Chris Smither, What Was the First Song You Ever Performed in Public?

November 11th, 2014, 12:00 pm by Greg

“‘The Jailhouse Blues’ was the very first blues song that I ever learned, and I’ve been playing it ever since. I learned it from a Lightning Hopkins recording, and I think he probably learned it from Bessie Smith’s recording. But nobody really knows who wrote it; it’s always been credited as traditional.

“I think I probably started fooling around with that song when I was 17, and I’d never recorded it before, but I always meant to. I finally put it on an album when I was 50 years old, so I guess you could say that I was working on that song for 32 or 33 years.

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“Fortunately, I think I got it right.”

In support of his new 2-CD career retrospective album, “Still on the Levee,” blues-folk veteran Chris Smither celebrates his 50th year in music when he plays at Club Helsinki in Hudson at 9pm on Friday (November 14) with his band, the Motivators. Opening the show will be Milton. Tickets are $30 in advance; $35 at the door.