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Besides the physicality of his music - including some Olympic fingerpicking - Smither's songs are poetry in motion: "I been sick in my time, this ain't nothing new. It's just worst than the first and it lasts just as long as I do," he sings on "Shake These Blues," from 1995's Up on the Lowdown. "Went to my doctor, such a waste of time, he gave a bottle full of dope of some kind. He said 'shake 'fore you use,' but it just don't shake these blues."

Smither began his career in 1972 when Emmylou Harris, John Mayall, and Bonnie Raitt covered his songs. He dropped out of sight during the '80s (as good as time as any), but re-emerged in the early '90s with a reissue of Happier Blue, followed by four more critically acclaimed albums on Hightone.

Originally from Boston, Smither has Texas connections: He recorded most of his albums at the Hit Shack in Austin, and he often sings of the Lone Star State, such as on "Tell Me Why You Love Me": "'Cuz I can hear 'em laughin', I can hear 'em singing, I can hear 'em dancing down in San Antonio." They'll be dancing at Saturday's show as part of the Urban Campfire Series, which is not a burn barrel and a bottle of Thunderbird, but held at the cozy confines of the Lion's Fieldhouse.

Saturday, December 7
Lion's Fieldhouse
2809 Broadway

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