Corey Smith has to be the most sentimental, weepy troublemaker ever to run afoul of the law. While he stocks his folksy ditties with recollections of getting pulled over by cops and drinking way too much when he was way too young, the effect is always like your great-grandpa regaling you with his Depression-era exploits.
The key line in Smith’s catalog comes from the typically nostalgic “Twenty-One,” the story of a teenager who longed to be older and eventually became a young adult who longed to be younger: “Now I’m only 26, feelin’ like I’m 43.”
When you’re 26 and crying about your lost youth, there are only two explanations: Either you’re prone to self-pity, or you’ve got too much time to kill. In Smith’s case, both causes apply.
A dome-pated former Social Studies teacher from Athens, Georgia, Smith is an unusual booking choice for hard-rock mecca White Rabbit, but he doesn’t fit too readily in any stylistic category. Finger-picking like James Taylor, with an earnest, cornball sensitivity taken directly from Harry Chapin, Smith also affects a thank-God-I’m a-country-boy twang that betrays his affection for Keith Whitley.
For Smith, fun is something that teenagers enjoy and everyone else either looks forward to or distantly remembers. He’s definitely your man if you like hearing about Georgia Bulldogs football games and college-town keg parties, but he’s not recommended for those experiencing a premature mid-life crisis. 9pm Thu, Jun 12, $12-15, White Rabbit, 2410 N. St. Mary’s, (210) 737-2221
— Gilbert Garcia