David P. Smith Striving for a New Tomorrow

It’s been a few years since David P. Smith threw his infamous Hurtin’ Dance Party, a bawdy and tumultuous gathering of lonely drunken souls looking for love and a glimmer of hope. His music, like a healthy dose of booze, has a way of making the pain feel good. It’s got a wry sense of humour that’s best suited to the candid and dimly lit mood of the tavern and, unless you like a little hair of the dog, it’s not the kind of noise you want hangin’ over your head in the morning. Once hooked, however, it doesn’t matter how many promises you make yourself, the slow and tortured push and pull of David P. Smith’s accordion is forever a siren song. Smith’s live performance is a fascinating spectacle. At first unassuming, he generates enough kinetic energy to light the stage. The grey-haired man with thick-rimmed glasses and a pint in his hand seen talking to the sound guy earlier, is slow to reveal himself. Yet one anguished howl and haunting lament at a time, his shadowy figure becomes a conflagration that consumes those warming their hearts around him, eyes ablaze and wondering: "Who in God’s name is this?” It’s a sound steeped in country and various folk traditions, but once pressed between the ends of Smith’s accordion, its simplicity turns to frenzy. On Striving for a New Tomorrow, the party shows no signs of abating. This man’s mission, though weighed in anguish, will light the path for many on a long road ahead. Bless his hurtin’ soul. (Northern Electric)