Monday, March 10, 2014


One of the bigger and better female voices in Canadian rock, Smith fronted The Joys for several years, and now has a solid solo career going out of London, Ontario.  She plays and plays and plays, a much in-demand live performer, with gigs pretty much every night across southern Ontario, and that's just this month.  This is her second solo disc, after 2012's Stronger Now (and a couple of live collections you can find at her website).  That last one featured the breakthrough track Shine Bright, which brought her lots of airplay and attention to her songwriting, and a much-remixed version also appears on this disc, such is the ongoing popularity of the tune.

Smith fits nicely between classic and modern rock, just enough production finesse to keep contemporary, but plenty of rock and roll basics covered as well.  And underneath that big and bright sound lurks a writer with a solid understanding of hooks and structure.  Believe In Me has snappy lines and a catchy chorus, straight out of the John Hiatt school.  Opening cut I Need To Know builds from verse to bridge to chorus, getting more and more addictive.  And as always, Smith's powerful vocals give everything a dramatic feel, a tension in the ballads and celebration in the rockers.  Catch her regular Wednesday residency at the Liquid Lounge in Brantford, ON this month, and visit for other dates.