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Train Home


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Audio CD, July 22, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Shout Factory
  • ASIN: B0000A0DWG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,163 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Train Home
2. Outside In
3. Confirmation
4. Crocodile Man
5. Lola
6. Desolation Row
7. Call Time
8. Candy Man
9. Never Needed It More
10. Let It Go
11. Kind Woman

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

New Orleans-bred folk-bluesman Smither has few peers. As a musician he's expanded the six-strings-and-foot-stomps delivery of John Lee Hooker into an elegant, original style that draws as much on the sweet jazz melodies of gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt as the spidery swing of country bluesman John Hurt. And his writing has a poet's eye for detail, as when he's pondering mortality on the disc's title track. There's also a gentle, sincere quality that comes through the dusty tones of his voice, until he drops it to a mean-eyed growl to capture the soul of characters like his "Crocodile Man"--loners condemned to live in the dark neglected corners of their own hearts. But for much of this album, Smither's coming from a happier place, where love and life are full of possibilities, and his blues are just another way of expressing joy and wisdom. --Ted Drozdowski

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
What an astonishing talent!
woman in the Finger Lakes
This is Smither's finest work to date and is one of the best albums of 2003 hands down.
Perry M Young
The lyrics are unique and clever, and the guitar work is excellent.
DaveSkand

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Chris Smither has been consistently good throughout the 90's, and his "Live As I'll Ever Be" was superlatively sensational. For me, "Train Home" is his strongest set amongst consistently excellent material. The title track sounds a bit like some of his other compositions; I keep wanting to hear "I feel so dumb to get so excited." But the lyrical twist is amazing; & it is a smash hit on my personal top ten. Smither's unique finger picking style that started when he first picked up the ukulele instead of guitar shines as his sweetly resonant voice sings, "I don't think I see much of anything for me in visions of the past or the ever-after. Now is what can be, all the rest is wait & see, those prophets never hear that cosmic laughter." "It's when you feel a little low that the entire spinning universe descends to say hello," Chris sings on the mellow "Outside In." Chris adopts Dave Carter's "Crocodile Man," making it sound like it was tailor-made for Chris' style. This is an excellent tribute to Dave. Chris' "Lola" is a hoot for anyone who's paused to wonder if there is a difference between love & abuse. Bonnie Raitt joins Chris on a reverential version of Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row," complete with Richard Downs' unusual horn section on the track. Another favorite of mine is "Call Time" with an electric guitar snarl as Chris rolls through, "Big-time plans are like a pistol in your hand with a long, slow pull on the trigger." Mississippi John Hurt's classic "Candy Man" is a sweet blues with some loaded double entendre. "Never Needed It More" is another strong original with Chris' acoustic guitar propelling the track.Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Parker on August 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is a honey of a CD. From the opening notes of the eerily beautiful "Train Home" I was hooked. The covers of "Crocodile Man" and (oh boy) "Desolation Row" are masterful. The account of Chris's woefully unsuccessful attempt at Zen-like detachment as he deals with the theft of his car ("Let It Go") makes me laugh out loud every time I listen to it. "Outside In" is one I return to again and again in appreciation of its wonderful lyrics regarding the futility of worry. Can you tell I can't choose my favorite cut? This is a CD that's going to be in my player for a long, long time.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on February 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Roots-blues troubadour Chris Smither has been around so long that his '70s singer-songwriter status has shifted into that of an elder statesman of the alt.country scene. This is a remarkable album -- melliflous, calm and compelling, a very mature work. Some of his albums of the 1990s and early '00s have had their forced moments; here Smither seems entirely at ease, and seems to have nothing to prove. It's a very rich, rewarding album, well worth checking out.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ned b bane jr on November 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Chris Smither once had his sights set on becoming an anthropologist. It is now a most pleasant irony that musical antropologists will one day discover Chris Smither. "Train Home" couldn't be more aptly titled. This CD is like bringing Chris home with you and having him regale with stories in the kitchen. A raconteur of the first order, he unveils life with no maudlin coatings or sugary tweeks, beginning with the first and title cut describing lean lives of chilly reality. At the other end is a [darn]-it-all recollection of the day "some little bum with a button in his tongue" swipes his car in "Let It Go." Stepping briefly from his own elegant writings briefly, Smither steps vividly in to the seamy world of a carny with Dave Carter's "Crocodile Man." His rendition of creepy old Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row" paints a picture of hard-scrabble life worthy of Steinbeck. ... Take this CD home; it's like an old friend.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By methylethel on May 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is the kind of music that makes you stop and listen. The lyrics are intriguing ("with heavy-handed cheerfulness and a calculated smile, it says 'carry me awhile'") and the delivery arrestingly simple. The title track is like a George MacDonald purgatory transported to New York City. And he goes from channeling Tom Waits in "Crocodile Man" to covering Bob Dylan in "Desolation Row." All without stepping out of his own magnetic style. It's storytelling as much as singing. Buy it. Love it. Tell all your friends about it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Perry M Young on December 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This entire album is simply excellent. From the chilling cover of Dylan's Desolation Row to the original, and somewhat chilling, title track where "The dead don't get no vacation down it that subway station" this work is crisply original and shows that Smither's work has come to full maturity. It is blues in the delta tradition blended with a folk sensibility and a sense of rhythm that is dynamic. This is Smither's finest work to date and is one of the best albums of 2003 hands down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I can listen to this CD everyday and I never seem to get tired of it. It's got a rare quality to it that's hard to define and near impossible to find. If nothing else buy this CD to hear his fantastic take of Dave Carter's song "Crocodile Man". It's worth buying the CD just to get that song.
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