Blues Guitar Virtuoso Josh Smith with his power trio are coming to Hawaii for some limited engagements. Josh Smith released his debut album Born Under a Blue Sign at age 14, which turned many heads and gave him early recognition as a powerful jaw dropping guitar slinger on the Blues Scene. Tasty licks, expressive phrasing and the ability to rip into a song like nobody’s business make Josh a must see performer. Josh Smith was one of those guitar prodigies, born with a pick in his hand. Much like his good friend Joe Bonamassa, it was hard to find him without a guitar in his lap. As a young musician, he had the opportunity to sit in with many of the Blues greats, young and old, as they toured through South Florida: BB King, Koko Taylor, Johnny Clyde Copeland, Jimmy Thackery, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, Tinsley Ellis, and many others. Now, on his eighth album at just 35 years of age and a pro since his teens, Florida native and current L.A. resident JOSH SMITH works as a bandleader for RAPHAEL SAADIQ and TAYLOR HICKS and tours with his friend and colleague JOE BONAMASSA when not engaging in sizzling guitar duels with his compadre KIRK FLETCHER in music clubs across Southern California.
Touring in support of his latest release ”Over Your Head” a studio recording with three notable guest bluesmen Joe Bonamassa, Kirk Fletcher, and Charlie Musselwhite who lend their talents to one song each. On the title track, Bonamassa and Smith trade licks as Smith sings of a love unable to understand the depths of his emotions. “…And What” depicts Fletcher dropping by to jam with Smith, no lyrics required. Musselwhite brings his legendary harmonica into the studio for the riff-driven “You’ll Find Love” as Smith adds accents with his guitar and voice. This tour will be Josh Smith’s debut in the islands. Whether he’s playing lead or welcoming guest musicians, Smith performs like the professional he is: riffs are skillfully built, rhythms keep songs in check, heartfelt vocals and every musical element has a purpose.
“Plain and simple there’s no one better” - Coco Montoya
“Josh smith is a good friend of mine and – when I am on stage with him, and we do it very often- fear is the feeling I have. He is so damn good and we are so lucky to have him” - Joe Bonamassa
“Josh Is Three Heartbreaks Away From Being A True Blues Guitar Genius.” - Jimmy Thackery
“I want every nuance of picking to come through, and no guitar does that like a Telecaster.” - Josh Smith
May 16, Wednesday - MauiMay 17, Thursday - OahuThe Club at Anna O’Brien’s
Maui Arts & Cultural Center - McCoy Studio Theater
One Cameron Way Kahului, Hi. 96732
Venue: 808-242-SHOW (7469) Tickets: $42., $60. Reserved
Doors: 7:00 pm. Show: 7:30 pm.
2440 S. Beretania St. / Honolulu, Hi. 96826
Information: 808-946-5190 Tickets: $35. Adv. Doors: 7:00 pm Show: 8:30 pm.
May 18, Friday - Kona
Gertrude’s Jazz Bar (Dinner Reservations Recommended)
75-5699 Alii Dr. Kailua-Kona, Hi. 96740
Info: 808-896-4845 Venue: 808-327-5299 Tickets: $35. Adv.
Doors: 3:30 pm Two Show: 5:30 pm. and 8:00 pm.
May 19, Saturday
Guitar Workshop with Josh Smith
Hilo Ukulele & Guitar
56 Ponahawai St. Hilo, Hi. 96720
3 - 4:30 pm
$75. (must be booked & paid online)
May 19, Saturday - Big Island
Hilo Town Tavern
168 Keawe St. Hilo, Hi. 96720
Info: 808-896-4845 Venue: 808-935-2171 Tickets: $35. Adv.
Doors: 8:30 pm. Show: 9:00 pm
Tickets Outlets & Information:
Oahu: bluesbearhawaii.com -
Anna O’Brien’s , Good Guys Music - Kapahulu, Coconut Grove Music - Kailua
Big Island: bluesbearhawaii.com -
Gertrude’s Jazz Bar, Kona Music Exchange - Kailua-Kona; Kiernan’s Music - Old Town Kainaliu; Waimea General Store - Parker Square, Kamuela; Waipio Cook House, Top Stitch - Honoka'a; Hilo Town Tavern, Hilo Ukuleles & Guitars, Hilo Music Exchange - Hilo; Kea’au Natural Foods - Kea’au
A Blues Bear Hawaii Production
“Keeping The Music Live”
Concert Information Hot Line 808-896-4845
Follow us on Face Book: www.facebook.com/lazarbearproductions
Bio: At just 35 years of age and a pro since his teens, Florida native and current L.A. resident JOSH SMITH works as a bandleader for RAPHAEL SAADIQ and TAYLOR HICKS and tours with his friend and colleague JOE BONAMASSA when not engaging in sizzling guitar duels with his compadre KIRK FLETCHER in music clubs across Southern California. Following his soulful roots album 'I'm Gonna Be Ready' and the elaborate blues/soul collection 'Don't Give Up On Me', Josh now returns with 'Over Your Head', a set that recalls the origins of his guitar-based rocking blues. It's a spotlessly clean, great-sounding production sporting crisply rendered, riff-heavy originals arranged in a stripped-down trio format. In addition to KIRK FLETCHER and JOE BONAMASSA, the great Grammy-winning harmonica legend CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE is featured on one track. 'Over Your Head' is available on CD and as a double LP with gatefold sleeve (a limited edition of 1,000 copies, pressed on 180-gram vinyl). Both formats have been exquisitely mastered by Joe Gastwirt (Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, The Grateful Dead). Josh Smith is touring in support of his latest release on Crosscut Records “Over Your Head”
Josh Smith: Over Your Head Review
Over two decades after releasing his debut album Born Under a Blue Sign at age 14, Josh Smith is back with his eighth studio album Over Your Head. Currently based in LA, Smith got his start as a lead guitarist for the Rhino Cats, a house band at Club M in Hollywood, FL. Back then, Smith was called a guitar prodigy for his quick grasp of the deep grooves and solo style popular in modern blues. In the years since, Smith has toured around the country and played with some of today’s big names in blues, including Ricky Fante and Raphael Saadiq.
The 12-track Over Your Head is an escape into the wailing riffs that draw fans to blues festivals around the world. Smith’s album is ideal for those looking to lose themselves in the genre, swaying from side to side as the guitar takes center stage. Smith’s guitar does most of the talking throughout the album: it is the star of the show, vitally supported by a supporting cast of instruments but always first in line to hold the songs together and keep the album on track. Even Smith’s singing is not as vocally present as his guitar, with “…And What,” “Intro to Smoke and Mirrors,” and “How Long (Reprise)” completely devoid of vocal accompaniment and a handful of others lyrically sparse. Though not necessarily stronger because of their instrumental nature, these tracks demonstrate the skills Smith has been honing since his youth. It’s as if he knows that, sometimes, the best thing to do as an artist is to let your music speak for itself.
Over Your Head began as a Kickstarter campaign last summer. Once Smith earned funding for his project, he headed into the studio and invited three notable bluesmen to join him. Joe Bonamassa, Kirk Fletcher, and Charlie Musselwhite lend their talents to one song each. On the title track, Bonamassa and Smith trade licks as Smith sings of a love unable to understand the depths of his emotions. “…And What” depicts Fletcher dropping by to jam with Smith, no lyrics required. Musselwhite brings his legendary harmonica into the studio for the riff-driven “You’ll Find Love” as Smith adds accents with his guitar and voice.
Whether he’s playing lead or welcoming guest musicians, Smith performs like the professional he is: riffs are skillfully built, rhythms keep songs in check, and every musical element has a purpose. In a note to fans on his Kickstarter page, Smith proclaimed an interest in creating an improvisational record, and in this he succeeds.
Josh Smith Was Born October 7, 1979 In Middletown, Connecticut. Before He Was 1, His Family Relocated To Florida, Eventually Settling In Pembroke Pines, A Suburb Of Fort Lauderdale. At Age 3, He Received His First Guitar And At 6, He Started Taking Guitar Lessons.
Josh Was Exposed To The Blues At An Early Age. He Listened To A Variety Of Artists, Such As Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Albert King And T-Bone Walker. He Also Started Going To Concerts, Including The Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones And Bruce Springsteen.
By 12, Josh Was Playing At Established Professional Blues Jams In South Florida, Such As Musicians Exchange Café In Fort Lauderdale And Club M In Hollywood, Fl.
When Josh Was 13, The Rhino Cats, House Band At Club M, Asked Him To Be The Lead Guitarist. Musicians Exchange Owner Don Cohen Was So Taken Aback By The Talent Of This Young Musician That He Offered To Help Manage And Develop Josh’s Career.
The Café Was Renowned For Bringing In The Best National Touring Blues Bands, And Josh Was Quick To Learn How To Approach These Blues Greats, Many Of Whom Would Invite Josh To Sit In With Them, Thinking It May Be A “Novelty” To Have A 14-Year-Old Kid Playing The Blues. The Novelty Quickly Wore Off And Was Replaced By Musicians Stopping, Watching And Listening As This “Kid” Wailed Out Blues Licks Better Than Many Of The Touring Guitarists On The Circuit. Josh Began Sitting In With Such Greats As Jimmy Thackery, Tinsley Ellis, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Double Trouble, Joanna Connor And Kim Simmonds, Among Others. Jimmy Thackery Said Of The 14-Year-Old, “Josh Is Three Heartbreaks Away From Being A True Blues Guitar Genius.” At 14, Josh Released His First Cd, Born Under A Blue Sign, And At 15, He Released His Second Cd, Woodsheddin.
While Performing All Over South Florida, Josh Smith And The Rhino Cats Quickly Became One Of The Most In-Demand Blues Bands In The Area. In 1994, While Josh Was Only 15, They Received The Florida Jammy Award For Best Blues Band And Were Selected As Xs Readers Choice Winners In 1995 For Best Blues Band. In 1996, Then A Senior In High School, Josh Was Put On The Cover Of The National Magazine High School Senior, Which Hailed Him As An “Up And Coming Guitar Legend.” That Same Year, Washburn Guitars Int’l Recognized Josh’s Talent And Offered Him An Endorsement. They Flew Josh To Chicago And Guitar Luthier Grover Jackson Built Him A Custom Guitar.
Although Josh Was An Honor Student, After Graduation From High School In June 1997, Josh Followed His Heart And Began Pursuing What He Was Best At. His First National Tour Ensued With His Newly Formed Power Trio, Josh Smith And The Frost. Josh Was Now The Band Leader And Vocalist, So He Not Only Had To Continue Developing His Guitar Chops, But Had To Concentrate On His Vocal Prowess. In September 1997, Josh Enlisted World-Renowned Producer Jim Gaines, whose Credits Include Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Luther Allison, Steve Miller and Jimmy Thackery, To Produce His Third Cd, Too Damn Cold.
By 1998, Josh Had Completed Four National Tours With His Band. In January 1998, Billboard Magazine Took Note Of The Rising Young Talent In A Continental Drift Article. In February 1998, Josh Was Asked To Support B.B. King On A Number Of Theatre Dates. In March 1998, The TV Show Chicago Hope Purchased The Rights To The Tune “32 Degrees” From Too Damn Cold. An International Cd Release, The Mentos Freshmaker Tour, Included The Title Cut, “Too Damn Cold,” In The Spring Of 1998.
Josh Toured Nationally All Of 1999 And In October Of That Year, He Entered The Recording Studio Again With Jim Gaines And Produced Woman, His Fourth Cd. This Cd Was Released And Well Received In The Spring Of 2000. Josh Continued To Tour The East Coast From New York To Florida Through 2001 With His Band. In June 2002, He Married And He And His Wife Decided To Move To Los Angeles. Josh Was Ready For Something New And Wanted To Be Around A Variety Of Musicians. He Also Began Being A Sideman.
Within A Year Of Moving To L.A., He Was Retained By Virgin Recording Artist Ricky Fante. He Played Nationally And Internationally With Ricky For The Next Two Years.
In May 2006, Josh Recorded His Fifth Cd, Deep Roots. A More Traditional Blues Cd, His Music Was Once Again Well Received By Blueswax And Blues Revue Magazine. Josh Continued To Play With A Variety Of Artists, Such As Actress Taryn Manning, Universal Hip-Hop Artist Benny Cassette And Tara Ellis, To Name A Few. In January 2007, Josh Was Hired By 2006 American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks To Be His Lead Guitarist. They Completed Two National Tours From February-September 2007 With Monthly Dates And Charity Events Until June 2008 When Taylor Started Grease! On Broadway. In July 2008, Josh Was Hired By Raphael Saadiq. Since That Time, Josh Has Played Such High Profile Gigs With Raphael As Backing Mick Jagger At The Grammy Awards In 2011 And The Kennedy Center Honors In December 2011. Josh Continues To Tour Nationally And Internationally With Raphael.
Josh Released His 6Th Studio Cd, “Inception,” In 2009. This Is An All-Instrumental Cd With A Variety Of Genres That Was Once Again Well Received By The Public And Critics Alike. In 2010, Josh Was Signed To Crosscut Records, A Label Based Out Of Germany. Crosscut Re-Released Josh’s Cd, “Deep Roots,” As “I’m Gonna Be Ready.” In October 2012, Josh’s Cd, “Don’t Give Up On Me,” Was Released In Germany. Josh Continues To Live In The Los Angeles Area With His Wife And Two Children.