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Still on the Levee


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Audio CD, July 22, 2014
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Frequently Bought Together

Still on the Levee + Link of Chain - A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither + Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Price for all three: $42.74

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Signature Records
  • ASIN: B00KHEBTZO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,349 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

This is a specially packaged 2 CD set celebrating the 50th anniversary of Chris Smither s career. These are newly recorded versions of Smither s best material, recorded in his hometown of New Orleans with an all-star band and special guests including Allen Toussaint and Loudon Wainwright.

Other guest appearances include Kris Delmhorst and members of renowned rock band Morphine.

Chris Smither has the soul of a poet, the supple fingers of a guitar god and the voice of a sage.

Will appeal to fans of Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, JJ Cale, and Keb Mo.

Customer Reviews

I'd like to point out that the graphic design and packaging gets kudos to.
Steve Ramm
I really enjoyed Jimmy Fitting's harmonica playing which again is very restrained but just adds a nice wistful edge to some tracks, ditto the stings.
G. E. Harrison
I've played several times on some long trips and have grown to love it even more.
Robert D. Guerra

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Birdman on July 29, 2014
Format: Audio CD
If You've Never Heard Of Chris Smither...

I first heard Chris Smither perform at Philadelphia's MAIN POINT during the late 1960's. During the same period I heard Springsteen and other gifted singer-songwriters emerge from the cocoon that was that extraordinary coffeehouse. Two decades would pass before he appeared at The Chelsea House, Brattleboro, Vermont -- an incubator for many of the folk and rock troubadours who shaped music for the next three decades.

In the interim, Chris Smither provided outstanding work covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris and many others. Since he never took a commercial approach to music, he proceeded without the recognition he deserved, except for the accolades awarded him by insiders.

How overjoyed I was, then, to discover this gorgeously designed and produced retrospective of Chris Smithers' most recognizable work -- but that would surely surpass 10 discs of music in any case. Over the course of this two-hour collection, Smither performs many of his best songs -- such as "Rosalie" and "Love Me Like a Man" with musicianship and a burnished, easygoing voice. It is a type of music-making we've not heard in awhile, but we've needed it. The recording technique is flat, natural and simple with many cuts focused on voice and guitar alone, or on spartan arrangements in other cases.

The package is a jewel, though not in a jewel case. The two CD's are carefully tucked into an open-out portfolio. The design avoids the possibility of scratching. The booklet is so informative and lyric-packed, it nullifies mean-spirited alternatives in the mainstream record industry.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 31, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Two warnings: (1) The 2-disc album is book sized and will not fit on your CD rack unless placed flat; (2) you will love the album. All the music is newly performed in a New Orleans studio. Smither, brilliant songwriter, often witty life philosopher, and folk singer, looks back on his thus far 50-year career and has selected 24 of his songs for a retrospective. (There are 25 tracks but different versions of Leave The Light On closes both discs.) All the lyrics are provided in the enclosed booklet. Seventeen fine musicians help him in the project, notably Allen Toussaint on piano, Loudon Wainwright III, guitar and vocal, Bill Conway, drums, and the strings of Kris Delmhorst, Ian Kennedy, and Robin Smither. Jimmy Fitting blows and sucks the harmonica and Dana Colley plays baritone saxophone. The contrasting soprano voice is Anita Suhanin. Singer Catherine Norr is featured on one track. The sound engineering is first rate; Smither's wise voice is as strong and clear as ever. The arrangements are fairly simple and varied, with the other instrumentalists (besides Smither's own guitar) adding emphasis but not getting in the way of lyric or melody. The country blues, as Disc 1, Another Way to Find You, is a lovely acoustic ensemble. The cello and violins smooth the ballads. This album provides definitive examples of masterly talent. Listening to the music, reading his lyrics, you will soon want to know Smither better, buy him a beer, share a meal. Even if you own the earlier albums that contain the reprised tunes, you will much appreciate this new issue. If, on the other hand, you are new to Chris Smither, the discs will be a good introduction.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. E. Harrison on August 6, 2014
Format: Audio CD
I'm still not sure what I think about this nicely presented 2-CD package and booklet that celebrates Chris's 50 years in the music business. The album was recorded in his hometown of New Orleans and features augmented arrangements of old songs from throughout his career. In truth these aren't big band or heavy rock adaptations but still feature mainly Chris's guitar and vocals to the fore but with additional subtle/minimal percussion, backup vocals, keyboard, electric guitar, strings, sax or harmonica. In the past I've always really liked his augmented recordings which add a nice variety to his more usual guitar/vocal/foot-stomp arrangements but here I did miss the simplicity of the original recordings and the contrast between the two.

However, there are some real successes here - amongst others the two versions of "Leave the light on" (the second featuring a duet with Kate Lorenz), the duet with Loudon Wainwright III on "What they say" and the opener the very poignant "Devil got your man". The background vocals from Anita Suhanin and his sister Catherine Norr also worked very well to support Chris's voice and all the backing is very tasteful and doesn't detract from Chris's lyrics or his own guitar playing. I really enjoyed Jimmy Fitting's harmonica playing which again is very restrained but just adds a nice wistful edge to some tracks, ditto the stings. I also thought that the baritone sax on "Shillin' for blues" worked well to create a different vibe from the original and "Winsome smile" appears here as a much harder-edged rock song!
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