Now Playing: Daystorm Music’s ‘Greg Smith (2017-2018)’

Image courtesy of Daystorm Music

Don’t miss the exclusive video at the end of the article debuting here on “Now Playing”!

Daystorm Music has just released a new album. It’s titled Greg Smith (2017-2018). The new release is dedicated to the memory of the late Greg Smith. But first, for those not yet familiar with the artist in question, a bit o’ background.

Greg Smith

Image courtesy of Daystorm Music

The late Dr. Gregory LaMonte Smith, also known as Greg Smith, was a physician, musician and singer/songwriter who died at home in Rapid City, South Dakota on August 29. Smith was born in New Albany in Indiana.

Nevertheless, he reportedly considered Milwaukee, Wisconsin his “hometown.” (He went to med school at the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his Internal Medicine residency there in 1997 which led to an academic post there as well.)

His rock resume includes co-founding the 1980s rock group The Tambours with drummer Kirk McFarlin. He was a songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist for the band. The group also included a bevy of bassists including David Thornquist and Kelp Chofs.

They played live throughout the midwest club scene but never released an album. In the mid to late 1990s though, Smith recorded several self-released discs under the stage names Adrenochrome, +3-, and Raspberry Season.

In the early 2000s, Smith chose a career as a hospitalist at Black Hills Surgical Hospital in Rapid City and the Rapid City Regional Hospital. He was reported to be “instrumental” in the creation of a special nocturnist program to ensure quality care 24/7. He was Chief of Medical Staff and an intensivist caring for critically ill patients.

Image courtesy of Daystorm Music

Two years ago he contacted his pal producer and engineer Gary Tanin about recording a new album. Unfortunately, Smith passed away prior to the realization of the project.

In a recent email, Tanin spoke highly of Smith: “Greg was one of the most kind, selfless, caring, humble, generous and genuine human beings I have met and he will be dearly missed by those who knew him and those he touched through his music and as a healer.”

Signature sound

Smith’s signature sound was a fluid blend of multiple music genres including rock, dark pop, and psychedelia. Tanin expanded on Smith’s influences and sound:

“Greg Smith’s early influences included Pink Floyd, Meat Puppets, Radiohead, XTC and of course earlier psychedelic era Beatles. He loved the illusory poetic imagery in those bands’ works.”

Greg Smith (2017-2018)

Greg Smith (2017-2018) is a posthumously-released platter. It includes Smith on guitar and vocals and producer Tanin on background vocals and keyboards.

Track by track

The 7-track disc opens on “Just Like Alice.” This one is an effective intro to the tuneful team-up of Smith and Tanin. It moves and would be great on a road trip and college radio.

The second selection is “Janelle.” Written by Smith, this has a fun feel to it that is nothing less than inspired and ends too quickly for your rockin’ reviewer’s tastes.

The next number is “Call Me Charlie (Manson).” This one was also written by Smith and Tanin. It has a slightly dark feel to it but considering the subject, it’s quite apropos and works well.

It’s followed by yet another Smith-Tanin collaborative effort “Change In The Weather.” This one has a great little groove to it and is perfectly placed on the CD to boot.

“Lucy (Lucipher Sam)” is an adaptation of material by Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett. Whether you’re getting mellow old school style or looking for something interesting for your Halloween mix this one will do the trick. It’s also another great example of some of the stuff Smith had been playing for years.

“Coming Down” was originally written by Smith under the guise of +3-. This is a bit more frantic and has an aggressive identity all its own. College radio-friendly even today.

The closing cut, titled “Pinocchio” is a cover of A Tanin tune off the XPensive Dogs disc, Dog Eat Dog (2006). Forget Disney, please. They’ve got no strings to hold them down here. This too would still work on college radio today. It’s a fun, individualistic song that almost reminds one of material once heard on the Ralph Records label.

Overall, the album is but a sampling of songs previously performed and a brief foreshadowing of what musically might have been. Still, it effectively introduces that special Smith nuance that some may now never otherwise know. Tanin spoke of Smith and his most recent material:

“I cherished working with Greg on his most recent material because he was never satisfied by the success of his previous accomplishments. His guitar work continued to improve (and he was never mediocre.) His vocal style too was also markedly maturing as well (He had taken on vocal coaching), thus these last songs found him at a peak of many of his abilities.”

The CD is a modest tribute to what Smith was and what he might have been. So check out Daystorm Music’s Greg Smith (2017-2018) because, “Just Like Alice,” you might really like it.

Here is the exclusive video courtesy of Daystorm Records: