Since Sep 11, 2017
|Genre||Folk Comic Acoustic|
|Bio||In 2008, Sydney Morning Herald critic Bruce Elder wrote: “It is about time Australia caught up with Fred Smith. This remarkable singer-songwriter – who at various times reveals influences that range from Paul Kelly via Lou Reed to Loudon Wainwright III to Leonard Cohen – keeps releasing amazingly accomplished albums.”
Fred Smith has been a favorite on the Australian festival circuit for years much loved for his gentle wit, gift for story and melody, and sublime collaborations with Liz Frencham and The Spooky Men's Chorale. Now at last, the rest of Australia is catching up this artist described by many as a ‘national treasure’. He was the subject of a recent ABC Australian Story feature about his work in Afghanistan and the South Pacific. The title track from his acclaimed album, Dust of Uruzgan, has been covered by Lee Kernaghan.
The Dust of Uruzgan album drew on Fred's experiences working alongside Australian troops in southern Afghanistan. The album was described in the press as "“… a cycle of songs that are raw, remarkably honest and suitably ambivalent about the nature of war… a collection of songs that offers an intimate perspective on the war in Afghanistan.” It earned him comparisons to great Australian balladeers Don Walker, Eric Bogle and John Schumman.
Allen and Unwin recently published Fred’s manuscript The Dust of Uruzgan which explores the back story behind the songs from the acclaimed album en route to offering a comprehensive and fascinating account of the Australian mission in Afghanistan.
At festivals, Fred and band never repeat a song from set to set. The only Australian artist to win multiple NFSA National Folk Recording Awards, he draws on a broad and high-quality oeuvre of songs from nine studio albums.
In concert, Fred presents songs from his extensive back catalogue as well as his new CD, Great. The album offers a wry interrogation of American history, politics and pathologies, while at the same time expressing Fred’s deep reverence for American musical forms.
“Singer songwriter par excellence…”
Tony Hillier, Rhythms, November/December 2014
“Smith’s writing, like all good drama and fiction, is predicated on an ability to see the world through another’s eyes”
John Shand, SMH, ****Review, 10 January 2015
“An acclaimed purveyor of finely crafted contemporary folk songs…One of Australia's most outstanding songwriters”
Daniel Sanderson, Panorama, Canberra Times