Blips | Under The Radar Acts – Smooth Hound Smith And T. Hardy Morris
Let’s get this out of the way upfront. Smooth Hound Smith, whose name is a sly nod to the old bluesmen, is a two-piece band that plays a mix of crunchy blues-rock and country-inflected folk. While it would be easy to just keep regurgitating the same clichés when it comes to describing similarly sounding duos, I’ll try and do my best to not invoke the same staid comparisons – mostly because they don’t apply here.
Consisting of Zack Smith (who is described on their website as a “one-man-band”) and Caitlin Doyle, the pair has only been playing together since last year, but sound as if they’ve been a band for far longer – as Smith’s gruff whiskey-drenched vocals mix effortlessly with Doyle’s angelically smooth voice.
Earlier this summer the Los Angeles-based band (who are in the midst of relocating to Nashville) self-released their self-titled debut. The highly-recommended ten-track effort showcases Smooth Hound Smith’s take on modern-Americana, deftly jumping from dirt-floor blues to foot-stomping folk to 1950’s rock n’ roll, ending up with a sound that could be best described as what would happen if Dan Auerbach and Alison Krauss made an album together.
Recommended If You Like: Shovels & Rope, Dan Auerbach, Alison Krauss & Union Station
With full-time band Dead Confederate, T. Hardy Morris, lays down a sludgy brand of psychedelic rock that’s influenced heavily by the likes of Nirvana, Mudhoney, Soundgarden and any number of other grunge-era bands from the early 1990’s. In late-July, Morris, who is also a member of the “stuper-group” Diamond Rugs, released his solo debut Auditions Tapes. The ten-track affair could almost be considered akin to the post-grunge version of Cobain & Co.’s MTV Unplugged album.
With assistance from the likes of Delta Spirit’s Matt Vasquez, guitarist Ian Saint Pe (Black Lips/Diamond Rugs) and drummer Julian Dorio (The Whigs), Morris delivers a record that’s awash in acid-drenched country sounds which would make the members of the Meat Puppets proud. With his endearing nasally delivery the album is the perfect Sunday morning soundtrack to cure your hangover after a night of cheap whiskey shots, Bud tall boys and cigarette smoking.
R.I.Y.L.: Vic Chesnutt, Deer Tick, The Meat Puppets
Written By: Jeffrey Greenblatt