Is Chris Smither the cleverest lyricist out there today? Probably, and as this 50 year retrospective double album suggests, he has been for the past half century.
With 25 tracks, each a current, modern reinterpretation of his own original songs, Still On The Levee is a marvellous effort featuring many of his signature songs; Lola, Leave The Light On, No Love Today, Seems So Real, and the rocking Love You Like A Man – famously covered by Bonnie Raitt – are all squeezed into the mix.
Strong on Smither‘s trademark guitar picking and rhythmic foot stomping shuffle, these fresh arrangements of his huge back-catalogue also include more keyboard covers than is usual, bringing a positively refreshing sound to many of the old familiar tracks.
Smither is hard to categorise. There‘s always a light blues edge to him while his lyrical skills are intelligent, witty and erudite. Americana roots and country are clearly part of his genetic make-up. For those yet to meet or hear the man, this splendid album serves as a great introduction to Smither and his music. (Signature Sounds: SIG2066)