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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Get Out: Chris Smither at 202 Market

Chris Smither

Chris Smither

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Some of the best music is written by people who have lived a lot of life.

Example: Chris Smither. He's in his 60s. He started recording in the 1970s but got off-track, spending 12 years drunk and producing nothing. He re-emerged 20 years ago with a clear mind and a lot to say.

"I couldn't write the stuff that I write now if I hadn't gone through it," he says in his publicity bio.

And what stuff it is. His most recent CD, "Leave the Light On," reveals that experience, but settles on few answers.

"I don't think for pleasure, it's just hard not to do," he sings in "Open Up." "My thinking is a measure of how much I need a clue."

Another tune, "Origin of Species," wonders where Adam and Eve's surviving sons found their wives.

Smither brings that song craft -- with post-Delta and Piedmont-style finger picking skills -- to 202 Market on Wednesday. You might also hear some choice cover songs. On "Leave the Light On," he performs Bob Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" and Peter Case's "Cold Trail Blues."

-- Tad Dickens

Who: Chris Smither

Where: 202 Market, 202 Market Square, Roanoke

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday

How much: $20

Call: 343-6644

Web: www.smither.com, 202market.net. Go online at roanoke.com to hear song samples and a podcast with Smither.

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