Kirk Smith

Kirk Smith


A young playwright whose work has reached audiences across the country, Austinite Kirk Smith now returns to the stage, but this time as a songwriter, armed with nothing more than his acoustic guitar and an endearing urge to take risks.


Embracing his first love -- music -- Kirk released a full-length record entitled SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT last spring, and just finished his second solo acoustic tour of the Northeast. Tour highlights included a month long residency at Pianos in Manhattan, World Café Live in Philadelphia, and Maxwell’s in Hoboken, NJ.

Kirk inhabits the stage with natural energy and complete commitment. His background as a playwright/performer grants him an unusual perspective on his job as an entertainer, and his ability to connect with his audience is a wonderful thing to watch. Although his work in theatre was always music-based, lately he has eliminated the distractions and simply plays from the heart, his strong voice complimenting his compelling collection of songs.

A similar ethos governs SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT. Outside players were intentionally kept to a minimum. "I wanted flexibility, you know? And part of that meant making the record alone, as much as possible.” That said, several tracks feature the talents of Dave Robinson (The Scabs) on drums and George Reiff (Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson) on bass, in addition to the work of Austin’s “Producer of the Year” Lars Goransson (The Cardigans, Fastball, Shane Bartell).

SUDDENLY BRIGHT OUT is a journey filled with specific, personal discoveries. Kirk's curiosity and dedication bring to mind a less strident Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), and his method recalls the ingenuity of a younger, tougher David Bowie. His literary roots surface in the album's rich, detailed lyrics -- stories populated with images of the night sky, visions of trust and betrayal, and dreams of flying.

Ranging in scope from the hostile political scorcher "Not on my Side" to the atmospheric closing track, "Aloud", the album offers up a full sampling of Kirk himself -- emotionally intense yet relaxed, sophisticated yet naïve, spontaneous yet dependable. But unlike a lot of songwriters, Kirk is far from vulnerable or insecure. "I'm ready for anything," he says with an air of lighthearted confidence accompanied by a sly grin.


Suddenly Bright Out (Kirk Smith) LP 2004

Set List

Stop Comets
Waiting To Get Off
Mine For Awhile
The World Comes Back
February (Someone Hears)
Rest After This
Walk Home

Looks Just Like You
I'm Fine
Hold Hold Hold
What The Wind Carries
All Our Own Way
Suddenly So Bright
Not On My Side

I normally play 1 or 2 (45 min.) sets consisting of the songs above. Occassionaly, I will include a cover like Gillian Welch's "Everything is Free" or Bright Eyes' "The Calendar Hung Itself".