An evening with Chris Smither


Chris Smither

Chris Smither

Saturday, September 27
7:30 pm

National Arts Centre
Fourth Stage

53 Elgin Street, Ottawa

Tickets: $25 at the NAC box office (no service charge) and online at

This concert is a presentation of the Ottawa Grassroots Festival (April 23-26, 2015, in conjunction with Folkzone (


Artist Bio – Chris Smither

Chris Smither draws deeply from blues and folk music, modern poets and philosophers. An exceptional artist with more than 15 albums to his credit, he receives ongoing praise for his dazzling guitar work, his gravelly voice, and his profound, beautiful songwriting. His rhythmic finger-picking style, strongly influenced by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins, is layered over the ever-present backbeat of his tapping feet.

Chris Smither grew up in New Orleans and learned to play his mother’s ukulele as a child. After moving to to Boston in his twenties, he developed his unique musical style and forged lifelong musical friendships. His songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Diana Krall, John Mayall and many others.

Chris Smither released a two-CD retrospective album entitled “Still on the Levee” in July, 2014, to celebrate 50 years as a recording artist. A book – “Chris Smither Lyrics, 1966-2012″ – contains lyrics to his entire song catalog along with selected photographs from his illustrious career. The upcoming CD “Link of Chain” features a who’s who of musicians interpreting his material, including Josh Ritter, Bonnie Raitt, Tim O’Brien, Loudon Wainwright III, Patty Larkin and many more.

“Chris Smither is an American original – a product of the musical melting pot and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world.” –Associated Press

Media contact: Chris White,, 613-327-9621

Philosophy of Ottawa Grassroots Festival


BobMusic Festivals are founded for many different reasons, so I wanted to clarify why I wanted to found Ottawa Grassroots Festival, and how I view it. The Ottawa Grassroots Festival was created so that folks of all ages can enjoy community through music and other performing arts.

To start with, the idea of a small, simple folk festival, one driven by volunteers and with a minimum of formal structure, has been percolating in my mind for a few years now. Chris White and I have frequently talked over the years about how great the Blue Skies Music Festival is, and how wonderful the vibe is there. They are in their 39th year, a remarkable achievement for any festival. In that time, three generations have grown up there. I have attended Blue Skies for the last 5 or 6 years in a row, and Chris for much longer. We have often wondered if that Blue Skies feeling could be cloned and implemented closer to Ottawa. Continue reading