John Smotherman
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John Smotherman

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States | SELF

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Rock Adult Contemporary


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"The Jes Richmond Band"

...consisting of five musicians whose professional careers have finally intertwined! Collectively offering 102 years of performing and recording experience. Each person brings to the group a richly diverse background in education and accomplishment.
...JOHN SMOTHERMAN lead guitarist is a native of Tennessee, whose range of style is unmatched. After performing for several years in Florida area clubs, he spent six months touring Sweden. He relocated to Indiana a year ago. Impressed by his dynamic performance at a local club in Indianapolis, The Jes Richmond Band invited him to "sit in"...and the rest is history. - L.A. Weekly - 1995

"The 10 Magnificent Musicians Of Palm Beach County"

Rarely does a musician make such an imprint on South Florida's musical consciousness, only to leave and return even better 10 years later, as did Tennessee-born guitarist Smotherman. From 1990-1992, he wowed area audiences with Lite-N-Up, a variety act that alternated rhythmic and political originals with guitar-hero covers of Jimi Hendrix, the Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin and Frank Zappa.
After his work in the aviation industry took him to Indiana and Sweden for nearly a decade, Smotherman returned to Palm Beach County late last year - flying even higher between a handful of disparate bands.
"In 301 East, I get to play a wide variety of covers," he says. "Blatant Disregard is all-improvisational instrumental fusion, where you're always having to listen and be spontaneous." Smotherman can exactingly replicate Vaughan and Hendrix, plus fuse influences like Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson and Scott Henderson into his own creative synthesis.

- The Palm Beach Post - TGIF

"Area veteran Smotherman back at it"

A reticent guitar hero returned here recently after coming to South Florida in the mid 1980's, then seeing, conquering and leaving a decade ago. John Smotherman's day job has been in the aviation industry since he left college in his native Tennessee, but it's onstage where he truely flies, as anyone who saw him with area bands 1-800 (1988-1990) and Lite-N-Up (1990-1992) can attest.
Humble and soft-spoken, Smotherman spoke loudly through music with 1-800, but truly reached his pinnacle with the versatile Lite-N-Up. The house band at the now defunct Fathoms on Singer Island from 1990-1991, the quartet purposely played to its tastes - from the popular U2 and Red Hot Chili Peppers to originals ranging from boogie to political statements, and the funk of James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone to the Smotherman showcases by everyone from Aerosmith to Frank Zappa.
"Lite-N-Up allowed me to stretch out more," Smotherman says, "to do more insturmentals and a wide variety of music, and that really helped me alot."
Besides possessing the talent to interpret material by Cream, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Living Colour and Pink Floyd, Smotherman and company could also figuratively tap-dance. When the vocal microphones died during the 1991 "Rock Out, Pig Out" benefit for mutiple sclerosis in Lake Worth, Lite-N-Up played 45 minutes of consecutive insturmentals by the Allman Brothers, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani and Eric Johnson to keep the show on schedule until the PA system was restored.
After spending most of the past 10 years in Indiana and even playing in Sweden ("They really appreciate old American classics," Smotherman says with a smile, "like Sweet Home Alabama"), the guitarist decided to move back and focus on his recording engineering skills while free-lancing as a musician. He writes acoustic pop material with vocalist Stephanie Renee, and plays locally with the reunited 1-800, singer-guitarist Tango Ray and the groups ZaZuZas, the Gringo Dogs, and Blatant Disregard (bassist Mark Braun's rotating improvisational collective).
See John Smotherman....... - Palm Beach Post

"Band Changes"

Bassist Charlie Gonzalez of The Dillengers kept the house band slot at Elwood's in Delray Beach when that band vacated early last year. But Gonzalez's 301 East group has become a rotating collective since, with guitarists Steve Siciliano and Mike Sarafogala both out. Enter John Smotherman, the area guitar hero from the mid 1980s/early 1990s who left a decade ago but returned to a fruitful freelance career within the past year. Along with new guitarist/bassist, Don Gottlieb, Smotherman's addition allows Gonzalez to switch between bass, guitar and keyboards. With drummer, Chris Peet, they now torch material from Stevie Ray Vaughan to James Brown to Eric Johnson....... - Palm Beach Post

"Band Performance Includes Shelbyville Native"

The real treats were positioned adjacent to the dessert bar when Shelbyville native Jes Richmond made a local appearance with partner John Smotherman.
The Jes Richmond Band played Thursday at Fat Daddy's Bar and Grill, 1147 East Michigan Road, for a mixed crowd of 1973 grads, their grown children and the regular Fat Daddy's patronage....
Richmond has been playing with Smotherman since 1994. The duo covers a range of music from blues to folk with songs from Jaymes Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Bob Dylan. They also played a few of Richmond's original tunes from "Full Circle", his first album.... - The Shelbyville News, Shelbyville, Ind.


Still working on that hot first release.



John Smotherman grew up in the small town of Manchester, Tennessee. He began playing the drums at age 8 because his two older brothers had already started taking guitar lessons. The three siblings were playing live gigs while still in elementary school, and sang together as a trio with mom accompanying on the piano.

John developed an understanding and love for the guitar while watching his brothers struggle with the instrument. He secretly began practicing on their guitar while his siblings were out hunting or engaging in other sports activities. The guitar ultimately replaced the drums, and he started playing in bands throughout high school.

After graduation, John attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, where he studied and graduated with an Honors degree in Electrical Engineering, all while playing in various bands. Honing his guitar skills, he began to focus on the styles of such guitar greats as Hendrix, Clapton, Beck, Santana, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

After college John moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where he auditioned for a local blues band. John got the gig, but the band lasted only a few months. He played locally in West Palm Beach in a series of start-up bands, and eventually was re-united with one of the members of that blues band, Ed Schaferle. After several conglomerations, the band “1-800” was born.

“1-800” included local talents, Geoff Livingston on Bass and Ray Morris, aka ‘Tango Ray’, as the energetic front man. The band lived up to the slogan “Reach out and Rock Someone” and enjoyed local notoriety and success.

After 2 years in “1-800”, John decided to join another local band, “Lite-n-Up” - a 4 piece ensemble which became the house band at a popular Singer Island watering hole called Fathoms. "Lite-n-Up" not only covered the popular classic rock anthems, they performed numerous original tunes as well. The band consisted of Smotherman on guitar and vocals, Johathan Grooms on bass and vocals, John Wurm on guitar and Bill Meredith on drums and vocals.

John relocated to Indianapolis in 1992. He joined the Jes Richmond Band, which include a five-piece ensemble of talented musicians. The band cut a CD, opened for .38 Special, Sonia Dada, and shared the stage with members of the Jackson Brown Band. The band split in 1998 when Jes and his wife Vicky moved to LA to further pursue their musical ambitions.

John moved back to West Palm Beach in 2001, and assisted local musician and friend Ray Morris with lead guitar tracks on the “Body and Sin” CD.

In 2002, John joined "301 East”, the weekend house band at Elwood’s Dixie Barbeque in Delray Beach with Charlie Gonzalez on Bass and Chris Peet on Drums . They gained a loyal fan base through their performances of classic covers with a fresh twist from artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn to James Brown to Eric Johnson to Wilson Pickett. Amost immediately after joining "301 East" they were voted Beach Magazine's "Best Band" 2002. Along with the core three musicians, "301 East" enjoyed the addition of bassist Donnie Gottlieb frequently sitting in - this allowed Charlie Gonzalez freedom switch gears and become the charismatic frontman he plays so well. In addition to Elwoods, "301 East" has been a mainstay in the South Florida music scene, playing various clubs, restaurants, bars and private functions.

He also performs with “Blatant Disregard”, a Jazz/ Fusion improv trio with bassist Mark Braun and drummer Bill Meredith. Their originality and musical exploration through improvisation earned them a spot to perform at Sunfest 2002. Blatant Disregard has been a creative launching pad for the three band members.

Smotherman was featured in a 2002 Palm Beach Post article as one of the “Ten Magnificent Musicians of Palm Beach County” - recognition much deserved!

John is a very prolific songwriter. He has numerous instrumentals under his belt - compositions that the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric Johnson, Carlos Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughan and others would tip thier hats to. The talents of John Smotherman are boundless.

In 2006 John was asked to write the score for an independant short film - a mocumentary about the life of a volunteer in the film festival circles. This was quite a departure from his comfort zone, but he approached it with such creativity and enthusiasm it was a successful and fulfilling venture for him.

In addition to the instrumentals and movie score, John and his songwriting partner, Stephanie Renee, have put a new spin on the pop/adult contemporary genre. Their songs range from a fun tongue in cheek "done me wrong" song to a hauntingly beautiful ballad to a "song about nothing"! Their talents, diversity and creativity have lead them to produce more than a dozen quality songs.

John’s favorite guitar is the ’65 Strat that his brothers once played, and he affectionately calls Candi. His other main guitar influences are Eric Johnson, Robben Ford, Keith Richards, and