“Knowing that Smeed’s core backing band is Lawrence’s wonderfully irreverent Truckstop Honeymoon may prepare listeners for “Smoke N’ Spice,” a tribute to Kansas City barbeque in the form of a personal ad. But that irreverence makes for a deceptive opening, and even the darker “Blue Highways,” about a touring musician beginning to see two-lane blacktops as bars on a jail cell, isn’t likely to prepare anyone for the rest of the record’s quiet desperation. The John Prine-flavored “I Don’t Know What to Do” features an almost whispered vocal over simple acoustic guitar with a touch of piano and mandolin. When Smeed sings that he doesn’t know what to do “with myself, without you, all night long, the whole day through,” the cleverness of the form simply underscores the content. But by song’s end, a frightening darkness is coming down on the singer.”
“Sky Smeed has musical chops and a charm in his live set that will either make you think he’s inviting you personally out for a date or a couple of beers or both. It’s hard for some to carry that over to the recorded format but Smeed does that with his latest release “Drive All Night” This album is an introspective look at his life and career told through stories of love, loss, and long blue highways on tour. Smeed, a native of Chanute, KS, is on the road more than half the year and makes his home in Lawrence, KS where he recorded the project at the 9th Ward Pickin Parlor. Truckstop Honeymoon's Mike and Katie West - proprietors of the recording studio also appear on the cd on various instruments and backup vocals. The album is full of great song-writing and top notch performances.”
“On Drive All Night, Sky Smeed evokes that singer/songwriter corner of 1971 that held both John Prine and Steve Goodman’s self-titled debuts. There’s a lot of humor and a comparable gentleness in Drive All Night, but like those two records, there’s also a range of emotion that can sting. Smeed clearly enjoys making people grin, but there are least a few songs here every bit as quietly devastating as Prine’s “Hello In There” or Goodman’s “Would You Like To Learn To Dance.””
"The song craft and instrumentation on Sky Smeed's self titled cd are on par with the best of American roots music.(Think Jimmy Web songs and David Gates vocals) The original compositions on this effort include pristine guitar phrasing (both acoustic and pedal steel) and tender loving treatment of everyday life events that are personal to Sky (Sitting on the front porch with the dogs and a beer, lamenting the loss of a runaway pet, buying a beat up truck, quitting a dead end job, and leaving home for better opportunities) while being entirely accessible to the listener, ultimately make you want to hear more!"
““The blues are a strong presence in Smeed’s latest offering, resulting in nine tracks full of stories and catchy rhythms that make you want to listen!” ”
“Smeed was one of the happiest performers in recent memory for me. He was constantly smiling and seemed genuinely appreciative of the applause. His music was perfect for the cowboy bar. He mixed straight forward country (not Kenny Chesney country, the good kind) with some blues songs and some more upbeat numbers. He was even able to mix in a Townes Van Zant cover. Some very well played lap steel guitar was delivered in heavy doses and Smeed’s set was all the better for it.”
““I was driving on a sunny Saturday morning, listening to this fine music over and over, when it occurred to me that Sky Smeed deserves one of my highest compliments: he reminds me of Gram Parsons.” ~ Chip Withrow.”
““A rollicking bunch of songs, with Smeed stretching emotionally, compositionally, and hitting every mark full stride.” ~ Paul Rapp. Metroland ”