Chris Smithers | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Chris Smithers 

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

Used to be blues-picking folkies were a dime a dozen. Fortunately, most of the cut-rate ones have left the scene, allowing artists like Chris Smithers to take center stage. Smithers is a storyteller whose lyrics, in the great balladeering tradition, often contain wry lessons (he penned Bonnie Raitt's "Love You Like a Man"); his blues are gritty and heartfelt, and he doesn't attempt any blue-eyed-soul-brother posturing. What sets him apart, though, is his musicianship: rather than pour on the notes like many latter-generation disciples of country blues, his style is a sparse, deeply emotional one--wrought from the various schools of southern folk blues and the white pre-C&W folk tradition, as well as 60s-era pop-folk melodicism--that tends to linger in the mind longer than other, more technically spectacular styles. But fear not: Smithers is no doe-eyed romantic. When he chooses he can make one six-string guitar sound like a virtual fretboard army, stomping his feet and charging the room with raucous, boogie-rich intensity. Friday, 9 PM, Schuba's, 3159 N. Southport; 525-2508.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Tobey.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by David Whiteis

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Blue Man Group Briar Street Theatre
August 14
Performing Arts
Not for Sale UrbanTheater Company
September 27

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories