Recording information: Blue Rock Artist Ranch (06/01/2017).
Photographer: Jeff Fasano.
Chris Smither spent a fair chunk of time in the mid-2010s looking back, culminating in Still on the Levee, a two-disc set from 2014 that found the singer/songwriter revisiting songs he recorded in the past. Arriving four years later, Call Me Lucky functions as something of an answer to that aesthetic, finding the singer/songwriter living squarely in the present. He opens the album with the lively blues shuffle "The Blame's on Me," which is quickly followed by a minor-key rendition of Chuck Berry's "Maybellene," and he effectively sets the pace for the rest of the album. As Call Me Lucky rolls on -- the album proper is ten tracks, but there are six additional "B-Sides" featuring alternate takes of songs on the album, plus an introspective version of the Beatles' "She Said She Said" -- Smither adds some slower, gentler touches (highlighted by the lovely "By the Numbers"), but he retains this same sense of immediacy. By playing so directly and simply -- the album isn't unadorned, there are additional harmonies and guitars, yet it feels like it is -- Chris Smither creates a bracing, intimate record, one that feels filled with earned truths. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine