit-folk crown. The album has been available outside North America since last fall and sees release in that territory on 22 March through Thirty Tigers.

One can hear his sense of tradition and forward-thinking in "The Time Has Come", a succinct but brilliant statement that accentuates his deceptively simple chiming guitar lines as well as his rich singing voice. Composed by Anne Briggs and slotted nicely amid originals and pieces that date back to the 15th century, the tune suggests, as his mentor Renbourn once remarked, that Smith is "the future of folk music".

Speaking specifically to this tune, the troubadour added, "I first heard Anne Briggs' classic on the Bert & John LP by Renbourn and Jansch. Succinct and bittersweet, this is one of my favorite songs. I hope John Renbourn would have approved of my first-take guitar parts, flying by the seat of my pants!"

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