Josh Smith review…November 12, 2015…

JOSH SMITH

OVER YOUR HEAD

SELF-RELEASED

HOW LONG–OVER YOUR HEAD–WHEN I GET MINE–STILL SEARCHING–FIRST HAND LOOK (AT DOWN AND OUT)–…AND WHAT–INTRO–SMOKE AND MIRRORS–PUSHER–BETTER OFF–YOU’LL FIND LOVE–HOW LONG (REPRISE)

Josh Smith is a well-known guitar slinger from Los Angeles, moving west from Florida in 2002.  At 36, he has already released seven albums, and spent some time as the leader of American Idol winner Taylor Hicks’ band.  In listening to his eighth CD of all-original material, entitled “Over Your Head,” one can hear Josh’s many influences.  There’s Hendrix, British Invasion, and SRV DNA all over the blues-rock grooves contained herein, as well as some mighty fine special guests.

The core band in this power trio is Josh on vocals and guitar, Calvin Turner on bass, and Lemar Carter on drums.  The songs dig deep into love and relationships, and the snags one encounters along the way.  The show starts with the rolling riff of “How Long,” as Josh compares his love affair as a “mine field,” wondering “How Long ’til I blow!”  The subject of the title cut is told that “my love is Over Your Head,” and features guitar from Joe Bonamassa.  A girl who’s looking for only what she’s got coming gets the sobering news that “you’ll get yours When I Get Mine.”  This one has a good Albert King vibe goin’ on.  Josh and Kirk fletcher get into a spirited guitar duel on the tasty instrumental, ‘…And What,” while “Smoke And Mirrors” takes a hard look at people you know you just can’t trust.

At the other end of the relationship spectrum, Josh’s guitar lines take on a smoother, jazzy feel over Charles Jones’ vocals in the tale of an affair that finds the lady told that “I’m not what you asked for, not what you need,” and “you’ll be Better Off without me.”  That ideal comes full-circle in the next cut, which served as our favorite.  It’s a solid shot of Muddy-ish Chess blues, “You’ll Find Love,” with harp from Charlie Musselwhite.

Lately, Josh Smith has been touring with Raphael Saadiq, and has backed Mick Jagger at the Grammys, and played the Kennedy Center stage as well.  “Over Your Head” continues his reputation as one of the best young artists on the contemporary blues scene today!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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