- 27 Sep 19
The future of folk music returns to Dublin tonight with a gig at Lost Lane and two packed shows in Cork on Saturday and Sunday.
You may recognise him as one of Lisa Hannigan's able henchman. Or perhaps from his Electric Picnic set or his time in the Hot Press chatroom. Or maybe you were lucky enough to catch him headlining Whelan's a few years back. And if none of this jogs your memory, take a listen to his hit song, 'Far Too Good' and perhaps you'll be inclined to recall John Smith's remarkable strumming and soothing vocal tracks.
Are you with me now? Great, because the folk singer and famed guitarist John Smith is returning to Ireland this weekend for a three-night stint across Dublin and Cork. After spending most of the summer touring far and wide, Smith plays Lost Lane in Dublin tonight, then will continue to Cork to play two nights at Coughlan's Bar.
Speaking with Smith this morning, he says tonight's Dublin gig will be a night to remember.
"The first gig is always kind of exciting and scary," he admits. "I've been looking forward to this gig for a long time because I had to postpone the Dublin show from May, so this gig has been on my mind a lot."
Smith starts his Irish/UK tour tonight at Lost Lane in Dublin. As for what fans can expect, he assures us each show will be unlike the other.
"I find that I rarely play a song the same way twice. When I go out on the stage, I just want to try something new," he says. "When you go out and play a song on the stage, you just come at it from a different angle because as a performer you've already heard it. You've heard the song before. And it's tiring to play it the same way over and over again."
Smith, described as "one of Ireland's fave English folkies" released his fifth album, Hummingbird late last year to critical acclaim.
"Devastating at times, cautiously optimistic at others, Hummingbird, is a hugely compelling listen," wrote Hot Press's Aoife Bradshaw of Smith's latest album.
The album is the follow-up to 2017's widely successful, Headlong, which reached No. 15 on the Indie Breakers chart, and No. 1 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart, and has amassed over 10 million streams on Spotify to date.
Smith has opened for folk greats including John Martyn, Davy Graham, and John Renbourn, who called John Smith “the future of folk music.” He's also opened for Iron and Wine, Tinariwen, and Ben Howard and has guested with artists such as Jackson Browne, Martin Carthy, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Jerry Douglas, Glen Hansard, and Rodney Crowell.
In his occasional role as sideman, Smith has played guitar for artists such as David Gray, Lisa Hannigan, Lianne La Havas, Joe Henry, and Joan Baez.
Stay tuned for the full interview with John Smith where he talks about the first time he picked up a guitar, his time exploring the mountains of Colorado, what it's like to play over a thousand shows, and more – in the next issue of Hot Press.
A limited amount of tickets are still available for Friday and Sunday and can be purchased here.
Irish/UK Tour Dates
27 Sept @ Lost Lane, Dublin, IE
28 Sept @ Coughlan's Bar, Cork, IE (SOLD OUT)
29 Sept @ Coughlan's Bar, Cork, IE
04 Oct @ Ollapool Guitar Festival, Ullapool, UK
19 Oct @ Islington Assembly Hall, London, UK
20 Oct @ Exeter Phoenix, Exeter, UK
25 Oct @ The Brickyard, Carlisle, UK
26 Oct @ Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, UK
27 Oct @ Folk House Cafe & Bar, Bristol, UK
29 Oct @ Greystones, Sheffield, UK
30 Oct @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
31 Oct @ Oran Mor, Glasgow, UK
01 Nov @ The Green Room, Stockton-on-tees, UK
03 Nov @ St. Marys, Chester, UK