The Old Way
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The Old Way


Band Americana Singer/Songwriter




"The Old Way"

"Northern California's The Old Way is an acoustic Americana/bluegrass duo that has songs so beautiful you won't even know what to do with yourself."
- Santa Fe Reporter


The Old Way (Released Nov 2012)



THE OLD WAY began when Irena and Joshua Smith met while Joshua was performing on tour in Scandinavia several years back. Their musical worlds collided when Irena heard Joshua playing on stage with the Youngblood Brass Band in the Christiania area of Copenhagen, DK. Later that night she played and sang two songs for him, sparking a courtship and musical partnership that has flourished, with the couple now wielding a compelling original repertoire of songs that wrangle the well-worn territory of straight-forward songwriting with powerful subtlety and a unique grace.

Recent Band Activity
THE OLD WAY's recent musical life has included The Release of their eponymous debut CD, as well as several well received tours throughout the Southwest U.S., Pacific Northwest and East Coast, Northern California, Scandinavia, and the mid-west U.S.

They have performed with bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, as well as in double-bill with East Coast folk mainstays Mike and Ruthy, and have even found themselves in a late-night kitchen-table jam with beloved string-man Darol Anger. THE OLD WAY was recently featured on the Woodstock, NY based radio show, Dancing On The Air, hosted by fiddle master Jay Ungar. Their performances offer electrifying renditions of their music, touching upon a wide emotional range, from plodding, open balladry to blisteringly up-tempo, bluegrass-inspired compositions.

With over two decades of gigging, international touring, and performing with world class musicians under his belt, THE OLD WAY's Joshua Smith brings to the music a deep level of professional experience, having played in the past with many leading voices in forward-thinking American music. Joshua has performed and/or recorded with notable players such as, Nels Cline (Wilco), Peter Rowan (Bill Monroe, Old and In The Way), Jay Ungar, Tao Seeger, Joe Maneri, Cuong Vu (The Pat Metheny Group), Myra Melford, Tim Berne, Clyde Stubblefield (James Brown), Nate Wooley, Chris Jonas (Anthony Braxton), Mike and Ruthy (Pete Seeger), Jolie Holland, Karla Khilsteadt, Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco), Ben Goldberg (Tin Hat Trio), Sean Hayes, Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), and Scott Amendola (Charlie Hunter), amongst many others.

The music of THE OLD WAY is built with a host of selectively chosen, truly universal songwriting pillars. Their work revolves around vivid imagery, nostalgic sentiment, plain language and the story song arc that marks the best work of one of their prime musical influences, The Band.

Other Influences
The duo draws inspiration from other shared guideposts in the music world, finding durable and unending inspiration in the clarity and sparse/improvisational format of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, the unique rhythmic attenuation of Willie Nelson, the performance presence and poetic inclinations of Bob Dylan, the concision of Jenny Lewis, the vulnerable emotional malleability of The Grateful Dead's more inspired works, and the energetic edge of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.