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Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.

DigiTrad:
DEAD EGYPTIAN BLUES
I DIG SEX
THE DUTCHMAN
VAMPIRE


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Rick Fielding 21 Sep 03 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,John Hardly 21 Sep 03 - 01:26 PM
Art Thieme 21 Sep 03 - 02:37 PM
open mike 21 Sep 03 - 02:53 PM
Art Thieme 21 Sep 03 - 03:13 PM
GUEST,celtaddict at work 21 Sep 03 - 03:47 PM
Leadfingers 21 Sep 03 - 09:04 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Sep 03 - 12:59 PM
Candyman(inactive) 22 Sep 03 - 04:18 PM
MAG 22 Sep 03 - 08:08 PM
Stewie 22 Sep 03 - 08:22 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Sep 03 - 09:18 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 22 Sep 03 - 10:01 PM
alanabit 23 Sep 03 - 06:05 AM
Mark Cohen 23 Sep 03 - 06:39 AM
Mark Cohen 23 Sep 03 - 06:41 AM
Jeri 23 Sep 03 - 07:41 AM
Chris in Wheaton 23 Sep 03 - 10:38 AM
Rick Fielding 23 Sep 03 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,BIg Jim from Jackson 23 Sep 03 - 03:32 PM
Jim Colbert 23 Sep 03 - 05:32 PM
GUEST 23 Sep 03 - 08:46 PM
Melani 24 Sep 03 - 12:01 AM
Rick Fielding 24 Sep 03 - 03:34 AM
Art Thieme 24 Sep 03 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Martin Gibson 24 Sep 03 - 03:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Sep 03 - 03:58 PM
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Subject: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 12:57 PM

I don't know if any songwriter has grown on me over the years like Michael Smith. He just gets better and better and better. If you're only familiar with "The Dutchman", do some digging and check him out. He's much too good to ever be mainstream, but my Gawd, he can make you cry or howl with laughter.

Vampire, This here Mandolin, Spoon River. Lady Susquehanna. Big Twist. Mr. Tut. Gamble's Guitar......oh and on and on.

Any other fans.

Rick
http://www.michaelsmithmusic.com


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: GUEST,John Hardly
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 01:26 PM

Love the guy. Mr Tut is a scream (I like Bernice Lewis' take on it complete with dixieland clarinet and rattlin' "bones"). "I Brought My Father With Me" is touching without being maudlin. I also appreciated his participation in the Weaver tribute band.

I once rewrote:

Jack Horner's not the kinda guy
To leave his thumb jammed in the pie
When he could eat it...

In hopes of playing it for him at a workshop he did in our area.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 02:37 PM

Right on !!!! Be sure to check out the new quartet of Michael, Cindy Mangsen, Steve Gillette and Annie Hills. Simply dynamite. They call themselves "Fourtold". Heard 'em over Labor Day at the Fox Valley Folk Festival.

And give a listen to Michael's "ELIZABETH DARK". It's the story of my life in the 60s, 70s and part of the 80s too---in Chicago----at the No Exit Coffeehouse and Gallery.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: open mike
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 02:53 PM

yes the new quartet sounds like a good "combo"
I hope i get to hear them sometime...i see a
feature article in sing out or dirty linen
(i loaned both of my copies out & do not
remember which one--but most recent..)
all good performers in their own right
(write)
i remember a few years back when a similar
collaboration was concocted:
cry, cry,l cry, which consisted of:
Dar williams, Lucy Kaplanski , Richard Shindell.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 03:13 PM

Mike,

The article is in Sing out. And Cindy gave me a very nice accolade within it too. I'm appreciative as all get out for sure.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: GUEST,celtaddict at work
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 03:47 PM

"Spoon River" has long been one of my favorite songs ever and I am forever trying to get my favorite singers to sing it.
Cindy and Steve are always a treat so the quartet should be grand.
I have however tried episodically to track down his work, in the interest of purchasing everything he ever recorded or wrote, and have had no success through the big folks like Amazon or through the folk sites, nor have I found a site for him, just another singer of similar name. Anyone know where to search for his work?


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Sep 03 - 09:04 PM

know the Dutchman but that is the only Mike Smith song I have met.is there a Website ??


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 12:59 PM

Boy it must be hard to get his albums. I get freebies 'cuz I've got a radio show.....plus one of his best buddies lives in Toronto. I've had dinner with Mike, but sure don't consider I "know" him. He's a complex guy.

Once you've heard his own renditions it's hard to listen to others do his songs........and the guitar work!! Those chords are NOT on MY Martin.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Candyman(inactive)
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 04:18 PM

Along with Michael's own stuff and the new Fourtold collaboration, I've been very impressed with is Spanish Civil War songs CD with Jamie O'Reilly and the Weavermania album where he plays the part of Lee Hays.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: MAG
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 08:08 PM

Slick; very slick, Rick. I just caught your show, which was an all Michael Smith show, folks.

thanks for playing "Elizabeth Dark," which I had never heard.

I kept expecting to hear Anne Hills' cover of "Spoon River."


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 08:22 PM

I have the Flying Fish CD that collates 'Michael Smith' and 'Love Stories' LPs. It is still available:

Click Here

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 09:18 PM

Twas a fun radio show to do. One of the CDs had no info or times so we screwed up a bit......but I love that guy's music!

Rick


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 22 Sep 03 - 10:01 PM

"He's much too good to ever be mainstream"

Pomposity 101


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: alanabit
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:05 AM

It's not pomposity at all. When writers try to please everyone instead of writing what they care about, the descent into mediocrity is inevitable and swift. Do you want to hear writers or merchandising executives?


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:39 AM

The first cut on Gordon Bok's album "Return to the Land" is called "This Old Mandolin" and is credited to "Smith" -- I presume it's the same song Rick mentioned above. I once heard a live recording of him doing "The Dutchman" -- very good, and very different from the Steve Goodman version, which is also wonderful. Never heard "Gamble's Guitar," but I've certainly heard Gamble's guitar! The one time I heard Gamble Rogers' incredible fingerpicking live was on a double bill with Claudia Schmidt (who looks a bit like Cindy Mangsen, so this isn't really thread creep!). I believe it was at the Cherry Tree Folk Music Co-op in Philadelphia, and it was probably sometime around 1981.

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 06:41 AM

...and besides, Claudia recorded "Spoon River." So there.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 07:41 AM

Well, mediocrity needs to be defended, and it's the job of a guy who chose as his handle two of the biggest snob-appeal guitar names there are.

I listened to the show. I can't say I liked every song, but I thought they were all very well written and distinctive of voice. That 'voice' is what's missing in 'mainstream' music, or simply done ham-handedly. It takes a real master to write so you can feel the person behind the song and ONLY allow that voice to effortlessly present the song.

'Elizabeth Dark', I liked. I really wanted him to run into her again before the end of the song. It probably would have ruined it: all loose ends tied up, all questions answered. BAH! It sure wouldn't have been real life! The song is both humorous and poignant, and it's rare that combination is attempted, let alone works.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Chris in Wheaton
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 10:38 AM

See http://www.artistsofnote.com/michael/
looks like 2 concert cd's are coming out,
Also hoping that his wife, Barbara Barrow, is able to release the cd of her perfomance of Michael's concert version of Grapes of Wrath.
My favorite cover is the Gibson/Camp version of Spoon River.
Book Michael, as well as Steve, Cindy, and Anne, together or separate - they are great - check out the sounds through Steve's Compass Rose site.
Saw Liam Clancy at a book signing last year and he said The Dutchman was one of his favorite songs. We are very fortunate to have him in Chicago.
Chris in Wheaton


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 03:03 PM

Hi Martin...gads, I love it when you get mad, ha ha!

But as usual I'll try and answer your "pomposity 101" extended response seriously. I'm going to trust that you ARE familiar with Michael Smith and his beautifully crafted lyrics and superlative (and UNIQUE!) guitar style.

I LOVE simplicity....goodness knows you've probably heard me wax poetic here in Mudcatland about Bluegrass, country, and pretty basic folk. However I think what may get up your nose is that I love the technical aspects that make up the music as well, and often emphasise them in a "my way or the hiway" fashion.

Now gimme a break! I can't fix my car, barely know the furnace from the hot water tank, have Heather do my meager income tax forms, am the only Canadian in the Guinness Book of records who can't skate, and in general am a pretty piss poor excuse for a suburban adult male. Hell, I built a bookcase once that fell down in pieces the moment the last book was in place!

Two things I know well: Baseball and music.......and I love an argument in either.

But ya know, now that I think of it yer probably right....there are lots of artists who are complex and popular.......but a hell of a lot more who simply ask too much attention from an audience. Mike Smith is one of those. He's like fishing. Once you've experienced him two or three times (it really DOES take that much) ya can't stop talking about him.

Now was it Barry Goldwater or John Ashcroft who said "Pretension, Pomposity, Over-the-topism, snobbery, and being a big fat know it all IN DEFENCE OF Michael Smith is no vice"!

Cheers

Rick


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: GUEST,BIg Jim from Jackson
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 03:32 PM

I had the privilege of meeting and hearing Mike Smith last winter. He was on his way back home from somewhere and was booked in to a little Southeast Missouri town named Scott City. The night was very rainy and he arrived late. I know he was frazzled and tired. He put on a great show! The only complaint I have to make about Mike is the same complaint I have with several other artists-Staines, Keelaghan, et al. When they record, they feel compelled to use all sorts of back-up. The recordings are not the same sound I hear when I hear them in concert. And, like Rick Fielding, I prefer the simple stuff. And not just in instrument technique, but in backing the song. Mike Smith and his guitar provide as much music as I can wrap my poor little brain around. If Mike happens to read this thread, Mike, I hope you makes it a point to come back to Southeast Missouri soon!


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Jim Colbert
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 05:32 PM

Aside from being an exquisite songwriter, in my opinion, one thing that really impressed me was that, live, Michael did NOT use a capo- he was all up and down the neck, adding harmonics at the drop of a hat- I think his guitar playing is on par with the rest of his writing, and that's often not the case!

Big Jim, I agree too that for my tastes, simpler is often better. (Keelaghan is a great example- I really want to hear the entire Road album solo! We were fortunate enough to see him play in the spring.) Just saw Lynn Miles and she was shimmering solo live... ditto Richard Shindell- it just seems like the heart and soul of their songs really shine through live.

But that's just my opinion!

Jim


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 03 - 08:46 PM

"Two things I know well: Baseball and music..."

What a fortuitous pairing. As a musician you can bring a TV back stage with you, start watching a game, go out on stage, do a set, come backstage for an intermission...

...and never miss a pitch.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Melani
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 12:01 AM

I was lucky enough to see both Mike Smith and Gamble Rogers regularly in Miami many years ago, at a coffeehouse called the Flick, where Mike made up one-third of "The Flick Trio" with Barbara Christopher and Ron Kickasola. Not sure if that is the same Barbara mentioned above. I haven't heard a lot of his recent music; he used to do a lot of silly stuff in Miami. We saw him at Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA a few years ago and asked him about it. He said what he is doing now was always what he wanted, but the Flick needed a comedian and he needed a job. It's nice that he's able to follow his heart nowadays, both for him and for us.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:34 AM

Mike's last two albums are nuthin' but him and his D35. He doesn't use a capo but all his songs ARE in D, A, and G. What he does with those keys is unique though.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: Art Thieme
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:27 PM

Barbara Barrow and Michael are married.

Art


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: GUEST,Martin Gibson
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:38 PM

First of all, I don't ever get mad here.

I may get even, but never mad.

I also know music and baseball extremely well, and can tell the major leagues from the minors.

What's amazing, is that even though I am am a lifelong Chicagoan, am active in the folk, country, and bluegrass scene here, I can only say that I am only familiar with the song The Dutchman. Steve Goodman's version.

As I am generally bored with boy and his guitar acts as opposed to the pleasures of group playing, it's probably where it will stay.


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Subject: RE: Michael Peter Smith from Chicago.
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Sep 03 - 03:58 PM

"...boy and his guitar acts ..."

Sixty three years old, still counts as a boy? Folk music keeps you young till the day you die.


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