Gregg A. Smith
Gregg A. Smith
Greg Smith was born Feb 7, 1951 in Honey Grove, Texas (about 70 miles northeast of Dallas) and moved to Portland, Oregon when he was about 17. "I got into the community choir, the high school band, and joined a working band, The Antoine Brothers with Nolan Struck as the lead singer" Smith has said. Some years later in 1985 Smith released a live record, "The Texas Blues Wailer" to little fanfare but in 1990 Smith managed to get his first studio record, "Money Talks", distributed through the then hot Soul/Blues label Ichiban Records. A second LP, "It's My Time", was also distributed through the label before he was signed to the label for 1997's "I Wanna Rock Ya". Unfortunately this was during Ichiban's decline and the record was soon relegated to cut-out bins. Smith sauntered on with his finest album to date, "Stacked In The Back" before temporarily eschewing his Soul/Blues sound for a contemporary R & B feel on "Forbidden Fruit". In 2005 he released a greatest hits compilation containing the hit "Has It Come To This". In 2010 CDS Records issued a new Smith album, "Forever Young" and then the all Blues "Caravan Of Dreams" followed by the Southern Soul "Wanted: One Soul Man". Currently he has one of the top rated Radio Shows in North Texas on station KNON,89.3Fm. You can listen every Friday from 9:00am-12:00pm
"The Texas Blues Wailer" (? 1985)
N/R Live recording made with the help of producer Phil York
"Money Talks" (Ultrax/Ichiban 1990)
*** Decent early 90s Soul/Blues from husky voiced DJ features fine, if derivative Downhome Blues numbers like "The Low Down", the Bobby Bland-blessed "Blues In My Blood" and the title cut penned mostly by producer Bruce Bonner with co-writers Smith, Joe Lois Bede, Larry brown and Beverly Davis. The album naturally sounds dated on Pop/R & B creations like "Bank And Benefits", "Looking For A Lady" & "You Are" but it's mostly Blues and even Deep Soul like "Stick And Stay".
"Party Warrior" (Prestige 1991)
N/R Reissue of "Money Talks"
"It's My Time" (Ultrax/Ichiban 1992)
1.Full Time Lover
**Dated production sound and a high percentage of mediocre songs derail Smith's second set. While it boasts some fine Downhome Blues ("Full Time Lover"), even sweet Urban Contemporary Soul ("Lovers Hangover") the dated production and flatness of the performances make the record sound like an artifact from the immediate post-80s trash heap for Blues music.
"I Wanna Rock Ya" (Ichiban 1997)
1. That's the Way
"Stacked In The Back" (Hometown 1999)
1. Stacked in the Back
***1/2Despite the ridiculous album cover this is Smith's best record to date. The title track, "Clean Up Man", "Trouble" & "Jack Pot" are superb Soul/Blues cuts in the Johnnie Taylor, Johnny Adams or Bobby Bland styles. Remixes of both "Stuck On You" & "Stick & Stay" are superior to the originals. The latter a fine Southern ballad. "Giving You Your Propers" is a great showcase for Smith's rich voice. The only misstep is the rap-polluted "Ain't No Thang". "Stacked" is as good as anything his more popular contemporaries have been releasing.
"Forbidden Fruit" (Trinity River 2002)
1. Forbidden Fruit
***A change of pace for Smith. Instead of Soul/Blues he opts for a plush, contemporary R & B vibe. Though he has a strong voice for it it was doubtful Smith could crash Freddie Jackson territory at this stage in the game. Perhaps if he started as a balladeer...? Smith sounds seductive on "Forbidden Fruit", gets his croon on for "Hush Boy" and his inspiration on "Laughing At Us". Also interesting is "Stayed So Long", which seems to be the template for his more recent single "Has It Come To This". Overall, "Fruit" may not be what you have come to expect but it's a genuinely fine record.
"Greatest Hits: Collector's Edition" (G-Man 2005)
1. Has It Come To This 2. Tonight 3. That's The Way 4. Blues In My Blood 5. Stuck On You 6. I Wanna Rock You 7. Stacked In The Back 8. The Low Down 9. Money Talks 10. Dance With The One 11. Louisiana Bound 12. Fell In Love 13. Stick And Stay 14. Knocking On Heaven's Door 15. Mother
**** It's easy to believe Smith is also a radio DJ when you hear that deep smoky voice chat us up on the new hit "Has It Come To This". Like Frank-O Johnson he also has a strong singing voice able to deliver on many forms of blues n' soul. "Has It Come To This" is the brand new single on this satisfyin' 15 song collection. Smith reminds us how we got our woman. "...you got her by taking flowers to her at her job...by taking her out to dinner and dancing, swingin'...you used to give her money to go to the beauty salon" but you don't do it anymore. Hey, the women get reminders too on what they used to do so it's equal opportunity. This is one of the better "same thing you did to get her/do the same thing to keep her" songs I've heard. Songs like this balance out the many "cheating" songs in the Southern Soul/Blues world. Next Smith puts on a vocal tour de force with "Tonight", a fantastic bluesy ballad that is part Ray Charles and part Johnny Adams. A gem! Nearly as good is "Stick And Stay" and his surprising deep soul rendition of Bob Dylan's "Knocking On Heaven's Door". I'm sure Bob would be proud. Smith also excels on soul/blues winners like "Stacked In The Back", "Louisiana Bound" and the B.B. King-influenced "Stuck On You" and takes you to the dance floor on "Dance With The One", featuring a squawking sax solo by Don Diego plus the Lucky Peterson-produced "Fell In Love". And like a sweet after dinner port Smith closes the disc with a tender ode to mama ("Mother"). A must have CD
"Triple Play Swing" (G Man 2008)
1. Romeo & Jez
**** Radio personality Gregg A. Smith, like one Frank-O Johnson, I've always found as perfectly strong singers/artists that could hang tough with all the other records they spin while a DJ. Don't be fooled by the seemingly homemade album cover this is a great sounding set of Downhome Blues and Southern Soul. The obvious centerpiece of the project is the three-part saga of lovers Romeo & Jez, who were first introduced to us in the song "Stayed So Long" from the obscure full-length "Forbidden Fruit". That cut is reprised here in superior fashion and is joined by the "part 2", "Has It Come To This" (remixed), which was a considerable hit single from his "Greatest Hits: Collector's Edition" set. But now the third of the trilogy is here with the plaintively-titled "Who's Romeo & Jez". All three follow a similar pattern: Smith narrates the story in his deep, sexy tone atop a a bubbling musical backdrop punctuated by the sweetly-sung refrain. Having the full trilogy here is mist welcome but it isn't even the highlight of the album overall. The one-two "live" punch of "Angel" and "Stand By Me" are perhaps the best ten-plus minutes of his career. Smith can sang fo' sho. "Angel" will please fans of the great one Bobby 'Blue' Bland. Speaking of Bland the slow burning blues cuts "Trouble" and "One Day At A Time" can give the legend a run for his money these days. Bottom line: Gregg A. Smith deserves his propers and here's to hoping this album finds a audience.
"Forever Young" (CDS 2010)
1. Forever Young (with Bobby Rush,
Lucky Peterson & Carl Marshall)
Though he is likely more well known as a DJ at Dallas' KNON Smith has had a lengthy career as a recording artist. According to Smith he was signed at the same time as rapper Vanilla Ice by John Abbey's Ichiban Records. This doomed Smith' first album "Money Talks" since Ice was breaking out and required attention. Smith ended up recording four albums for Ichiban and then started his own G Man Records imprint. "Forever Young" is his first for CDS and the title track deserves the spotlight. The down home Blues features Smith, Carl Marshall, Bobby Rush and Lucky Peterson. It's the only straight Blues cut on the album, however. "When It's Just The Two Of Us" and "Time To Go To Work" are upbeat dancers and "When People Talk" an epic slow song.
"Caravan Of Dreams" (CDS 2012)
Hours A Day
"Wanted: One Soul Man" (CDS 2013)
1. Can You Still
"Love Expressions" (G Man 2013)
1 Love Expressions 2:03
"Blues You Can Use" (G Man 2016)
1 Ain't Thirsty No More
"The Real Deal" (G Man 2020)
1 Wouldnít Treat A Dog (The Way
You Treated Me)]