London Folk Magazine and News
John Smith – HUMMINGBIRD
John Smith will be releasing "Hummingbird" on 5th October
John Smith is an independent musician who has toured the world for almost fifteen years with a guitar and suitcase. He has independently released five albums, amassed over 10 million streams, and won critical acclaim in the UK and abroad. He has headlined the Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury and the Tipi Stage at End of The Road, sold-out Union Chapel in London, and supported Ben Howard across 2 nights at Hammersmith Apollo. He is also a renowned session guitarist and singer, having played for Joan Baez, Lisa Hannigan and Martin Simpson.
Colin Iriwn / The Guardian - "A brilliant guitarist, a soulful singer of great subtlety yet formidable emotion, John Smith proves himself to be an unlikely yet original and heartfelt interpreter of the inherent drama that lurks in traditional song”
Mojo - “You’re smiling even as tears catch in your throat”
Time Out - “Spellbinding”
John Smith talks about ‘HUMMINGBIRD’
"Ever since my teenage epiphany at the altar of Folk Music, hearing Nick Drake, Bert Jansch and John Renbourn for the first time, I have been a devotee. The six strings of my guitar have granted me access to a sacred space between things, the unconscious interweaving sensations that allow us that gentle buzz on hearing a good folk song.
I’ve been immeasurably fortunate to open for and even play with some of my heroes and influences in the folk world; John Renbourn, Davy Graham, Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, Nic Jones, Joan Baez, Wizz Jones, John Martyn, Danny Thompson, Martin Simpson and Paul Brady.
Their work and their generosity of spirit has been a constant reminder that I must keep playing, recording and touring, no matter the cost. There is always work to be done in the service of good music.
It was with this in mind that I returned to Sam Lakeman’s Somerset studio in March of 2018, two years since recording ‘Headlong’ in that same place, to commit six of my favourite folk songs to tape, alongside one cover version and three original songs.
With my guitars and notebook, I sat for a week and dug into these songs, some of which I have performed hundreds of times, but never recorded. I always chose instead to concentrate on my own writing. If I didn’t record these songs now, representing the Folk Music that I love, I felt I was going to regret it.
The tracks quickly took on their own shape in Sam’s able hands. I invited several good friends to join me in this process: Cara Dillon, John McCusker and Ben Nicholls. Each a giant in their own right, they offered subtle and deeply nuanced performances to what I feel are my most restrained recordings so far.
Sam and I adopted the motto ‘less is more’. We all know that a Folk Song’s clarity of purpose is exactly the reason why it has been played in pubs, living rooms and concert halls for hundreds of years.
I made this record for myself, for my heroes and for you."
Somerset, May 2018
UK – Ireland Dates October / November 2018
04 Oct Aberdeen The Lemon Tree
05 Oct Ullapool Guitar Festival
10 Oct Cork IE Coughlan’s
11 Oct Cork IE Coughlan’s
12 Oct Limerick IE Dolan’s
13 Oct Dublin IE Unitarian Church
14 Oct Bangor NI Studio Theatre
17 Oct Chipping Norton The Theatre
20 Oct Whitby Musicport Festival
21 Oct Liverpool St George´s Hall
22 Oct Gateshead Sage Gateshead
24 Oct Leeds The Wardrobe
25 Oct Sheffield Picture House Social
26 Oct Thames Ditton The Ram Club
30 Oct Newbury Arlington Arts Centre
01 Nov Bury The Met Arts Centre
02 Nov Scunthorpe Cafe Indiependent
03 Nov Halifax Square Chapel
04 Nov York The Crescent
07 Nov Middlesbrough Town Hall
09 Nov Bristol Rough Trade
10 Nov Plymouth Barbican Theatre
11 Nov Dartmouth The Flavel
12 Nov Exeter Phoenix
14 Nov Southampton The Brook
15 Nov London St Pancras NEW Church (Bloomsbury)
16 Nov Brighton Unitarian Church
17 Nov Guildford St Mary´s Church
John Smith – HUMMINGBIRD
Commoner / Thirty Tigers ~ 5th October 2018
Produced by Sam Lakeman