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Addressing the Nation With the Blues

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Album Review

Smith was so far outside the domestic blues loop that this Chicago-cut set only found release on a British logo, JSP. It was our loss — Smith is typically brusque and ominous, threatening to "Play the Blues on the Moon" and "Addressing the Nation with the Blues" as only he can. Nothing derivative about his lyrical muse — he's intense to the point of allowing his words not to rhyme to make his points, while his lead guitar work is inevitably to the point.


Born: 17 April 1933 in Monticello, MS

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Strictly judging from the lyrical sentiment of his recordings, it might be wise not to make Chicago guitarist Byther Smith angry. Smitty's uncompromising songs are filled with threats of violence and ominous menace (the way blues used to be before the age of political correctness), sometimes to the point where his words don't even rhyme. They don't have to, either -- you're transfixed by the sheer intensity of his music. Smitty came to Chicago during the mid-'50s after spending time toiling on an...
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Addressing the Nation With the Blues, Byther Smith
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