sky smeed

sky smeed

 Great Barrington, Massachusetts, USA

Country influenced folk-rock. "Sky Smeed's songs are alternately introspective, soulful, and breezy." Berkshire Living "Stories put to song with a distict vocal quality that will remain only his." Tim Schaefer WKZE 98.1 F.M. I like him! Jeremy Wallace, songwriter


Sky Smeed, 22, was born and raised in an old schoolhouse outside of Chanute, Kansas, began taking piano lessons at age five, and started writing songs around the time he moved to Great Barrington, MA, in 2001.

ALBANY NY (2007-08-22) Sky Smeed is the real thing, a kid from Kansas who's making his home in Housatonic, Massachussetts while writing songs and working on old houses, which, when you come to think of it, are the same thing.

© Copyright 2007, WAMC

Sky Smeed

Mill River (self-released)

Berkshires-by-way-of-Kansas Sky Smeed’s first two CDs were wonderful, unhurried affairs. Great songwriting, expressive singing, but much was downtempo, often to the point of being zen-like. Nice and quiet.

This new one, Mill River, is something else again. Recorded mostly live in three days at New England folk mecca Signature Sound Studios, Mill River is a rollicking bunch of songs, with Smeed stretching emotionally, compositionally, and hitting every mark full stride. With Mill River, Sky Smeed goes toe-to-toe with the great Texas singer-songwriters like Jack Ingram and Robert Earl Keen. He’s that good, and he’s that distinctive. He’s got the kind of sweet voice that’s recognizable after a first listen, and he writes unforgettable songs.

The hard-boogieing “Tonight I Will” peels the paint, with Smeed yowling about tearing it up on a Friday; “Amarillo Sun” has a majestic and poetic darkness that’s sniffing around Patti Smith’s territory; “Nothing to Fear” is a slice of small-town boy optimism, winding up with a gypsy-like charge and Smeed singing in long notes “We’ve nothing to fear” over and over again. “Love Again” is a staggering epic, starting out as a tepid little woe-is-me lost-love number, building steadily over five minutes to a furious, violent conclusion, with the singer’s character shooting his ex-darlin’s new man. His take on Jimmy Reed’s “Shame, Shame, Shame” leaves the cosmic country stuff behind and shows that Smeed is perfectly capable of taking on the baddest roadhouse. Line ’em up.

Smeed’s also got one of the most sure-footed bands in the region. The rhythm section of Andy Crawford (drums) and Dave Christopolis (bass) is simply extraordinary in every respect; Jack Waldheim plays guitar and mandolin with taste and restraint, coloring the songs while leaving most of the solo work to the terrific pedal-steel player Pete Adams, who gives the tracks a distinctive county twang.

Something tells me Smeed’s not long for this local-musician stuff. Way, way too good for that.

—Paul Rapp
December 7th, 2006

On his new CD, Mill River, his third, Sky Smeed really hits his stride. He’s always been a good songwriter and an effective vocalist, but this time out, Smeed attacks the baker’s dozen tracks, eleven which are self-penned, with the sort of ferocity and aggression that, frankly, we didn’t even know he had inside. The result is a torrid journey through country-influenced rock that at once sounds fresh while at the same time recalling John Mellencamp’s finest earliest efforts. Smeed is equally gifted in matching lyrical hooks to musical hooks, and his narratives have a force of maturity and authority that belie his youth. Plus he’s found the perfect band this time around to support his majestic melodies, and the arrangements are both rootsy and dynamic.

Seth Rogovoy
Berkshire Living Magazine
WAMC Northeast Public Radio Network


Look Back Down

Written By: Sky Smeed

I've gotta get goin' sometime
Sometime real soon
My songs have gone to hell
I wake up in the afternoon

The wind is movin' the weeds
The winds' carryin' blue
I'm carrying cares of wasted time
and so called living true

I'm seeing girls
With faces that light up the darkest room in town
I see them look my way
I see them look back down

It's a slow scene same old night
Singin' weak with over use
Down walkin' with wishes
Wishes comin' from a fool

That you'll smile my way
I'll do the same for you
It's hard with a straight faced stare
Wishes coming from a fool


I've gotta get goin sometime
Before an hour turns to two
Before talk turns to promises
Wishes comin' from a fool.


Sky Smeed "Mill River" 2006
Sky Smeed "The Front Steps" 2005
Sky Smeed "Flying High" 2002

Set List

2-3 1 hour sets
solo acoustic shows or with full band