Two Guitar Men …

(Staff Photo: Richard Davis) Gus Smith, Matt's father, joins in onstage during the Matt Smith Group's CD release party at Greenhouse Grille.

… And A Little Lady

Three generations take stage at ‘Now or Never’ CD release

By Richard Davis
TFW Staff Writer

If you get a chance to hear Matt Smith play live, take it.

Seriously. Fan of masterful guitar work that can go from simply cool to dazzling rip and shred? Matt Smith can satisfy that craving. Like smooth, legato strokes that approach violin-like intensity? Yep, can do. Need a big, badass hairy beard? Yeah, he’s got that.

Oh, that’s not to say you shouldn’t snag a copy of his triumphant new CD release. Not at all. The Matt Smith Group’s “Now or Never” album, made with recording partners and nationally accomplished musicians Jeff Sipe and Reed Mathis, on drums and bass respectively, is excellent. The organized chaos of the traveling jazz album is a delight to listen to — in particular for me the tracks dominated by jazz-rock fusion elements with sizzling guitar riffs.


As good as it is though, the live performance during the CD release party Saturday night at Greenhouse Grille in Fayetteville was even better. Some people sound good recorded, but not live and vice versa. Matt Smith, Sipe and Mathis sound great recorded, but live — well, their full energy exceeds what can be contained on a disc.

Favorite moment of the concert Saturday? When Smith’s father, Gus, a guitar guru in his own right, and his kindergarten-age daughter, Annsley, joined him on stage. Three generations performing together with the youngest scat singing and leaving the stage to wild and well-deserved applause.


You can buy “Now or Never” at and, as well as area venues. For a chance to hear Matt Smith live, head to Ella’s Restaurant on Friday.

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Categories: Music
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