Good Tunes & Bad Jokes

A poodle walks into a bar with a pirate under one arm and a bowl of pudding under the other, turns to the bartender and says…

“Aaaaaaargh! Got any Cool Whip?”

It was that kind of night for The Smith Family: good tunes and bad jokes. It’ll be that kinda’ night a week from Thursday at Yabbey in Brooklyn. You should come — I’ll be singing Hank Williams songs for God’s sake.

So yeah, I’m just in from 23d Street where The Family got together to run the set which is now 18-songs strong. I’m the rodeo clown of the group. Which doesn’t entertain Kevin much — he’s the front man, so he’s stressin’ — but it passes rehearsals nicely. Actually, bassist Roy Smith had a good pirate joke. It goes like this:

A pirate walks into a grocery store and asks a cashier, “I need a can of baked beans with exactly 139 beans.” “Why 139?” the cashier asks. “Aaaaaaargh! ‘Cuz just one more would be too faaarty!”

It was that kind of night for The Smith Family: good tunes and bad jokes.

But seriously, folks, meet The Family.

Kevin Anthony-Smith: A Texas-bred electronica star returns to his roots. Growing up, Kev’s family had weekend hootenanys. We’re reprising many of the songs he sang with his grandmother as a kid. Kev’s the backbone, the glue, and the whip.

The Reverand Nick Dedring-Smith: Works for a multinational bank by day, plays pedal steel by night. Nick’s a walking encyclopedia of musical knowledge.

Sister Ren Whitaker-Smith: Our fair sister is a filmmaker who summers in Block Island. She’s wide-eyed, tuned-in, and always quick with a smile.

Roy Shimmyo-Smith: Roy likes to remind me that songs have form. He holds it down.

And me, Benjamin Wagner-Smith: I sing the high ones, the sad ones, and the rockin’ ones. And generally distract everyone.

So… that was today. MTV. Country music. Eighty degrees and sunny. Me, sunburned from too long in the convertible. Me, constantly hungry. Me, wishing I was outside. Me, bracing myself for a pretty busy coupla’ weeks.

First and foremost, I’ll be performing my songs on Thursday, May 20th at 83 Spring Street. Cellist Julia Kent and drummer Todd Cohen will be backing me up. And singer/songwriter Casey Shea will be opening. Plus there will be box wine.

But first, the Brooklyn Half Marathon, a solo living room show in Boston, the Smith Family gig, a solo living room show in Philadelphia, then the Broad Street 10 Miler.

I’m tired just thinking about it all. So … g’night!

Related Posts