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John Smith

Smith was born in Essex and grew up on the shores of Devon. Known for his intimate songwriting combined with a melodious voice and pioneering guitar playing, he has spent the last fifteen years touring the world, amassing over 55 million streams on Spotify. He has also performed as a sessionman alongside Joan Baez, David Gray, Joe Henry, Lianne La Havas e Tom Jones. The Fray is the sixth studio album by Smith, written and recorded during a universally difficult 2020, and with a vulnerability that is offered to listeners completely without frills. "It has been a hell of a year, but I feel I have created my most honest work, both as a result and because I needed to. Most of these songs are about accepting that life is difficult, but that you have to hang in there and try to enjoy it anyway". The stubborn optimism of Smith in hard times is reflected in the album's title track, in which he sings Holding onto hope / I don't need a decent reason / Yes and though it disappears sometimes / It returns with every season. Smith co-produced The Fray together with producer and long-time friend Sam Lakeman. The album was recorded at Real World Studio by Peter Gabriel together with the pianist Jason Rebello (Sting, John Mayer), to the bassist Ben Nicholls (Seth Lakeman, Nadine Shah), to the drummer Jay Sikora (Paolo Nutini) and to Jessica Staveley-Taylor of The Staves. The album accurately reflects the times we live in, with US collaborators Sarah Jarosz, Courtney Hartmna, The Milk Carton Kids and Bill Frisell recording remotely and then sending their contributions overseas. Also Lisa Hanniganwith which Smith toured frequently, and participated in a virtual studio session in Dublin. With ten weeks in the US charts and a string of flattering reviews on AP, Mojo, The Sunday Times, No Depression, Guitar Magazine e The Fretboard Journal, The Fray seems destined to become John's most successful album with the public and critics.

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