Fred Smith-June 2008
Penelope Swales- A Special Treat for Audience at Fred Smith’s last Gig at taste
Fred Smith recently returned from three years of touring in the US to perform at taste Canowindra in February to a sell-out audience with Liz Frencham in one of our most successful shows. Fred returned also in late June to recount his US experiences. Unexpectedly, Penelope Swales tagged along to do back up vocals!fred-at-mic.jpg
With rave revues from critics like Bruce Elder in the Sydney Morning Herald "Smith is a superb songwriter with a wry sense of humour and a wonderful eye for the idiosyncrasies of modern life" Songwriter Fred Smith has toured to launch his new CD Texas.
Texas is a collection of songs written during Smith’s time in America and captures the zeitgeist of the United States in the second term of the Bush administration.
On Texas Fred brings his usual humour and insight to bear on the topic. “The natural Australian response to America is to take the piss”, says Fred, and many of the songs on the CD are funny. But there are others that deal more seriously with the dark sides of modern America touching on subjects from Iraq to Barak.
“Touring is a wonderful way to meet another culture- out of the tourist zone and staying with people in their homes you get a real feel for their lives. Whatever you might say of Americans they are generous in hospitality and really embrace life.”
Texas is Smith’s 5th full CD and second travelogue album, and reflects his gift for capturing the essence of a time and place in song. His award winning Bagarap Empires CD related the experiences of people living through the crises in Bougainville and Solomon Islands where Smith lived between 1999 and 2003.
In January Smith settled back into his Canberra home and aims to keep touring Australia and America over the next few years. “America is an amazing place and there are so many opportunities, but in the end you start thinking about where you want to build a life, and I’m happy to be back in Australia!”
Although it was a smaller audience than usual they got a special surprise treat. Outstanding Australian folk vocalist Penelope Swales joined Fred doing back up vocals for the evening – as well as a few songs of her own. Penelope loved the taste Canowindra experience and will return in January 2009.