11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Charlie Smyth

Charlie SmythThese days, it’s hard to keep track of all the musicians moving to Music City. One we almost missed was Charlie Smyth who also doubled-up by bringing his wife Kalee with him. Smyth has a varied musical pedigree. Starting with some punk/hardcore days in his native Chicago, he later made his way through the grunge of Seattle and the “no wave” of New York City. Today, Charlie’s sound finds itself quite comfortable in the Nashville Americana scene.

On his upcoming debut solo record, Smyth lays down an original style that he also takes to a few choice covers scattered among his original tunes. His low gentle voice smoothly sails along the bottom of a colorful musical palette while Kalee’s backing vocals elegantly glide above.

Smyth’s new record kicks off with the single he’s just released, a surprising cover of a great song that needs not to be forgotten. We’re talking about Neil Diamond’s “Beautiful Noise” from his 1976 LP of the same name that was produced by The Band’s Robbie Robertson. Charlie’s cover will become the best ear worm you have had all week.

Charlie Smyth’s “The Way I Feel” drops on July 13 with a record release show 7pm at The Local on the same day. Thanks Charlie for giving us eleven.


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I am originally from Chicago, but have lived in New York, Melbourne, Berlin, Portland, and Seattle. I moved to Nashville with my wife Kalee in late 2013. We moved from Seattle which is where we met. She had been planning to move back to Nashville where she had graduated at Belmont University, and I thought it sounded like a fun and interesting adventure. Also, I had decided to go wherever she felt like going.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

The first was Journey’s Escape on cassette. I believe it was at Peaches in Chicago. The last was Lou Reed, John Cale & Nico Live at The Bataclan 1972 on vinyl at Vinyl Tap in East Nashville.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

The first was Motley Crue’s Shout at the Devil tour in 1984 at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. The last was Hotel Ten Eyes at Betty’s Grill in Nashville.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Greg Garing

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Coffee makes me crazy. Five Points Pizza.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Dino’s Bar

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Kalee Smyth, Lauren Gilbert, Nikki Lane

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

The Basement, The East Room, and Springwater

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?

I think George Jones should move back.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

Record release for The Way I Feel is on Friday, July 13, with a show on that date at The Local at 7pm. Hopefully getting the vinyl by then.

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