Chris Smither: Drive You Home Again

Another accomplished picker, Chris Smither plays the moody troubador on Drive You Home Again (HighTone 8098: 46:23). Like Morrisey, Smither prefers an introspective approach, as on “No Love Today” and the title track. There’s a touch of Mark Knopfler in his vocal delivery and a dose of Piedmont in his playing, as on “Get a Better One.” “Tell Me Why You Love Me” is a delightful

detour into Tex Mex territory while “Rattlesnake Preacher” is imbued with a gospel feel. He strikes a poignant note on the tender “So Long,” gets rowdy on a bluesy interpretation of the traditional “Duncan & Brady” and rocks out on “Steel Guitar.” Smith is probably more appealing to fans of Randy Newman and John Hiatt than hardcore blues hounds, but he is quite talented nonetheless.