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Places I've Been: A Songmaker's Retrospective
  • Artist: Mayne Smith
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 700261245089
  • Item #: SRD124508
  • Genre: Country
  • Release Date: 7/8/2008
  • Rank: 1000000000
CD 
List Price: $19.98
Price: $17.40
You Save: $2.58 (13%)

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Places I've Been: A Songmaker's Retrospective on CD

A Message from the Producer Starting from a craftsman's solid basis and musical expertise in traditional styles like bluegrass, folk song, and honky-tonk country music, Mayne Smith is fearless about plunging into a wide variety of other American song styles, and uses them to get to the emotional heart of the situation he's exploring in his lyrics. On this album, you hear him writing not only classic honky-tonk and bluegrass (both styles he uses beautifully); you also hear charming early 60s pop/rock ("My Dancing Days," "Letting People Go"), gutbucket Mississippi/ Chicago blues ("TransAtlantic Blues"), smooth jazz tunes ("Solitaire," "Saturday 6 A.M."), raw roadhouse R&B ("Stoned Again"), an intimate acoustic love song ("My Heart's Content"), good-humored Tex-Mex ("Mojave Wind"), and a bravura rendition of the Louisiana/Texas 12/8 slow-dance lament ("To Each His Own"). You hear the way he can use an old song to build a new one - working the melody of "Careless Love," one of the all-time great American folk songs, into his own "Careless Love Again," in a way that somehow makes you hear the meaning of the older song with a poignant new awareness. And you hear a song ("Saturday Matinee") which spans traditional Appalachian folk ballads, gritty blues, and down-and-dirty rock and roll to tell one of the great American road stories - a story that is true and taken directly from Mayne's own life experience, and which he somehow uses to comment on the power of myth, movies, heroic archetypes in our lives - all in the tough, concrete, concise language of a narrative folk tale, of a guy sitting next to you in a bar talking to you about his hard life. This is songwriting on a level that would knock Raymond Chandler out! Mayne just writes the song because - he's who he is. It's his musical craft, combined with his ability to get to the heart of the matter and really touch you with a song, that makes him so inspiring to work with, that keeps me coming back to his music. It's this quality of emotional authenticity - along with the wonderful singing, writing, and playing - that makes this an album for you to keep coming back to and keep thinking about. - Johnny Harper, May 2008 (Visit MayneSmith.com for more information about Mayne.)