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  • Bryon Harris

The Gene Smith Band - 'Plastic Covers'

Gene Smith is a prolific songwriter who has been building his original song catalog for forty years. He writes universal, down-to-earth material centered around real life experiences from serious to amusing and everything in between. He has performed as a front man for many groups including Boris Garcia, Psych-A-Billy, Sunhill Down, The Turnips and Buddha’s Kitchen. Each group has brought a different interpretation to his music.

In 2013, Gene approached bassist Chris Henderson for collaboration. The two, who go by the name "The Gene Smith Band," would revisit Gene's vast catalog and perform the songs as Gene originally envisioned. Whether you are a fan from the past or a new fan just getting to know Gene's music, the single "Plastic Covers" off of 'Live at Puck' is a great way to to get acquainted with his music and The Gene Smith Band.

"Plastic Covers" opens up with a spoken statement "Here's a song that means nothing at all" followed by a sparse arrangement of clean acoustic chords strummed throughout on the quarter with splashes of impressive mandolin riffs. As the song moves forward, the arrangement builds very nicely with electric guitar, bass, drums and percussion. The result is a really good groove with all the instruments falling into place. The band has great articulation, sway and flow. There's a nice jam section half-way through that makes the entire experience feel live. The recording features Gene Smith, vocals and acoustic guitar and Chris Henderson on fretless bass along with Dan Messa, Drums; Dave Brown, lead guitar; Bud Burroughs on mandolin and Dexter Myers, percussion. Vocally, Gene's singing matches his material. His voice has a down-to-earth and laisezz-faire quality that digs in when the meaning calls for it. The lyrics, which are quite poetic, talk about a distaste for materialism. "I see you in you livin' in your limousine. No room for people in your government. You'd never admit your just an animal like me."

"Plastic Covers" is a song that will resonate with many listeners as it speaks to issues we can all relate to in this day and age. The Gene Smith Band delivers with meaningful lyrics, the ability to jam, interesting instrumentation, engaging arrangements and the ability to put it all together in a way that is fun to listen to. For more information, please visit their website.

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