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ROGER LEN SMITH
Veteran singer-songwriter Roger Len Smith is back with his first album in almost nine years. Featuring ten brand new songs, Anything Goes is a tasty collection of rock and Americana that tackles many timely hot topics and, as Smith says, is his “best album yet.”
Produced by Smith and AJ Downing at Downing’s studio in Wimberley, Texas, Anything Goes features songs both topical and personal, story songs about drifters, lovers, troubadours and other romantics, as well as social and political commentary both incisive (“House Of Cards,” “Empty”) and universal (“Raining On A Sunny Day,” the title track). “I try to address important subjects without being too dogmatic or heavy-handed,” Smith notes. “That said, there’s a lot to write about these days!”
Smith released his first-ever music video for the title song, “Anything Goes,” in late 2017 as a teaser. A poignant ballad in 3/4 time, it addresses the chaos and division that has gripped America and beyond since the 2016 election in dramatic fashion without getting too specific or name-checking. The video was beautifully made by Noelle Hampton, who also sings harmony on the track.
The ten songs on Anything Goes – Smith’s sixth album – showcases his penchant for combining a variety of tempos, sounds and styles. From the barn-burning intro of “Can’t Wait For Another Day” to the folksy darkness of “House Of Cards” to the playful “Zander & Zoey,” an uptempo number for Smith’s children, the record has a healthy mix of moods and top-notch musicianship.
There are some stellar guest musicians on this new album. Foo Fighters keyboardist Rami Jaffee highlights the single, “Raining On A Sunny Day” with his clever, whimsical and dreamy vibes. The heavily in-demand Kim Deschamps provides many energetic and searing solos on half of the record with his masterful pedal steel, lap steel and dobro playing. The dynamic and highly-talented musical couple that is Noelle Hampton and Andre Moran provide beautiful contributions via Moran’s deft, atmospheric electric guitar and Hampton’s sweet and seamless harmonies. Drummer Jimmy Spencer anchors the recording with his rock solid, creative drumming.
Smith, longtime bassist for Phil Cody, Shawn Amos and famed photographer/musician Mark Seliger, has six studio albums, and plays acoustic and electric guitars, bass, harmonica, percussion and keyboards. Smith has opened for such acts as Todd Rundgren, Little Feat, Bob Schneider, Cory Morrow, John Hammond, Barenaked Ladies and more, and has toured as support acts for Warren Zevon, Violent Femmes, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Marc Cohn.
Roger Len Smith is a Midwestern-raised singer-songwriter living in Colorado. Summer 2017 finds Roger working on his sixth album, which will likely be released in late autumn. Roger is an experienced performing songwriter who plays guitar, bass and harmonica predominantly, both solo and with his band, as well as many other artists. Roger grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Southern California in 1989. For fifteen years in beautiful Santa Barbara and crazy Los Angeles, Roger recorded and performed with a host of talented musicians, including Twelve Stories, Tina Sicre, Jim Mason, David Cowan, The Adobe, Phil Cody, Shawn Amos, Mark Seliger, Patti Spadaro and more. Roger also released two solo albums - National Boulevard (1997) and My Best Friend (2001). In 2004, Roger moved to Austin, Texas - the live music capitol of the world - and focused largely on his own material and raising a family. Three more albums were released in Texas - A Better Place (2005), New Dark Ages (2007) and Clear Blue Skies (2009). All of Roger's CDs feature a great wealth of incredible musicians, including Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters, Wallflowers), Victor Bisetti (Los Lobos), Mike Morgan (Peter Rowan), Warren Hood, Kim Deschamps and many more. Roger also spent time playing bass and guitar for a variety of acts including Flounders Without Eyes and Crosstown Wagers.
Roger is currently working on his new album with musician/engineer AJ Downing, drummer Jimmy Spencer and more in Austin and Wimberley, Texas.