Pin It

CD Review: Bluebird 

click to enlarge C. B. Smith & the Lucky Devils Bluebird | (2014, Independent)
  • C. B. Smith & the Lucky Devils Bluebird | (2014, Independent)

One of the hottest trends in acoustic music these past few years has been for a bunch of Berklee-trained kids to throw their chops behind a budding young songwriter and call it bluegrass. The old guard pitches a fit, but the youngsters win accolades and inspire other, even-younger youngsters to do the same thing. The old farts call it bogus; the young farts call it progress. The curious thing for Catskill's C. B. Smith (guitar, mandolin) is that he squarely has a foot in both camps. The calendar points out that he is not a recent Berklee graduate, yet he is unafraid—like Albany's Jim Gaudet—to place his bright, original songs in a bluegrass context.

Smith might have become just another songwriter, but his bluegrass roots ran too deep for him to jettison them, to our good fortune. The title track on his sophomore disc, Bluebird, makes great use of Smith's reedy but authoritative voice, and the band's harmonies, too. And "In My Heart of Hearts" proves once again that Smith's forte is the lilting folk ballad. Throughout, Megan Gugliotta's fiddle adds a throaty warmth to the proceedings, while Bill Strohm's bass serves as anchor. They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks, but solid songs and a smart band are neither new nor old. They're timeless, and C. B. Smith is ready to hang with the Berklee kids any time they want. Cbsmithmusic.com.

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Hudson Valley Regional FIRST® Robotics Competition @ Rockland Community College

Hudson Valley Regional FIRST® Robotics Competition

Sat., March 25, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sun., March 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. — Five Hudson Valley High School Teams Prepare to Put STEM Skills to...

The Moonlights

Sun., March 26, 10 a.m.

View all of today's events

Latest in Music

Related to Music

  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch
  • The Moonlights Sunday Brunch

    The Moonlights, a debut musical collaboration for families, is making the rounds at a series of live performances, including two of the upcoming Sunday Brunch at the Falcon in Marlboro.
    • Mar 20, 2017
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park
  • Opera in Phoenicia Park

    With its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.
    • Jul 25, 2016
  • More »

More by Michael Eck

Hudson Valley Tweets