Although British folk guitarist John Smith bears comparison to his alternative folk contemporaries like Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Fionn Regan, José González, and Cara Dillon, the Devon-born, Liverpool-based prodigy has connections to an older generation of inventive and progressive folk guitarists as well, having played alongside John Martyn, John Renbourn, and Martin Simpson. An inventive guitarist who not only explores unusual tunings à la Davy Graham but often plays his acoustic instrument in entirely unconventional ways (detuning strings in the middle of a chord, laying it upright in his lap and hammering on the strings like a dulcimer, etc.), Smith occasionally sounds like an otherworldly cross between Tim Buckley (whose "Song to the Siren" is a standard part of Smith's set) and the East Texas avant primitive Jandek, although his occasional full-band performances approach the chamber folk delicacy of Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left. Smith debuted with the self-released live set Live at the Roundhouse, available on both CD and DVD, before the release of his first studio album, The Fox and the Monk, in the spring of 2007. ~ Stewart MasonPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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