Several years ago I headed to Austin, Texas to my friend Eric Johnson’s studio to start on a new album. As time went by, I would find myself re-recording things and adding new ideas as I would write new songs about things like grandchildren and other eventful things. I see this new project as an autobiographical sketch of my life in music. The man I was named after was one of the most influential people in my life, even though he passed away when I was a young man. His name was Bascom “Doyle” Smith aka Smitty to his friends. We all called him Uncle Doyle. When I was four years old, my father recorded him at our house as I stood watching him play and sing in our living room in Jacksonville, Florida. You will hear this very recording as I played along with him on Little Red Wagon and then added my kids and grandkids. For bonus tracks you will also hear Uncle Doyle play his harmonica solo like nothing else you’ve ever heard.
Along with a number of new original guitar solos, I also added Classical Gas/25 or 6 to 4, Free Bird, and a couple of old gospel tunes (that I played along with) featuring my dad and also a recording of me when I was only 14 years old. My new vocal tune Guitar Poor also features Ronnie and Michael Booth from America’s # 1 gospel group the Booth Brothers. Another vocal tune is the song I wrote called You and I, which features my daughter Haley. I wrote this song for her wedding, and the lead guitar I played was an old 1956 Gibson ES 350 that I borrowed from Gary Schiff (a friend I met through Eric Johnson in Austin) who bought it from Eric Clapton.
I recently told my mother (who will be 90 years old next month) that if no one else liked this record I know that she would. She assured me in her own words…They’re going to love it! After years in the making, I am so proud and thankful to say my new album LIFE Behind The Guitar will be released in the next few days.