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SOULFUL IMPRESSIONS | profile | all galleries >> BYTHER SMITH tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

BYTHER SMITH

PHOTOS OF BYTHER SMITH BY KURT SWANSON
E-MAIL: kurtswanson@juno.com

Smitty came to Chicago during the mid-'50s after spending time toiling on an Arizona cattle ranch. He picked up guitar tips from J.B. Lenoir (his first cousin), Robert Jr. Lockwood, and Hubert Sumlin, then began playing in the clubs during the early '60s. Theresa's Lounge was his main haunt for five years as he backed Junior Wells; he also played with the likes of Big Mama Thornton, George "Harmonica" Smith, and Otis Rush.

A couple of acclaimed singles for C.J. (the two-part "Give Me My White Robe") and BeBe ("Money Tree"/"So Unhappy") spread his name among aficionados, as did a 1983 album for Grits, Tell Me How You Like It. The rest of the country then began to appreciate Smitty, thanks to a pair of extremely solid albums on Bullseye Blues: 1991's Housefire (first out on Grits back in 1985) and I'm a Mad Man two years later. With two sets on Delmark and a stepped-up touring itinerary, Smitty really hit his stride. ~ Bill Dahl, All Music Guide ~ music.channel.aol.com

Byther Smith Rosa's Lounge Chicago,IL 2004
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BYTHER SMITH & VANCE KELLY
BYTHER SMITH & VANCE KELLY
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BYTHER SMITH