Chattanooga-based Garage Door Records announces a July 17 release date for the label debut from country music group Smith & Wesley, Choices & Chances, distributed nationally by Burnside Distribution. The band will celebrate Choices & Chances with a special a CD release show at the City Winery in Nashville on Tuesday, July 28 (www.citywinery.com/nashville).
Based out of the North Georgia/Chattanooga, Tennessee area, Smith & Wesley have already developed an extensive loyal fan base throughout the region, as evidenced by their headlining the Unum Stage at last week’s Riverbend Festival in Chattanooga.
Smith & Wesley is led by brothers, Scott and Todd Smith, who changed the name of the group from the Brody Johnson Band to its current moniker as a tribute to their father, Wes, who passed away recently. In addition to Scott on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Todd on acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocal harmonies, the rest of the lineup includes keyboard player Greg Gordy, Steve and Josh Pettyjohn on electric guitars, Dee Callihan on bass and Brad Thompson on drums. All of the musicians in the band have strong family or personal connections, which helps create the special musical interplay that is a hallmark of their sound. With influences ranging from traditional country, bluegrass and folk music to southern rock, Smith & Wesley have crafted a unique, powerful sound that makes casual listeners instant fans.
Produced by Shayne Hill, Choices & Chances was recorded at Beach Street Studio, Watershed Studio and Mainframe Studio in Nashville. The extra musicians on the sessions each brought their own special talents to the songs they play on, giving them a solid foundation throughout. Danny Shirley, lead singer for multi-platinum sellers Confederate Railroad, joins in as a special guest on “Country Dreams,” the album’s closing song. The seamless harmonies of Scott and Todd come from a mix that only a brotherly bond can do, bringing depth and richness to their vocals.
Scott and Todd Smith have either individually or collectively written most of the songs on Choices & Chances. The 11 songs on the album are at once personal, yet universal in their appeal. “The new CD was recorded to be heard as a listening experience from start to finish,” says Scott Smith. “The first part of the album is about decisions made and the repercussions from those decisions.” Adds his brother Todd: “Whether it is betrayal, bad habits or questionable decision making, most of these types of choices often have less than favorable results. As the journey proceeds, the songs lend themselves to better moods, courtship, love and reflection; thus proving there is a chance of a better tomorrow out there. However, life would be boring without both Choices & Chances.”
About “Need Somebody Bad,” the first single from the CD, Todd Smith explains: “Everyone has been part of a relationship which ended in a breakup. Regardless of who made the decision or if it was amicable or not, breakups just aren’t fun. Whether you want to call it a rebound situation or just a one night stand, ‘Need Somebody Bad’ speaks to that feeling and about trying to forget about it.”
“Some of the more upbeat songs on the album such as ‘Whiskey,’ ‘Roll on Smoothly,’ and ‘Bottle’s Half Full,’ lend themselves to telling a story of good times that were carried a little too far,” offers Scott Smith.
“And I guess you could say that ‘Prove My Love,’ ‘You’re the One’ and ‘I Love Loving You’ represent our tender side,” Todd says with a smile. “I’ve had guys come up and tell me they enjoy these ballads as much as our up-tempo songs because they remind them of their own situation, or they’re everything they wanted to say to their wives or girlfriends. I guess everyone needs a little tenderness.”
Scott Smith calls “Country Dreams,” the last track on the album, “the most personal song on the album to me. I will always be thankful that our father, Wes Smith, introduced Todd and me to the country classics and all the legends in country music at an early age. ‘Country Dreams’ is a tribute to those legends and the influence they have had on our passion, thus allowing us to be fortunate enough to do what we love to do…play music and share it with as many folks that will listen.”
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