Hi Greg, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great.  Spring in Savannah is always the best at this time of the year.  The azaleas are in bloom and music is in the air.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Redemption Road?”

I recorded a song called “The Bridge” for this album and I loved the way it turned out, and  that was the album’s working title for a while.  Then later I wrote and recorded “Redemption Road”, and a few other songs, and it became clear to me that the album was about a journey.  So I separated the album into three “chapters”, specifically: “Reconnaissance”, “Reflection” and “Redemption”.  Overall, the single and the album are about exploring, reflecting and then finding redemption for past sins and slights.  And along the way, to learn to forgive others as well.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I think we’re all looking for some version of redemption.  The song is about a relationship that ended two years previous, and he’s now looking to make sense of it…why they were together and why they split.    Even though some breakup songs are about anger, it’s not an angry song by any means; the wind has reminded him of her, and he’s wondering where she is and what she’s doing.  It’s a kind of contemplation of the nature of their relationship, and how he has found redemption walking a new path without her.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

Yes.  Last December we shot a bunch of videos in my studio for songs from my previous albums, along with a few songs from the new album.  The boys in the band are: Zack Greene on bass, Bob Duncan on rhythm guitar, Tom Murray on drums, and of course, I’m singing the track. Here’s a link to it:
There are also several other videos of mine on my website; including several three-song “mini-concerts”…two are up now, and others are on the way soon:

Why did you decide to name the album after this song in particular?

Because “Album Number Eleven” didn’t seem to fit.  lol  Seriously though, I really liked the way the song came out, both musically and lyrically.  And it’s a universal theme for most of us that have been through complicated relationships (which pretty much describes all relationships, right?)  

How was the recording and writing process?

Each song on the album was created slightly differently.  For “Redemption Road”, the music came first and then the lyrics.  I came up with the line, “Walking down Redemption Road…” and the rest of the lyrics flowed from there.  I think my best songs are created that way.

What role does Savannah play in your music?

Savannah is great.  I love it.  It’s a postcard of a town; Spanish moss on live oak trees in picturesque city squares.  And it has a vibrant, though understated music scene.  I grew up in a big city and gravitated toward smaller towns later in life, and eventually found my way here.  And the peacefulness of the town is helpful in realizing my music.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Everywhere.  I’ve always been a “listener”; my grandmother always said “you learn more with your ears than your mouth”, so I’ve tried to pay attention to the world around me.  Everyone has a story, if you’re willing to listen.  “Redemption Road” is my eleventh album and for some unknown reason I’ve been able to keep finding inspiration to keep writing.

What else is happening next in Greg Smith’s world?

Lots.  People seem to like the album, which is really great, so I’m making plans to play out at clubs with the band as soon as the world opens up this summer.  I’m also in the midst of writing and recording two more albums: one is going to be called “Home Again”, which is a re-imagining of some of my songs from previous albums.  And the other is new, original material, to be called “Something I Said”.  I haven’t really minded being cooped-up during the pandemic; it gave me time to finish the album.  But like everyone else, I’m ready to get out and see how the world has changed.  

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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