John Adam Smith
From the funk of West African jive to the exhilarating tones of the lapsteel guitar, The John Adam Smith Band combines the love of groove with a taste for edge in their roots driven, acoustic funk-rock innovations.
This sturdy North American trio is built on the original compositions of multi-instrumentalist John Adam Smith. Throughout the US, Canada, and Australia John has captured audiences with his integrations of Australian Weissenborn, open tuned acoustic guitar arrangements, and his background in traditional African music. The potent combination of these diversely talented musicians brings the heat when this high spirited trio sets forth to energize the room.
Raised in Missoula, MT John was inspired by his father and artists such as Duane Allman, Jerry Garcia, and Mark Knopfler. John started playing guitar when he was 10 years old and landed his first gigs at the age of 15. John's background is rooted in Traditional West African Music. Since his early teens, John studied with Master Djembefolas including two of his most influential teachers - Dibo Camara and Abdoul Doumbia. Combining these rhythmical roots with intricate acoustic compositions and passionate songwriting, John found a unique original sound. His early bands "Smitty & The Boss", and "CottonWood Draw" developed a lively following in the local Montana scene. In 2008 John started performing as a one man band. During these shows he generally had a guitar in his lap, a slide on his finger, bare feet on his homemade wooden stomp boxes, and an assortment of drums near at hand. John toured around the United States, Canada, and Australia as a solo artist before adding a rhythm section and forming The John Adam Smith Band in 2011. In 2012 John produced and recorded "Ponderosa Skies". This full length studio album was released in June of 2013 at the Top Hat Lounge in Missoula. Ponderosa Skies is a collection of songs John started writing and composing at the age of 16. The album was recorded and co-produced with Chris Cunningham (Storyhill) at Basecamp Recording in Bozeman, Montana. Ponderosa Skies has made it's way to fans throughout the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia. John is currently following life's inspirations and continuing his journey as a musician and story teller. He is in love with the opportunity to share his words with the wonderful folks who take the time to listen.
Silent Bear, a name he coined when he was six, and it has stuck. And it fits. He is a big man — not un-bear like. He is silent; except when he is playing his spiritual and intense blues stories. His songs have the feel of a western, a journey, an odyssey. And with his debut album River Drum Child, we get a glimpse into the philosophy and essence that is Silent Bear. This title track was born by a river in a nice stretch of land in Lyons, Colorado, where He began his exploration into the mystics of Indian lore at one of their sweat lodges.