17 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Following some self-released albums, Georgia’s Corey Smith signed with independent label Average Joe’s to release 2011’s The Broken Record. Smith cites Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Jones and Nirvana as his main influences, inflecting his songs with his Jackson County drawl while reminiscing on road trips, parties, one-night stands, and old friends. Mellow and rootsy “Carolina” sets the tone — showcasing grinding Hammond organ notes and acoustic arpeggios while Smith croons nostalgic narratives of his formative days.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Following some self-released albums, Georgia’s Corey Smith signed with independent label Average Joe’s to release 2011’s The Broken Record. Smith cites Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Jones and Nirvana as his main influences, inflecting his songs with his Jackson County drawl while reminiscing on road trips, parties, one-night stands, and old friends. Mellow and rootsy “Carolina” sets the tone — showcasing grinding Hammond organ notes and acoustic arpeggios while Smith croons nostalgic narratives of his formative days.

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About Corey Smith

Country singer, songwriter, and guitarist Corey Smith was born in Jefferson, Georgia, just a few miles from Athens, the region's musical center. Growing up with country music, he developed a writing style that steered clear of the genre tropes of trucks and backroad bonfire parties and pointed toward a less idealized but more natural view of what it was to be country in the 21st century. Following high school he attended Gainesville State College, transferred to the University of West Georgia, and eventually ended up at the University of Georgia, where he majored in social studies. He had already written some songs, and started performing them at parties, gaining encouragement from his friends and peers. Following college, Smith taught world history, world geography, and guitar at North Gwinnett High School in Georgia for a time before leaving to pursue music full-time at the age of 28. He began to release his own self-produced albums beginning with 2003's Undertones, followed a year later by In the Mood. He released three more albums (2005's The Good Life, 2007's Hard-Headed Fool, and 2009's Keeping Up with the Joneses) on his own Undertone imprint before finally breaking into the country charts at number 17 with 2011's The Broken Record, which came out on the Nashville label Average Joe's Entertainment. He quickly followed up with Live in Chattanooga (2012) and the acoustic Maysville in the Meantime (2014), gaining new fans and admirers with each release. Working with an outside producer for the first time, he teamed up with Keith Stegall, whose work with the Zac Brown Band comes close to Smith's feel and approach to country music. He signed with prominent roots label Sugar Hill in early 2015 and delivered While the Gettin' Is Good a few months later. ~ Steve Leggett & Timothy Monger

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