Josh Smith review…September 28, 2018….

JOSH SMITH

BURN TO GROW

VIZZTONE VT-JS 0010

HALF BLUES–THROUGH THE NIGHT–WATCHING YOU GO–THAT FOR YOU TOO–YOUR LOVE (IS MAKING ME WHOLE)–LOOK NO FURTHER–LET ME TAKE CARE OF YOU–WHAT WE NEED–YOU NEVER KNEW–SHE SURVIVES-BURN TO GROW

Josh Smith isn’t afraid to take chances.  Within his music, you’ll find just about everything, from rock, jazz, and soul, but it’s all rooted deeply in the blues.  A brilliant guitarist who released his debut album as a fourteen-year-old Floridian, he has since relocated to Los Angeles, where he is in high demand as a session player.  His latest offering for Vizztone is the all-original “Burn To Grow,” eleven cuts that showcase his varied strengths.  Self-produced at his own Flat V Studios, Josh turns up the heat on all eleven cuts.

In leading off and in closing, Josh gets into a grungy guitar groove.  Up first, the horn section punches up the Hendrixian riffs that drive the tale of a lover who just won’t make up her mind. “Half Blues.”  The set closes with the title cut, a powerful song urging us to “bend but don’t break,” and “rising up is the right thing to do.”  Monet Owens adds delectable backing vocals on a tale to which we can all relate.  “Through The Night” deals with how we cope, and “doesn’t matter what life you live,” we all need that someone to get us thru.  Monet returns a bit later for a dazzling lead vocal turn on the sweet Southern-styled soul of “Your Love (Is Making Me Whole).”

Josh gets down into some fine Texas-edged blues, first with the six-minutes-of-slow-blues-bliss that is just “What We Need,” and it’s followed up by the horn-rich strut of a lover who never had a clue as to what she had, “You Never Knew.”  Those two cuts served as our favorites.

Josh Smith continues to forge his legacy as one of the most vibrant, versatile, and sought-after players in all of contemporary blues.  Please enjoy “Burn To Grow!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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