BEFORE THAT ROOSTER CROWS (2014)
“Before That Rooster Crows” is Felonius Smith’s second Colorado CD release. It’s a great sounding recording with rich arrangements of Delta Blues and Gospel Blues songs recorded by Hot Tuna, Blind Willie Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Rev. Gary Davis, as well as many vintage-sounding Felonius Smith originals.
Many of the songs on “Before That Rooster Crows” were recorded sounding exactly like the Felonius Smith Trio performing live, while some songs called for a larger acoustic-blues-band treatment - with help from some wonderful guest musicians. The recording features Felonius’ smooth bottleneck and lap-style National slide guitar work and lead vocals; Nic Clark’s amazing and expressive harmonica playing; and Scott Johnson’s warm and solid upright bass. Scott switches to sousaphone on two tracks, which invokes the vibe of a jug band or a New Orleans street band!
You’ll hear the growling drone of Scott’s bowed bass on “Spoonful”; Felonius’ ripping lap steel and the infectious drums and sousaphone groove on “Delivery Man”; fabulous three-part vocal harmony on “Blind Willie Medley”; and in the “All New Dupree’s Diamond Blues”, Felonius completely reworks a Grateful Dead lyric story line into an original, reflective folk-blues ballad.
The album was recorded and mixed in Colorado by Butch Hause (worked with Norman Blake, Peter Rowan) and mastered by multiple Grammy winner David Glasser.
Consider choosing the physical CD because the sound quality is the best available, the artwork is so cool, and because it's in a Zero Carbon Footprint Package! That's 100% Green Forestry cardboard, all vegetable inks, 100% post-consumer recycled tray, and carbon offset credits for entire package, CD, and shipping to the artist!
“If you think traditional Blues can’t stay true to the past and still be totally fresh then you must not have heard Jeff “Felonius” Smith and his new album “Before That Rooster Crows”. It clearly proves that you don’t have to sound dated to respect and celebrate the great music of the past.”
— Marc Applegate, Host of “The Nine O’clock Blues” on KUNC 91.5FM
“Felonius has long been a...proponent of older blues styles and his love of that music shines like a searchlight at a car lot on a cloudy night, with fluid slide and delicate finger picking.
Jeff “Felonius” Smith and his cohorts serve up a baker’s dozen blues tunes in pre-WWII style, including six originals, and the emphasis is on fun....
This disk was clearly a labor of love that will appeal to blues fans who enjoy unamplified music played on the porch or street corner...Count me in. ”
— Jim Primock, for Colorado Blues Society’s Holler newsletter, Oct.-Nov. 2014
HOOLAY MOOLAY (2007)
Felonius Smith’s third CD release, “Hoolay Moolay”, is his first since making his home in Boulder, Colorado. It features toe-tappin’ arrangements of acoustic Roots-Of-The-Blues songs by Bukka White, Tampa Red, Fred McDowell, and Blind Willie McTell, as well as several Felonius Smith originals.
Recorded around two stereo-placed microphones, “Hoolay Moolay” achieves the natural, honest sound of a vintage acoustic blues trio playing right in your living room! It was mixed by Butch Hause (Norman Blake, Peter Rowan) and mastered by two-time Grammy winner David Glasser.
Jeff “Felonius” Smith’s slippery National slide and snappy finger picking guitar style transports one back some 80 years, relaxing on a river bank in southern Mississippi. Jeff Gagliardi’s soulful harmonica interplay with Felonius brings to mind the synchronous musical union of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. Rounding out the trio is Scott Johnson, whose warm yet percussive approach to his upright bass provides the perfect backbeat for the group’s old-time, traditional sound.
“Jeff ‘Felonius’ Smith’s new album Hoolay Moolay is a superior recording of Acoustic Folk/Blues played with polish and panache. This album is a must listen if you love the Blues. It has a focus and clarity not often found in any genre of music. The band is red hot, too! Pure Acoustic Back Porch Pickin’ — what could be finer...?”
— David Stafford, KKUP’s Friday Folk-Off
“Felonius Smith is keeping the country blues and Piedmont style alive. Jeff ‘Felonius’ Smith is carrying the torch and doing it well! His clean picking style on his collection of National guitars immediately brings to mind Tampa Red and Blind Blake. The rock-steady upright bass is handled by Scott Johnson and the harmonica chores fall to Jeff Gagliardi (this CD is worth recommending just for his playing)! If you’re a fan of country blues done right, don’t wait, and go see these guys in the flesh.”
— John Toebbe, Director, Colorado Blues Society