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Meet Smooth Hound Smith

September 9, 2019

Meet September's Artist Discovery: Smooth Hound Smith

Introduction

Smooth Hound Smith is a foot stompin’ American roots and rock band founded by Zack Smith (guitars/vocals/foot drums/harmonicas/banjo) and Caitlin Doyle-Smith (vocals/percussion).  Established in 2012, and based in East Nashville, TN, they record and perform a varied and unique style of folky, garage-infused rhythm & blues. We’re featuring them in September as our Artist Discovery pick, and we’re so excited to offer their new album ‘Dog In A Manger’ on exclusive copper swirl vinyl!

We always want to get to know our featured artists a little better, so take a look at our Q&A we had with them to learn a bit more about their career, stories from the road, and their musical upbringing!

Q & A

What is the best live show you’ve seen?

Zach: When I was in high school I saw At The Drive In open for Rage Against The Machine at The Roxy in LA. Seeing such an intense, high-energy show at such a relatively small venue was amazing. I went with a friend who somehow scored VIP passes, and I ended up meeting Vince Vaughn that night in the VIP area, so that was just icing on the cake.

Caitlin: The best live show I have ever seen….that’s a hard one because there have been so many great shows over the years! I would say Prince, I was lucky enough to see him play at the Forum in LA. It was epic! After he died I made a promise to myself that if there is a legend that is touring I will make it a point to see them. We have lost so many greats over the past five years. 

What was the first album you ever owned on vinyl?

Zach: My parents had a bunch of vinyl left over from the 70’s and 80’s that were buried in a closet when we were growing up. When I was young, my brother and I would go through them and look at the album art, and I remember liking the way they felt in my hands, too. The first vinyl record that I remember purchasing myself was that self-titled David Grisman Quintet record from 1977. I found it at a Salvation Army in my hometown of Santa Monica, CA. It’s all instrumental, with only classic bluegrass instruments, but really weird and progressive. I was in high school and had just started messing around with the mandolin, so it blew my mind.

Caitlin: The first album I ever owned on vinyl was the 1972 Rod Stewart album “Sing it Again Rod”. I remember thinking that it was sooooooo cool and rock and roll!  There is a picture of a rocks glass with whiskey that takes up the whole cover and then you see his face in the background. I would get dressed up in my hot pink biker shorts and BUM Equipment Hyper Color tee and play “You Wear It Well” and dance around my room with a fake glass of whiskey. It was very much the 90’s and I was 12. This still cracks me up! In a way, not much has changed. 

Who is the first artist you remember listening to?

Zach: My dad and I used to play this game when I was young and we’d drive around in his van; we’d listen to the oldies station and he’d say, “I’ll give you a quarter if you know who it is”, so it was a lot of Beatles, Otis Redding, Eric Burdon & The Animals, that kinda stuff. The first voice I remember hearing that moved me really deeply was probably Sam Cooke, though. I also have a weird childhood memory of my grandmother blasting Willie Nelson on her home sound system while shuffling and dancing around the living room barefoot in stretch pants, so it’s kinda hard to say.

Caitlin: One of the first artists/bands I remember listening to is The Traveling Wilburys. My Dad loves them! As a kid my big family would go on these massive road trips. Each August all 7 of us would pile into our 1982 red and white suburban and drive around to all the National Parks. We listened to a lot of classic rock. If we were being bad he would put on “We Sing Silly Songs” or some other kind of children’s music as a punishment until we begged for some Neil Young or Fogerty. 

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Zach: Another tough one. We’ve played music and traveled all over the world; I really love Brazil, and a lot of the music that I studied there has really informed my playing and how I feel groove and pocket. Caitlin and I really like Taos, NM; it’s extremely peaceful, but I think I find myself daydreaming most often about surf trips to Baja.

Caitlin: I used to get stressed about flying then a flight attended told me that she gets happy and excited every time the plane takes off.  I started to pretend that is was the most exciting thing in the world and it actually changed my mind about it.  I know it’s weird but one of my favorite places to be is by myself on a plane with a window seat,  a glass of wine and reading a book. I find it so peaceful. It’s really the only place that you can truly unplug for a few hours and everyone is ok with it. 

What is the craziest thing that’s happened to you on the road?

Zach: Well, for the first few years we were touring, Caitlin and I spent a lot of nights “van camping” in Walmart parking lots all over the country, so we’ve seen domestic violence and drugs deals go down, and roving addicts knocking on our windows in the middle of the night. I guess the most surreal thing, though, was driving from Denver to Salt Lake City one night in the summer of 2016 when we were opening up a bunch of shows on The Dixie Chicks tour, we got broadsided by a moose. It charged the van and hit right on the molding of the window frame on the driver’s side. It completely shattered the driver’s side window, cutting up the side of my face. We ended up driving for a few more hours after that with no window, to get to our hotel. That was pretty crazy. We also played a gig once where we ended up taking a selfie with Cuba Gooding Jr. in a broom closet. Then he put a one dollar bill in our tip jar.

Caitlin: 100% the moose…that was insane!