Barrett Smith
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Barrett Smith

Band Americana Acoustic


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Solo Guitar, and one self-entitled EP.



Inspired by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and other such folk heroes, Barrett Smith taught himself to play guitar at an early age. Determined to perfect his budding fingerstyle technique, he sought out a local maestro and began what was to become a decade of intensive classical training. Barrett met the challenge of classical guitar with great success, and, in 1995, entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a music performance major. At the university, Barrett immersed himself further in the classical repertoire, and also began to hone his composing and arranging skills. Always seeking out new musical challenges and perspectives, he traveled to Madrid and spent six months of intensive study under the tutelage of master flamenco guitarist Jose Maria Pardo.

Throughout the years of classical training, Barrett’s affinity for American folk music never faded. On the contrary, his interests expanded to include other forms of American music: blues, bluegrass, and especially jazz. By the time he had graduated from the university, his study of improvisation and Americana music had become serious enough to come into conflict with his classical studies. His unorthodox graduating recital combined the established classical repertoire with improvised pieces and American traditional songs arranged for steel-string guitar.

Inspired by the music of such artists as Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor, and Bela Fleck, Barrett sought to resolve his seemingly divergent musical interests through composition. The pursuit of a balance between jazz, classical and folk music found resolution in his debut recording, entitled Solo Guitar. In this solo, instrumental recording, Barrett manages to weave all of his musical influences into an eclectic yet seamless collection of classical pieces, traditional songs, and original compositions.

Barrett currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. He wanders throughout the country teaching and performing, both as a solo act and with various bluegrass bands, mainly Town Mountain. Barrett plans to follow Solo Guitar with an album dedicated entirely to his own arrangements of his favorite works by Bob Dylan. Also in the works is another acoustic, instrumental recording that will incorporate various string ensembles.