Eclectic mix of music
The Everett Smithson Band is known for playing an eclectic assortment of music. Or, as one reviewer described it, "Johnny Cash meets Led Zeppelin in New Orleans to have a hillbilly hoedown."...
The Everett Smithson Band is known for playing an eclectic assortment of music. Or, as one reviewer described it, "Johnny Cash meets Led Zeppelin in New Orleans to have a hillbilly hoedown."
The band will be in Grand Forks for the Blues on the Red concert series from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday in Town Square, The opening band will be Stagedoor Johnny.
The Smithson Band, based out of Buffalo, Minn., features Everett Smithson on vocals, harmonica, rubboard and washboard. His wife, Kathy, plays accordion and sings. Their band plays songs from Fats Domino, Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf, Rosie Ledet, Wanda Jackson and Alison Krauss, from 1900 to the present.
"The music we do is zydeco, blues, funky roots -- music of all kinds," Smithson said. "Basically, what you will be seeing and hearing is music from the French quarter in New Orleans."
The band's zydeco sound is courtesy of all Smithson's relatives from Alabama, he said.
"I have been up here all my life, but my father and all his kinfolk are from Alabama," Smithson said, "and that had some influence on me."
There is a difference between zydeco and Cajun music, Smithson explained. Cajun is "uptown rich folks' music," and zydeco is more of a product of the backwoods.
The rest of the Smithson band is an impressive bunch. Lead guitarist Paul Schmid, stand-up bass player Bill Black and drummer Jeremy Johnson have played nationally and internationally with big name acts such as Bo Diddley, Big George Jackson, Gary Primich and others.
Everett Smithson began playing professionally in 1982 and for 15 years was part of the Alley Katz, which played throughout the Upper Midwest. His current band, together for eight years, travels extensively and keeps increasing its range of gigs in a five-state area, he said.
Their three CD releases include "Copperheads and Featherbeds" and "Mad Dog." The band's fourth release, "Take the Ride," will be out in two weeks, Smithson said.
The Blues on the Red concert Saturday night is free.
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