With inspiration and influences from early classic country, blues and pop, and from his beginnings in Huntington West Virginia, Jeff Smith is folk artist with blues, rock, country rhythms. Jeff counts JJ Cale, Randy Newman, John Lee Hooker and many other blues folks poets and local artists as spiritual mentors.
Jeff’s bluesy drawl slips in and around his guitar playing that is a combination of fingerpicking, flat pick strumming and banjo frailing. He tells elongated and elliptical stories about the songs, their characters, his family and his life and how they are all connected. Smith says “on a good night the stories and songs ride on top of a funky kind of country blues pop stomp”. In a recent interview, Smith says “I’ve never been one to be a genre slave. I like lots of styles of music and I’ll record a song several different ways to determine where that song might want to live. It’s like doing a cover of your own song”.
Jeff’s tune “I Never Wanted You to Go” from the A Little Romancecd was placed alongside Roy Orbison, Ellis Paul, and The Bacon Brothers on the Trinity Rose Foundation release “Vision, Hope, Love”. Mike Cotter, Washington Area Music Association Award winner, also covered one of the rockers from The Human Wilderness, “Hideaway Rockin” on his “Radio Saves” album.
Jeff’s songs have been featured on US television on the programs “The Young and the Restless”, “Army Wives”, the independent murder mystery, “Teach Me Tonight” and in a European ad campaign for Opel automobiles.
Jeff performs solo and with his band The Human Wilderness and The Human Wilderness String Band in nightclubs, house concerts and festivals across the Mid-Atlantic region. In February 2018, Jeff launched the weekly “Tunes at Noon”, a FB live event where he performs his songs and covers every Wednesday.