John Smith has played to audiences all over the world in festival tents, living rooms and sold-out concert halls. He tours relentlessly with his guitars, looking to communicate through a song and to share something intangible with those willing to listen. His uniquely intimate take on love, loss or even a mythic murder ballad, combined with his innovative guitar work, have won him a loyal following.
John has opened shows for Iron and Wine, Tinariwen and Gil Scott-Heron, and has performed alongside the likes of Jackson Browne, Jerry Douglas, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker and Rodney Crowell.
In his occasional role as session musician he has played electric guitar for David Gray, Lisa Hannigan, LeAnn Rimes and Lianne La Havas.
It’s all for the love of the guitar. John plays a rumbling acoustic fingerstyle but sometimes uses a slide or plays the guitar on his lap. His playing and honey-on-gravel vocals have brought crowds the world over to pin-drop silence and rapturous applause.
John has self-released five albums: The Fox and the Monk (2006), Map Or Direction (2009), Eavesdropping (2011), Great Lakes (2013) and 2017’s Headlong. His new album Hummingbird is out now; watch the video below for the story of how it came together, and the influence of the legendary names in folk music on John’s career so far.
Support comes from Canadian singer and songwriter Rose Cousins.
“The simplicity of these songs is deceiving; as sparse as they feel, her voice draws you in until you realize you are at the heart of the storm.” The Guardian
“He’s a magician”Ben Howard
“The future of folk music”John Renbourn