Thursday, March 17, 2011

CD Review: "Bringin' Back the Sunshine" - Anthony Smith

CD: "Bringin' Back the Sunshine"
Artist: Anthony Smith

If you were to ask any Nashville local to name one country music's best, underrated songwriters, I would bet an antique Martin guitar that you'd hearthe name Anthony Smith come up on more than one occasion. Anthony's extensive list of writing credits is longer than my left and right arm combined, including hits such as George Strait's "Run" and "Cowboys Like Us", Trace Adkins' "Chrome" and "I'm Tryin", Rascal Flatts' "My Worst Fear", Tim McGraw's "Kill Myself" and "Kristofferson" and Montgomery Gentry's hit, "Whataya Think About That". The hit list rolls on from there and includes songs cut by Gretchen Wilson, Faith Hill, Van Zant and a plethora of the top names in country. What you might not realize is that Anthony is also an artist, having released a few cds of his own including his latest, "Bring Back the Sunshine". Now personally, I think his older releases were made of more substance than "Bringing Back the Sunshine", however that being said, this one ain't nothing to cast aside, nor is it country chump change. I personally think Anthony could perform the Chinese phone book and rock the pure hell out of it. His music is pure country, there's no disputing that and if you try, you're obviously not listening with both ears. His sound isn't like anything on radio today and I'm thankful for that since I really don't listen to radio. If he was on the radio, I might have missed out.

"Natural Disaster" by Anthony Smith

The title track, "Bringin' Back the Sunshine", while a good tune, doesn't really project that signature "Anthony Smith sound", it's actually got a little more pop to it than his other music. It's catchy in a "70's 8-track tape on a long ride in the El Camino" kinda way and easy to find yourself singing along to, but honestly, his voice just doesn't seem to match the song itself. "Natural Disaster", now that's a true traditional country style song complete with twang. You can almost visualize Anthony sitting at a bar, swigging on a glass of straight Jack and singing about his regret of lost love to the bartender, who's name is probably Otis or something. This one's what I'm talking about, good stuff. What I love about this cd is that Anthony's included a rocking instrumental, "Anaconda Cowboys", that almost sounds Allman Brothers-esque with it's southern rocking guitars and zero vocals. Love the addition of that, you don't get that kinda stuff anymore in today's country. I absolutely LOVE "Ride the Range". All I can say is HELL YEAH! Then there's "Hillbilly Romeos", a fantastic twang filled duet with the King of the Opry, the late great Porter Wagoner. What a country music gem that outshines most of the auto tuned, cross over songs out there now. There are several good tracks on this cd that will appeal to those who like real country music. All in all, I love the cd. I love Anthony's style, his voice, his way of telling a story with his music and the fact that he performs his songs the way HE wants. If you like good, honest, true to form country music with a southern edge, here's your choice.

I give it a shot of Jack and raise you a fifth! Here's to country music and here's to Anthony Smith for keeping it real.

You can find Anthony Smith online:

You can purchase Anthony's music on iTunes (This particular cd is not available yet on iTunes, however previous releases are.)