Finger-style guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Michael Kent Smith has released an album called “After the Harvest”.
Originally composed and released on a smaller scale in 2002, “After the Harvest” is being re-released on the Heart Dance Recordings label. Michael Kent Smith is an accomplished painter as well as a musician, and designed the album cover to reflect the cyclical nature of life, especially those during medieval times, where a man might, while lovingly watching his family, sit and reflect on the success and satisfaction of his hard work during the harvest, but would also realize that his hard work must begin again in the spring.
Inspired by music structure in the 12th century, the music of After the Harvest celebrates cycles of life – daily, monthly, seasonal and generational. Many of the songs are based on medieval tunes, of which Michael was inspired by. During the composing and recording process, Michael imported those melodies into the recording, built tracks around them, and then removed them to reveal the finished product.
Michael plays a variety of instruments on his album including a variety of guitars, dulcimers, psaltery, bandurria, recorders, dumbec and shakers. After the Harvest can be pre-ordered on Amazon and iTunes, and will be streamed after release on Spotify and Pandora.
For more music samples, visit: michaelkentsmith.com
About Michael Kent Smith
American composer and musician Michael Kent Smith can trace his ancestors back to their arrival in Jamestown in the 1600s and as in his family tree, his musical stylings have seen multiple evolutions while remaining quintessentially American. Michael’s talents have not gone unnoticed–from being voted Chicago’s Best Guitarist in the 1980’s, winning the Outstanding Soloist award at the Midwest Jazz Festival, to becoming a top-five finalist in the Blues division of the Yamaha “Six String Theory” competition in 2011–his accolades have been fine rewards for a rich career that has taken him to many corners of the world.
From the time he heard “Smoke on the Water” on the AM radio, Michael’s interest in music was piqued and he bought his first guitar soon after. Michael grew up in a home where playing instruments and singing in choirs were a natural part of their lives. His interest in the guitar took firm hold after seeing a performance featuring Andres Segovia, George Benson, and Chet Atkins. Realizing that there were seemingly infinite possibilities for styles of guitar playing, he delved into classical, jazz, folk, world, and new age music, eager to explore the variety of unique sounds each genre offered.
As his musical skill grew, so did Michael’s opportunities, and soon, he was traveling consistently. He has toured Europe, Mexico, Africa, and the United States as a featured performer. He has played the Kennedy Center, The International Festival of World Music in Mexico City, The International Guitar Festival, and the very prestigious Festival Cervantino – a three week-long festival attended by over a half a million people. Among many other events and venues. Never one to rest on his laurels, Michael has studied music with several talented teachers: classical guitar with Denis Azabagic, fingerstyle guitar with Martin Simpson and Edward Gerhard, jazz with Richard Medel, composition with Howard Krueger and flamenco with Manuel Lozano in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
Prior to his solo career, Michael was the guitarist and principal composer in Pong Unit, the ensemble fronted by poet Marc Smith, inventor of the Poetry Slam. Since then, he has released three solo albums: “After the Harvest” in 2002, “Beauty Without Warning” in 2005, and “La Esperanza Sigue” in 2010. He continues to make guest appearances as the guitarist on CDs by a number of artists including Marc Smith, Steven Hashimoto, Joe Hasiewicz and Al Rose. Smith is also a painter and printmaker and his work can be seen on the covers of all of his CDs.
As for what’s on the horizon for this peripatetic troubadour? He is launching a new album with the added musical influence of Gregorian Chants. Inspired by the cyclical themes in medieval works, and in life, Michael’s aims to explore how music can be the bridge between the world we know and that of the divine. His more recent music has seen him experimenting with electronics and various folk instruments, creating layered compositions with nods to classical, Celtic, Spanish, jazz, and ambient music. He lives in Querétaro, Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that prides itself on its artistic opportunities. His audiences respond well to his performances, enjoying the travel anecdotes and origin stories for his singularly beautiful songs.
A press release by the label