Some artists continually reinvent themselves; others identify their muse early on and spend their careers single-mindedly pursuing it, remaining recognizably themselves through a career-long process of refinement, growth and discovery. Chris Smither belongs to the latter group. Leave the Light On (2006), Smither's masterful twelfth album--the first he's released on his own Mighty Albert label--stands as the quintessence of his life's work while throwing in some new wrinkles that reflect where he's been and what he's encountered since the last time around.
"If you've ever caught one of Chris Smither's live performances, you know it's hard not to come away knocked out by the amount of music that comes out of one man. His guitar playing is remarkably fluid. His songs are gleaming bits of gold performed in a variety of styles." -- No Depression
"Bathed in the flickering glow of passing headlights and neon bar signs, Smither's roots are as blue as they come.There is plenty of misty Louisiana and Lightnin' Hopkins in Smither's weathered singing and unhurried picking. So fine....Chris Smither delivers one of the most riveting live shows you're ever likely to see. His growling vocals,badass finger picking and uniformly brilliant songs are here in spades." -- Rolling Stone
"Through the decades, Mr. Smither has taken the blues in a direction entirely his own: stoic existential ruminations sung in a pained, weathered moan and set to quietly virtuosic guitar. There was always unpretentious philosophy in the deep blues, and Mr. Smither has followed it toward his own quiet epiphanies." -- The New York Times
"Chris Smither, whose grand voice, stomping foot, blues-drenched guitar, and abiding interest in the problem of evil packed more power than the bands of Chapman and Martyn combined." -- The Village Voice
"Smither continues to give ample proof that he's matured into one of roots music's most passionate, soulful songsmiths and interpreters. He has the perfect husky, country-music voice, and he keeps the tunes clipping with crisp acoustic picking." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Sitting all evening in a wooden chair, blue acoustic guitar cradled in his lap, feet miked to amplify him stamping out the beat, Smither coupled a firm grasp of nuance with understated, focused energy. Smither's quiet intensity made itself felt most of all in his dazzling guitar picking." -- Chicago Tribune
"He's one of the finest interpreters of classic blues and contemporary roots music on the scene today." -- Washington Post