James Curtis Smith
a (very) brief bio...
I am the son of a Ford Motor Company foundry man. From my earliest age, I was driven by words. Then, those words found melody in the music of my father and his extended musical family. I grew up on old Hank Williams and Johnny Cash records. I learned music and melody at the feet of uncles and cousins who were steeped in stark, moody Americana Gospel music. One of my uncles had his own regional AM radio show, wherein he would preach hellfire scripture and – with the help of his wife and daughters – play his own version of the Gospel according to Hank Williams, The Carter Family, The Stanley Brothers, The Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and the Great American Songbook of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As a child, my dad would wake me up on school nights to play guitar for him and his friends as they unwound from a third shift.
I played my first professional gig at the age of 16. My music career includes playing in front of several thousand bikers at an outdoor festival of motorcycle enthusiasts. I’ve played an open mic night in a tiny industrial Scandinavian town. In a previous life, I released five full-length recordings under the names Baghouse, The Line, Fall with Dignity, They Killed Fritz, and Not Troubled by Rain. I spent a year or so playing guitar for the northeast Ohio pedal-punk band WEDGE. Although I continued to play and write, I took a 13-year break from live performance to focus on my professional career in the sciences. I returned to the stage in July of 2012, and I have been working to reinvent my music ever since.
And still, I remain driven by words. Always. Words.
I am launching a new video channel, and will play a select few live dates each year. Stop by often for new music, videos, and updates on recordings.
As always, thank you for your continued interest and support of my capricious musical endeavors!