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For those who thoroughly enjoy the warm lived-in vocals of the late John Martyn or Marc Cohn, this collection will be most satisfying. British folksinger John Smith’s 6th album is a delight.

The Fray is the outstanding record he made as a result of being at home through 2020 with a newfound pain coming from so many directions. It’s an album about facing and battling the trials and fears as you grow up and older. Having said that, Smith conveys the feeling that, “a lot of these songs are about accepting that life is hard, but just holding on and trying to enjoy it anyway.” An admirable stiff upper lip and Carpe Diem philosophy. It’s also a philosophy that’s evident in the opening moments of the album on the causal, chilled-out cool and talk of moving on that comes in Friends.  And Smith’s stubborn optimism shines through each individual tune.

His “honey on gravel” voice (as it’s been described) & exquisite guitar dominate these 12 cuts found on The Fray.  Guests providing “light & shade” include the flowing jazz guitar of Bill Frisell & world music touches, with a stellar band & vocal contributions from a star-studded alt. crowd including Sarah Jarosz & The Milk Carton Kids . With assured ensemble playing – the musicianship is nourished.. *All the guest musicians were recorded remotely. *FEATURED PREVIOUSLY BUT FINALLY BACK IN STOCK!