Jody William Smith

Jody William Smith

BandFolkAcoustic

What if Barenaked Ladies were a solo act? What if James Taylor had been raised on Counting Crows and Dave Matthews? JWS is a modern acoustic singer/songwriter with an uncanny instinct for spotting the places where beauty, humor and pain intertwine.

Biography

Honor Award - 2005 Great American Song Contest

Finalist - 2004 Kerrville Folk Festival New Folk Contest

Finalist - 2002 Sisters Folks Festival Songwriter Contest

1st Place - 2000 Solarfest Song Contest

Singer/songwriter Jody William Smith appreciates life up close. “I hope to show people the value in their own lives by reflecting the common experiences of all our lives.” To accomplish this, he invites us to the fictional burg of Smithtowne, population: one troubadour and his immediate audience. “I think of it as part Mayberry, part Greenwich Village,” he jokes. His fans think of it as purposeful music that goes deeper than the mainstream.

Smith’s solo performances are intimate, yet highly energetic; the perfect backdrop for what Liner Notes magazine calls his “brilliant originals.” Shades of James Taylor can be found in his work, but his torch-song rendition of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass” and a unique cover of the Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” reveal pop influences, as well.

Travel, Smith’s first release, was recorded by veteran producer Michael Vail Blum, whose resume includes work with Madonna, Roger Daltrey and many other major label acts. Smith’s vocal, guitar and keyboard chops on Travel are augmented with performances from several Los Angeles musicians, but Blum’s uncluttered production keeps the songs front and center. Says the artist: “Lyrics and melodies tell stories. Stories need room to breathe.”

Smith seems right at home in this brave new music industry: “What I love about the independent music scene is that it exists on the level of neighborhoods. It connects to people where they actually live.” Come down to Smithtowne, and you'll see what he means.

Lyrics

Pickup Sticks

Written By: Jody William Smith

Where you going now
You just got back today
I’m holding out my arms
It’s a bribe to make you stay

What do you hope to find
When you disappear
Why do you run so fast
To anywhere but here

I’m not small enough to let it fade to nothing
I’m not big enough to take it on the chin
But I could use a ride on the shotgun side
Of that car you’re always leaving in

Mom is breaking down
Over shots of you at nine
You won’t see Dad around
He doesn’t do goodbye

So I sit here on the floor
With a pile of pickup sticks
I know I’d win this game
If you taught me all your tricks

Like how you make us smile and wave you gone against our will
Like how you pull away each time and leave us standing still

I’m too big to let it fade to nothing
And I’m too small to take it on the chin
But I could use a ride on the shotgun side
Of that car you’re always leaving in

Why you run so fast
What do you hope to find
Where you going now
You just got back today

Dr. Frankenstein

Written By: Jody William Smith

Well I hear she’s got a new one¯a work in progress on the slab
There’s a light on at the castle but no one’s home
I’ve told her that it’s dangerous, her little gift for playing God
But she’s back down in the graveyard digging up bones

And she’ll just piece him together with a needle and a thread
Look out for the lightening, clamp the cables to his head
She’s a genius with an evil plan to hammer out the perfect man
Not too quiet, not too loud
Not too rugged, not too kind
You would be so proud, Doctor Frankenstein

I met her latest creation in a bar on Hudson Ave
He said he’d been about as far as any mortal man could go
He survived every procedure, said he’d taken every upgrade that he could have
But he knew that he was doomed when she told him to make room for version 2.0

And she’ll just piece him together with a needle and a thread
Look out for the lightening, clamp the cables to his head
She’s a genius with an evil plan to hammer out the perfect man
So well groomed, so well endowed
A better boyfriend by design
You would be so proud, Doctor Frankenstein

I could not begin to plot the family tree
Of a mad scientist and the children of necessity
But I think I’m more afraid she’ll turn up on TV
With a one-eight-hundred number and a limited lifetime warranty

For now the simple townsfolk, you know they haven’t got a clue
All that scientific slide-rule shit just makes them snore
But secrecy breeds rumors, and rumors are the kerosene of fear
She’ll be halfway through the job
When the vigilante mob comes crashing through her door

And she’ll be piecing him together with a needle and a thread
Look out for the lightening, clamp the cables to his head
She’s a genius with an evil plan to hammer out the perfect man
It’s a long way down the track to a Hercules DeBergerac
But a little boasting is allowed
She’s a legend in her time
You would be so proud, Doctor Frankenstein

The Grays

Written By: Jody William Smith

Woke up naked in the bathtub again
That’s how they leave me when I’m done, I’m getting used to it
Seven hours unaccounted for again
I know I’m not the only one, but you get tired of it

Can’t get a witness to the how, what, why or when
They never zap me at the mall or in the produce isle
You think I’d learn not to drive the back roads after ten
But a flash of light, my Honda stalls, and I’m and x-file

I don’t mind the time away so much
The view from the other side of Mars is such a thrill
And so few of us ever get to go that far
It’s no big deal to be a guinea pig out there
A million miles from the trials and cares that fill your head
Whenever you’re awake back home
Lying in your bed alone

I’m in a session with the head-shrink today
I try to brief him on my trip, but he has other plans
He puts his notebook down, clears his throat so he can say
That I am in denial and I have to understand

It’s all about mom and dad and the women I’ve been dating
I’m just ducking out to avoid the choices I have to make
Then he says, “Your hour is over, and the mother ship is waiting.”
Maybe he’s tired, in need of a break
Maybe he’s angry and letting it fester
Maybe the next time I see the Grays
I’ll show them the way to his house in Westchester

He won’t mind the time away so much
The view from the other side of Mars is such a thrill
And so few of us ever get to go that far
It’s no big deal to be a guinea pig out there
A million miles from the trials and cares that fill your head
Whenever you’re awake back home
Lying in your bed alone

Discography

"Travel" - Produced by Michael Vail Blum - 2004

Set List

Set lists are flexible, often chosen on the fly to accomodate a given audience/venue/event. A typical one hour show will contain 7 or 8 original songs and 2 or 3 covers. (JWS covers are highly stylized interpretations of popular songs.)