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Music Reviews

BYTHER SMITH/ALL NIGHT LONG (Delmark Records DE-708)

I have to admit that Iíd never heard of Byther Smith before coming across this 1997 release. I put it into my CD player and hoped for the best. I was much more then pleasantly surprised upon my first listen. The guy can sing, he can play some sweet blues guitar, and all 13 tracks are Byther Smith originals. Color me impressed!

Iím especially impressed by his honest songwriting. "Thinking Real Hard" is a song about writing songs. Byther writes about the music business being tough and acknowledges that if he doesnít write good songs he wonít last long. "Hey Mr. Dee Jay" is about the devilís son trying to get his record played on the radio. "Mother You Say You Donít Like The Black Colors" and "Is He White Or Is He Black?" both touch on the subject of racism. "Live On This Manís Name" is about fame. The fact is Byther Smith can write extremely well. Heís also a smart songwriter, which is much rarer then it should be these days.

This release belongs in every blues fanís collection, as does the name Byther Smith.

For a free catalog call Delmark Records at 1-800-684-3480, or write to them at 4121 N. Rockwell, Chicago, IL 60618.