Thursday, August 12, 2010
It wasn’t until guitar phenom Sean Smith joined the Bay Area psych-folk outfit Citay that electric guitar was brought into the forefront of his life.
“Before I played with Citay I hadn’t touched an electric guitar in 10 years,” the P.G. native says. “I consider myself an electric guitarist now.”
After spending the last couple years touring and recording with Citay, Smith decided to take a hiatus from the band to focus on his own work. On Friday at Jose’s, his latest incarnation – an instrumental duo featuring longtime collaborator Spencer Owen on drums – predominantly features his newfound affinity for the plug-in guitar. (John Hearts Jackie, F**k I’m a Ghost and The Steelwells also perform.)
“This is a new approach to something we’ve been doing for a long time,” Smith says. “I would say we have more room for emotional emphasis.”
Half of the tunes the duo plays are Smith’s old acoustic songs reconstituted and the other half is new material that Smith calls American primitive-doom.
“We always try to throw something brand new and spontaneous in our live performances,” he says.
On the 11-minute “Ourselves When We Are Real,” which was recently released on a compilation called Beyond Berkeley Guitar, an ethereal tapestry of guitar flows like a wild river.
Smith also recently completed two albums and has a lot more electrified inspiration in store for the future.
“Performing is a constant learning process for me,” he says. “Earnest authenticity is something I always go for.”