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Gary Smyth-How To Laugh
Gary Smyth is a Canadian, through and through. His original songs are taken from real life, with a dash of humour, a pinch of emotion and a good portion of roots-inspired playing.
Gary is well known in Western Canada as lead guitarist for the Roots/Americana band, The Cruzeros, a band that played festivals coat-to-coast in Canada and in Europe. He is also a veteran of the Vancouver rock scene, the Toronto country scene and plays jazz and blues and loves teaching guitar. That scratches the surface of his experience as a musician. As a lead guitarist and bassist, he was not known as a singer/songwriter until this album, “How To Laugh”.
While studying audio engineering, he came across two talented and eager young engineers, CJ Whitworth and Jeff Shaver who jumped at the opportunity to record non-digital music. They kept the enthusiasm up and did exactly what was needed, faithfully capturing the live sound of all the instruments all the while having fun with it.
Rob Dewar, who calls it a “feel-good album”, mastered the songs.
There are three instrumental tracks on the recording. The rest tell unusual stories such as The Wednesday Night Pickers, which tells the tale of Gary clumsily and comically disrupting a jam session. One Bad Wheel tells the true story of a near train wreck (an actual train) and the two fools who prevented it. My Cousin Donny is about a real character who met a tragic end. Two Dead Boys is a nonsense rhyme from his youth. The Swimming Hole is about a real place that no longer exists, except in a painting, and now a song. The 60 Second Song is exactly that. Exactly. Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol finds its lyrics from the back of a bottle of rubbing alcohol, used as a head cleaner for a 4-track recorder.
All songs were written entirely by Gary, except “The Wednesday Night Pickers”, lyrics co-written with Dan Clifford. All guitars, vocal, bass, mandolin and percussion are by Gary.
Matt Storm and Mike Baxter played drums. Accordion by Rod Miller and harmonica by Curtis Tulman.