Jesse Smathers, guitarist and tenor vocalist with Lonesome River Band, has announced a new self-titled solo project, with a new single out today for everyone to get a taste.
Folks in the Virginia/Carolina region have known of this young artist’s talent long before he hit the big time with LRB. You would see him at prominent jam sessions with other great pickers like Jonathan Dillon and David Carroll, and he was always in the center of a B chord jam at Galax. Smathers got his first pro gig playing mandolin with James King. Then in 2014 he signed on with Nothin’ Fancy, and joined Sammy Shelor and Lonesome River Band a year later.
The album is self-produced, and Jesse is using the crowd-funding site Kickstarter as a way for people to place advance orders for the project. It’s a do-or-die crowd sourced campaign that won’t be funded unless they reach their $12,000 goal by December 15. But given the popularity of LRB and Jesse’s reputation as a player of note, that isn’t likely to be a problem.
On the Kickstarter campaign page, Smathers explains why this debut solo album means so much to him.
“The biggest joy in my life is making music. It doesn’t matter if I’m playing on a stage to thousands of people or in a field picking tunes with a few friends, music has always brought me a kind of therapeutic joy. To be able to spread that feeling of joy to others through music is the most rewarding aspect of my career. This album is inspired by and created with some of the finest musicians I have been blessed to make music with over the years, along with those who have made a major impact on my and my playing. I’m thrilled to bring together so many astonishing folks onto this album, they are some of my favorites to ever sing or play a note!”
Those friends he mentioned are some pretty high-powered pickers. Included on this record will be Sammy Shelor, Jonathan Dillon, and Russ Carson on banjo; Jesse Baker on mandolin; Jason Carter, Brownwyn Keith Hynes, and Mike Hartgrove on fiddle; Gaven Largent on reso-guitar; and Jason Moore and Joe Hannabach on bass. Assisting Jesse with the singing will be Heather Berry Mabe, Patrick Robertson, Dale Perry, and Dave Smathers.
Here’s his Kickstarter pitch…
The single is one called Nothing In The World To Do, written by Jesse with Scott Patrick, available now from popular download and streaming sites.
Jesse Smathers is sure to be a strong project filled with hard driving contemporary bluegrass. If you want a copy (download or CD) for yourself, check out his Kickstarter page.
Radio programmers can get the single now from AirPlay Direct.