Bay Area Americana rocker Scott Smith recently released a double-sided single, “Got A Hundred Dollar Bill” and “Small Town USA.”
In the four years since he released his classic EP, Igniting the Flame, Smith has been writing new material, which hopefully will result in a full-length album. Until then, he keeps dropping delicious appetizers, like 2018’s “I Will Love You” and “Spinning Round.”
On his brand-new two single bundle, he rolls out washes of biting rock colors and Midwestern blues savors. Mixed and edited by celebrated Bay Area composer, producer, and music director Julie Wolf, the tracks feature the talented musicianship of Jeff Martin (bass) and Tommy Tutone’s Vic Carberry (drums), as well as Spencer Burroughs (Hammond) on “Small Town USA.”
“Small Town USA” pays tribute to Jerry Garcia with its melody sandwiched between the main melodies.
Smith explains, “That’s what I loved about his playing. It would give momentum and set up the next cycle of the main melody.”
He goes on to add, “One of the reasons I reference Jerry on ‘Small Town USA’ is that he’s a powerful link to that classic ‘70s rock period that feels like it’s locked and sealed and not allowed to continue with bands that play what passes for rock and roll today. To get that sound you have to listen to old albums by legends like The Allman Brothers, Eagles, and Queen. It’s like we’re not allowed to do that anymore. So, in my humble way, I’m kind of rebelling and saying we’re not yet done with that music of that time and place.”
The vocal harmonies on “Got A Hundred Dollar Bill” reflect Smith’s analysis of the Eagles – a mid-range, a high octave, and a fifth harmony.
“Small Town USA” opens on luscious bluesy flavors, embellished by the Hammond organ infusing the tune with sheens of oozing coloration. Smith’s gravelly voice gives the lyrics tasty hues of nostalgia as he looks back. A searing guitar solo injects the music with rasping energy and finessed licks.
“Soft as a pillow, sweet as cherry pie / Brown hair, eyes blue as the sky / She’s why I’m living / She’s why I die / Need her more than I can deny.”
“Got A Hundred Dollar Bill” rides heavy, brawny guitars pumping out thick layers of alt-rock. The driving beat comes courtesy of tight percussion and a cavernous bassline, while Smith’s whiskey-soaked timbres imbue the lyrics with gritty tones.
Wonderfully wrought, both “Small Town USA” and “Got A Hundred Dollar Bill” demonstrate the alluring music and technical craft of Scott Smith.