Putnam Smith, who hails from Portland, Maine, could be an old-world troubadour fresh from the 19th Century. After all, he lives in a log cabin, plays his Grandfather's banjo, and prints up the jackets to his CDs on an antique letterpress. Yet this rootsy multi-instrumentalist songwriter (he also writes and performs on guitar, mandolin, fretless banjo, and piano), steeped as he is in Appalachian traditions, is very much a storyteller for the modern age. Putnam first came to national attention when his sophomore release, "Goldrush," went to #5 on the national Folk DJ Charts (and made it onto 6 "Favorite Albums of 2009" Lists). His latest release, "We Could Be Beekeepers, (June, 2011), shot right up the charts the month it was released, to the #2 album, with 3 songs in the top ten. Noted as "One To Watch" (Rob Reinhart, Acoustic Cafe), Putnam has been selected for official showcases at Folk Alliance International (2012) and NERFA (1-day Conference, 2011). Also selected as an Emerging Artist at the prestigious Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (2011), Putnam is proving himself to be a quickly rising star on the national folkscape.
Putnam is also an extraordinary performer, whose craft at songwriting is matched only by his love for putting on a truly memorable show. Says Sarah Banks of Spuyten Duyvil: "One of the most magical performances I've had the luck to attend!" Engaging folks with humor, charm, and storytelling, Putnam's audiences have been known to howl like wolves, sing like moonshiners, and laugh and cry like, well, like human beings. Whether performing solo, or as | the Putnam Smith Trio (with Mariel Vandersteel on fiddle, and Seth Yentes on cello), Putnam puts on a unique and remarkable show that lingers in the heart, mind, and imagination, long after the last round of applause.
A nationally touring artist, Putnam has performed from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon; from Winnipeg, Canada, to New Orleans, and in more than 35 states in between. Some favorite venues and concert series that Putnam has played, include: Club Passim (Boston), Rockwood Music Hall (NYC), Me and Thee Coffeehouse (Marblehead, MA), Caffe Lena (Saratoga Springs, NY), Bluseed (Saranac Lake, NY), Trinity House Theatre (Livonia, MI), High Plains Public Radio (Amarillo, TX), Ginkgo's (St. Paul, MN), "Gene Shay Presents" @ Psalm Salon (Philly), and Chickie Wah Wah's (New Orleans).
He lives in a log cabin just north of Portland, Maine, and loves compost.