Hillary Smith
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Hillary Smith

Band Blues Funk

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Dec
31
Hillary Smith @ Inn of the Mountain Gods

Ruidoso, New Mexico, USA

Ruidoso, New Mexico, USA

Oct
24
Hillary Smith @ Tin Star

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Sep
26
Hillary Smith @ Tin Star

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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Music

Press




Smith’s solid gospel-blues roots get a makeover here, with a cacophony of sexy horns, Hammond B-3 organ, and a super-funky rhythm section composed of local and national talent. Besides some great covers of songs popularized by the likes of Bob Dylan (“Gotta Serve Somebody,” first released on 1979’s Slow Train Coming) and Stevie Wonder (1972’s “Superwoman [Where Were You When I Needed You]),” Smith and company deliver some soulful original material as well. The sultry “Love Let Go” and “Standin’” will make you want to dust off your Sade collection and load it onto the iPod. The title track, written by local songwriter J. Elle, has that dreamy, Ella Fitzgerald feel, but with a stripper vibe that just won’t quit. You’ll be half-slow-dancing, half-strip-teasing in the shower. Not that I would know anything about that.
Mixed and mastered at Stepbridge Studios in Santa Fe, No Easy Way is as much a geography lesson as it is a great collection of songs. Recording began in Milwaukee before moving to Santa Fe, and Smith enlisted a number of musicians and pro-ducers from across the country to see the project to fruition.
Albuquerque trumpeter Bobby Shew and bassist/producer Luis Guerra, Chicago organist Dan Trudell, and former James Brown drummer Clyde Stubblefield all join in the mix, and the result is a collaborative album that lets every individual shine.
The arrangements and harmonies are clean, well crafted, and down­right infectious.
Rob DeWalt
- Santa Fe Pasa Tiempo


Discography

No Easy Way -2008
The Dreamer- Kevin Hays (vocals) 2007
On Higher Ground- 2000
Dimi DiSanti featuring Hillary Smith-1995
Hill- 1994
Strictly Taboo-Speak No Evil-1993
Strictly Taboo-Playing with Fire-1991

Photos

Bio

With a deep soulfulness rooted in the Gospel-driven churches of her youth, a classically trained vocal instrument that’s a natural wonder, and a God-given instinct for swinging a lyric, vocalist Hillary Smith has been electrifying audiences across the United States for more than a quarter century.

Hill first made her mark in the early ’80s with gutsy performances of rockin’ blues and funk. She’s been in demand on the Southwest music scene ever since, fronting a number of popular bands, including the award-winning Strictly Taboo.

In recent years, at the urging of musician friends, Hill has opened a satisfying new chapter in her career, bringing her ineffable phrasing and soulfulness to the jazz songbook. She is presently promoting her latest recording, "No Easy Way" featuring an all-star line-up that includes the legendary “funky drummer” Clyde Stubblefield. Hill is also featured on pianist, vocalist, composer Kevin Hayes’ 2007 recording The Dreamer, and she appeared with Kevin at the 2007 Gathering of the Vibes, along with Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, Peter Bernstein, and Bill Stewart.

Hill was voted "Best Musician" by Albuquerque Magazine 2007