By Jason Gartshore- Americana Review
The story of singer-songwriter David G. Smith is an interestingly winding road. His musical education was acquired by osmosis. Having been raised by a musical family, Smith spent many years on the road honing and developing his craft to become one of the top songwriters on the Americana scene. A career detour took place along the way, taking him back to his home state of Iowa to become a medical investigator. But when something is meant to be, it will always work itself out. David G. Smith was meant to be a singer and a songwriter and we are all the beneficiaries of his ability to share his unique life experience through his work. His sixth studio album First Love will be released independently on February 5, 2016. It features a stellar list of mentors, friends and believers providing support on this excellent project.
First Love opens up with “Fear”, a song that will bring an almost instant familiarity on what should be a wonderful moment in life. Featuring the incomparable Mary Gauthier on backing vocals, this is an excellent song about overcoming, well, “Fear” to take a serious step forward in life. “Ocean Soul” is a nice little summertime groove that screams for an open road and a convertible heading to the beach. “Nightlife in the Stix” will take you from the beach to the swamp, as this song is a great snapshot of life on a weekend night in the South.
The title track is a very touching song, one for the many people who have suffered the sudden and/or unwanted termination of a relationship. Sometimes the toughest part of moving on from that horrible situation is moving toward the blessing of another wonderful relationship. “First Love” is the story of such a heartbreaking situation, and it captures the circumstance with incredible accuracy. It is quite possibly the finest song on the album.
As an album, First Love is very well written and balanced as it moves from the despondence of the title track to one of hope and celebration of love with “Lost in You.” David paints a descriptive picture of a young boy’s conversation with his grandfather in “Questions”, a picture that could rival any Tom T. Hall composition. The blues make a prominent appearance on “I Can’t Tell”, featuring instrumentation from the great Keb’ Mo.
David G. Smith is the quintessential example of what can happen when you begin to pursue what’s in your heart to make your living, as opposed to becoming a part of the machine for the purpose of making other people money. It wasn’t until Smith chose the path of greatest resistance that he found his creative peak and discovered what he has become. First Love shows that David G. Smith is a top level singer-songwriter who continues to get better with each project and will be an artist to watch on the Americana scene in the coming years.