There are few things more eagerly anticipated around the Bluegrass Today offices than a new recording from Kenny & Amanda Smith. This husband-and-wife duo has created a sound unlike any other in bluegrass and acoustic music, set off by Kenny’s remarkable flatpick guitar, and Amanda’s lovely singing voice.
But as much as their musical talents mark what they record, perhaps their most noteworthy skill is in choosing and arranging material that fits their distinctive style. You know that the songs will be cleverly written with interesting melodies and an encouraging message – aside from the odd killin’ song – all performed with an understated dexterity and animated sentimentality.
We haven’t heard a lot from them of late, with Kenny touring with Band of Ruhks and Amanda busying herself raising their daughter, Annabelle, born in April of 2015. But they’ll have a new album in September, Unbound, and a new single, You Know That I Would, offered now to bluegrass radio. It’s a beautiful song of true love for a newborn child from Ed Williams, which Amanda sings with her consummate professionalism.
Justin Jenkins plays banjo, Kyle Perkins is on bass, and Jacob Burleson on mandolin, with harmony vocals provided by Kenny and Wayne Winkle.
Other writers whose songs are featured on the record include Ronnie Bowman, Tim Stafford, Craig Market, Gordon Lightfoot, Barry Bales and Thomm Jutz.
Unbound is set for release on September 23.