CHRIS SMITHER shares first single from new album out May 3

Article Contributed by Propeller Publicity | Published on Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Folk blues legend Chris Smither is back with a new single, "Down In Thibodaux," out today on all streaming services HERE. It's the first track from his 20th album, All About The Bones, out May 3 on Signature Sounds. Recorded at Sonelab Studios in Easthampton MA by Justin Pizzoferrato (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., the Hold Steady) All About the Bones has a feel that is somehow baroque and austere at once. Smither premiered a new performance video for "Down In Thibodaux" with American Blues Scene, who write, "With his signature beat-driven finger-picking and playful vocal wisdom, Smither and company let the good times roll on this bayou blues, this Cajun dance party exalting his New Orleans beginnings." The video features longtime producer David Goodrich on diddley bow and Austin artist BettySoo on vocals.

Smither shares, "When I was a kid my next door neighbor was a man named Boudreaux from Thibodaux, LA. I made up the rest of the story as a chance to use a few French terms and throw out some cultural references from Cajun country.

"The rhythm has a sort of Cajun feel to it, and Goody playing the diddley bow adds a perfect homemade touch to what is really just a home-made song in the nicest sense. Zak (Trojano) would fit in with any band at a fais do-do, and BettySoo can sing with any one, while showing my favorite smile."




The sound and imagery All About the Bones is as elemental as the inky black shadows cast by a shockingly bright moon. The listener is welcomed into some gothic mansion on an imaginary New Orleans street, and there in the lamplit parlor confronts the band, a minimalist skeleton crew: Smither’s inimitable propulsive guitar and rumbling baritone are joined seamlessly to producer Goodrich’s carpetbag of instruments, Zak Trojano’s rock-steady, primal drumming, BettySoo’s diaphanous harmony vocals, and the flat, mournful flood of Jazz legend Chris Cheek’s saxophone. Smither and David Goodrich have been refining their musical conversation for decades, both in the studio and onstage, and by now, their bond verges on the telepathic. Goodrich plays on nearly every track. His sound is by now so translucent that it seems to function as a swath of silence, allowing the songs to burn like ciphers in the crackling air.

And oh, the songs on All About the Bones. Smither, after six decades of sharpening his knife as a songwriter, can at this point open damn near anything with a flick of his wrist. God and the Devil are opened here. Mortality is too. Politics, consciousness, renewal, family, vulnerability, surrender… Smither has sat with these topics like so many Zen koans, for so long, that every line is a pearl. The title track, “All About the Bones,” kicks the record off with “Consider your high station/ think about your fame. All of your creation depended on your frame.” Irony, wit, the double meaning of “depended” — each verse is a master class in songwriting.

Smither turns 80 this year, but his tour schedule, including dates at the Iridium in New York City, Levon Helm's studio in Woodstock and two nights at McCabe's in Los Angeles, shows he has no intention of slowing down. (Scroll down for complete dates.)


1) All About the Bones

2) Digging the Hole

3) Still Believe in You

4) If Not for the Devil

5) Calm Before the Storm

6) Down in Thibodaux

7) In the Bardo

8) Close the Deal

9) Completion

10) Time to Move On


# with special guest Peter Mulvey

% with special guest BettySoo

SA MAR 23 Eastham, MA - First Encounter Coffeehouse

SA MAR 30 Charleston, WV - Clay Center’s Walker Theater/Woody Hawley Concerts

FR APR 12 Elkton, MD - Elkton Mic Hall

SA APR 13 Blairstown, NJ - Roy’s Hall

SU APR 14 Tuckerton, NJ - Lizzie Rose

TH APR 18 Concord, NH - Capitol Center for the Arts (Cloudbelly opens)

FR APR 19 Brownfield, ME - Stone Mountain Arts Center

SA APR 20 Brunswick, ME - Concerts for a Cae

WE MAY 01 Asheville, NC - Grey Eagle Mic Hall

TH MAY 02 Nashville, TN - Bluebird Cafe

SA MAY 04 Decatur, GA - Eddie’s Attic

FR MAY 17 Fall River, MA - Narrows Ctr for Arts #

SA MAY 18 Boston, MA - City Winery Boston #

SU MAY 19 Portsmouth, NH - 3S Artspace #

SA MAY 25 Pomeroy, OH Fur Peace Ranch #

WE MAY 29 Washington, DC - The Hamilton #

TH MAY 30 Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live #

FR MAY 31 Woodstock, NY - Levon Helm Studios #

SA JUN 01 Northampton, MA - Bombyx Center for Arts & Equity #

TH JUN 06 Annapolis, MD - Ram’s Head On Stage #

FR JUN 07 New York City, NY - Iridium #

TH JUN 20 Madison, WI - The Bur Oak %

FR-SA, JUN 22 - 23 Effingham, IL - Moccasin Creek Festival

FR JUN 21 Evanston, IL - SPACE %

TH JUL 11 Berkeley CA - Freight and Salvage

FR JUL 12 Santa Monica , CA - McCabe’s

SA JUL 13 Santa Monica, CA - McCabe’s

WE JUL 17 Eugene, OR - Shedd Institute

TH JUL 18 Portland, OR - Alberta Rose Theatre

TUE JUL 23 Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern