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John Smith

Singer songwriter John Smith has played to audiences all over the world during his eighteen years as a full-time independent touring musician and plays The Caves Edinburgh on 13th April.

John Smith

About John Smith

Born in Essex, raised by the Devon seaside, and making his bones in the bars and clubs of Liverpool, John has released six studio albums with over 100 million Spotify streams. He has played to audiences all over the world in living rooms, festival tents and sold-out concert halls, barely pausing for breath during his eighteen years as a full-time independent touring musician.

Steeped in the lineage of British folk and American guitar music, taking his cue from Richard Thompson, John Martyn and Ry Cooder, Smith has evolved a transatlantic blend of fingerstyle and slide guitar techniques. His deeply romantic and vivid songwriting, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following. His honey-on-gravel voice and mesmerizing fingerstyle guitar are undeniable. Sometimes using a slide, sometimes with guitar on his lap, sometimes detuning mid-song or pulling subtle expressions out of an array of effect pedals, Smith’s obsession with the instrument has made a master of him. Whether by way of an album or a live show, he always leads the listener on a viscerally emotional journey.

His career began opening for folk greats including John Martyn, Davy Graham and John Renbourn, who called him “the future of folk music.” He has since opened for Iron and Wine, Patty Griffin and Ben Howard, and guested with artists such as Jackson Browne, Martin Carthy, Roseanne Cash, Gomez, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Jerry Douglas, Glen Hansard and Rodney Crowell. In his occasional role as sideman, he has played guitar for artists as diverse as David Gray, Lisa Hannigan, Lianne La Havas, Joe Henry and Joan Baez.

He has released six records of his own songs. 'Headlong' (2017) reached #15 in the Indie Breakers chart, #1 on iTunes’ Singer-Songwriter chart, and his catalogue has amassed over 100 million Spotify streams. There is also a variety of live albums, instrumental EPs and cover records out there, which John often makes available directly to his loyal following of die-hard music fans.

His latest album “The Fray” was released worldwide in March 2021 on his own imprint, Commoner Records, via Thirty Tigers.

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