CJ Smith
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CJ Smith

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia | SELF

Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia | SELF
Band Blues Singer/Songwriter

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May 11th, ‘08 was a great evening for Vancouver’s Thundering Word. We were delighted to have a special guest feature at our great venue, all the way from Australia, Mr. CJ Smith.

The hurdles we had to overcome were many. A short notice booking, held on a night when we do not usually do Thundering Word, assembling a few locals and a good sound man to assist... It was a lot of work, yet proved to be well worth it!

We were prepared to hear a great Bluesman perform and that we did, but what he added to his solo show was above and beyond our highest expectations. We were treated to a total surprise in that he not only did some wonderful and original Blues songs as anticipated, but he also included ballads and love songs.

He held the audience’s attention all night. No one left as it grew late. No one made any sounds while he performed. Rapt attention was what he deserved and what he got. This was by far one of our best features in our long and proud history!

Bill McNamara
Thundering Word
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada - Bill McNamara


Discography

Never Too Late - Album (independent release)
Modern Nursery Rhymes - Album (independent release)
Alive Inside My Mind - Single (independent release)
Cold Outside - Latest album EP (independent release)
Goodnight Ladies - Single release.
Missing Chapters From The Book Of Blues - Album release
Tracks available Broadjam, CD Baby, iTunes etc.

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Bio

CJ Smith is Australian and was introduced to some serious music at age 8 or 9 by an uncle who played blues & folk harmonica. He started playing guitar at age 12 when he ‘borrowed’ one of his father’s guitars and smuggled it into his college dorm.

He travelled the country as a kind of modern day troubador, gigging from a stage on the roof of his old station wagon and in his own words, “worked his way through rock, blues, jazz and then with the arrival of the late 60’s early 70’s, a series of half-arsed bands doing covers”.

In the early years Australia was a hotspot for a whole cross section of music genres and CJ played or jammed with anyone who was available. In the mid 70’s he was heavily influenced by storytellers like Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, and started writing original material and soloing between band brackets.
Over the years he has amassed a large catalogue of songs across all genres and sees himself first and foremost as a lyricist.
His passion is evident, and he possesses a unique way of attracting attention to deep, serious lyrics with the use of light and unusual composition.
Having steered away from performance for the last 10 or 12 years, CJ Smith is now back and loving it.
He has recently performed to audiences in Australia, France and Greece, and has been surprised to discover that the demand for ‘real songs with real lyrics’ is back and finding great popularity with audiences of all ages.

As a performer, CJ Smith brings a rare talent as a lyricist/storyteller to a eclectic grouping of material that includes love songs, ballads, blues, protest songs, serious folk songs, adult contemporary and the occasional lighthearted look at life. His voice ranges at will from Don Henley high to a gravelly Tom Waits low.

His latest album, Cold Outside came about as a suggestion from a studio to showcase as wide a range of styles as possible on one album. The opening song and title track is a light ballad with a serious subject that sounds like early Arlo Guthrie. Alive Inside My Mind is reminiscent of the Wallflowers and Enough is Enough started life as a Pete Seeger or Bob Seeger style accoustic protest song that blossomed into an anthem with a crescendo of strings, screaming electric guitars, drums and piano. Ringstone Round has been variously described as sounding like a song by Led Zeppelin, Coldplay and Wolfmother and the blues tracks bear the influences of Lightning Hopkins, Muddy Waters, Tom Waits and Robert Johnson.