Waves of Confusion

Gerard Smith

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Surprise! Here's the first single from the upcoming solo album, just in time for New Year's Eve!

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Welcome

Gerard Smith is a solo artist and a multi-instrumentalist/singer with the Celtic rock band Bill Grogan's Goat.  He has released two solo albums, "Hamtramck:Heaven", and "Idylls of the King of the Road", and is currently working on a third, more ambitious, recording project.  

Paul Tompkins Review of Lullabies In An Ancient Tongue 

Paul Tompkins 

July 26, 2021 · 

Sweet! My copy of Gerard Smith's Lullabies in an Ancient Tongue arrived. Modern day Pagan Celtic Grarage Rock/Metal from the outskirts of Detroit? Yes, please. 

No, this is not the Gerard Smith from TV On The Radio who sadly died in 2011, this is the Gerard Smith of Bill Grogan's Goat and this is his Covid Crisis album of stuff he had to get out of his head, but wouldn't quite work with his actual band. 

By most definitions this is Prog, and i don't have a rebuttal other than Celtic Garage Prog. It's also the first time i actually chose albums on purpose. You might not care, but reviewing U2 yesterday wasn't a happy coincidence and that feels suspiciously like lying in the bowels of the cockles of my heart. Luckily, it worked, because it turns out that Bono and the Edge didn't give a crap about Irish music until Bob Dylan asked them "you do know what i do is just the modern American version of Irish balladry, right?" 

Critics have nailed one thing about Gerard, and that's how refreshing it is to hear the old-school Prog influence not sung quasi-castrato. I'm not saying all you hyper-tenors can't sing Prog anymore, i'm just reiterating that Baritones and Basses can also sing whatever the hell you like. 

There's a monster in my guts trying to claw his way out...that's when it's time to remember to breathe. The point of that songs is do the opposite of whatever is making you miserable. Good advise, that. 

Now, you're all listening to it and thinking "Bottle, this is a 'random crap' album, but i thought you hated those." 

No, sorry, you're wrong. I hate good album concepts that turn out to be random crap. This is supposed to be random crap. Did you skip my second paragraph and forget the title of the album? It's his third solo album of songs he wrote while he was stuck at home trying not to test out the ventilators at his locally mismanaged hospital. There are crickets chirping and a violin solo in the middle of track 4. 

Here's a guy who knows how to play whatever he wants to play and i for one love it. I guess if i have to criticize something, the vocals are a little too far forward. Who cares? This is pure fun, i love it.

Review Of Lullabies In An Ancient Tongue from John Simms at Flight of the Sky Pilot 

Gerard Smith - Lullabies in an Ancient Tongue 

 As a genre, Progressive Rock has been around now for over 50 years: many hold that King Crimson's 'In The Court of The Crimson King' was the first album of that genre - others go back a little further and cite The Beatles' 'Sergeant Pepper...' or The Moody Blues' 'Days of Future Passed' as the nascent release. Wherever it started, the genre has been growing and developing - progressing, perhaps - over the years, with each generation drawing from the past and influencing the future in their own particular way. 

Into that great succession comes the new album from Gerard Smith, a Michigan native of Irish roots and a founder member of Bill Grogan's Goat, who gives us a wonderfully eclectic selection of songs that takes as its title a line from the aforementioned King Crimson album - "Lullabies in an Ancient Tongue." 

Don't let the title fool you, though: this is not collection of sleep-inducing tunes - far from it! The opening track, 'Standing Stone', comes in with a bang, and carries on with a driving rhythm and almost growl-y vocals, and the album proceeds with shifts in tempo, time-signatures and texture within and between songs, which is uplifting and keeps you on your toes. The nearest any of the songs come to a lullaby is 'Sweet Dreams and Soft Mornings' (which appears in two versions on the album), but even this, with its multiple time-signatures, would make rocking a child to sleep difficult! 

Drawing on the Progressive tradition, there are hints of Hawkwind, Genesis, and (of course) King Crimson in the music, but the 'ancient tongues' go further back too, with folky tinges in the guitars, mandolin, whistles, and even Uilleann pipes, and it's that mix of traditional and more contemporary musical themes that makes this a very alluring album of excellently written and constructed songs, and one that I would heartily recommend. 

To listen to, or even to buy, the album go to Bandcamp. 

Posted by John Simms at 13:19 

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Labels: 2021, Gerard Smith, prog

Proglodytes Review Of Lullabies In An Ancient Tongue 

ALBUM REVIEW: GERARD SMITH, “LULLABIES IN AN ANCIENT TONGUE” 

July 12, 2021 Thomas Hatton Reviews Leave a comment 

Gerard Smith’s latest solo album promises to be his most ambitious offering to date. Although there are consistent creative excursions throughout the music of Celtic rock group Bill Grogan’s Goat (Gerard’s band of many years), he found himself writing songs that operated better outside the confines of his ensemble group. Thus, Lullabies in an Ancient Tongue, Gerard’s third and most adventurous solo outing, was born. 

The album title, an apparent reference to King Crimson’s seminal track “In the Court of the Crimson King”, is a decent preface to the album itself, as the influence of early progressive rock bands such as Yes, King Crimson, and Moody Blues can be heard throughout the diverse tracks. There are several subdued and gorgeous tracks, such as “Sweet Dreams and Soft Mornings”, that seem to emerge from that era of prog. 

However, there are also a number of more modern, heavier tracks. One such track, “Breathe”, features some intense guitar shredding, as well as an extremely solid rhythm section comprised of District 97’s Tim Seisser on bass and Arkentype’s Simen Sandnes on drums. A heavy, dissonant verse and chorus evolve into a multi-part set of solos and sections, with some amazing displays of musical talent. The track ends with a Moody Blues-esque section, which encourages the listener to relax and be mindful, before it ends with what could almost be a metal tribute to Chet Atkins. Gerard’s willingness to genre-hop and explore is more than apparent on this 10 and a half minute track. 

This album is, for the most part, a departure from his primary project, Celtic group Bill Grogan’s Goat. However, it seems that Celtic influence finds a way to show through in his compositions. One such example is the intro track, “Standing Stones”, which begins as progressive metal, but features a Celtic-style breakdown near the end of the track. 

One of the most refreshing things about this album is Gerard’s voice. Rock music (and even progressive rock) generally favors screechy tenors, and I find that the tendency towards high pitched male vocals (as well as mixing issues) often times compels baritones to abandon their lower register. Gerard seems to know his voice well, and writes music that favors his baritone/bass tones. As it can often be jarring to hear people sing out of their register, the opposite is true: Gerard’s strong baritone/bass voice feels comfortable alone or in layers of harmonies, as is heard in leading single “Waves of Confusion”. 

Also of note are the instrumental passages. Gerard carefully assembled a roster of collaborators and friends that ended up adding a lot to the compositions. I know albums can be a pain to make, and there is a lot of work that is often involved, but the solos and instrumental parts sound like a lot of fun, and there is a long list of accomplished musicians who helped Gerard Smith bring this album to life. They deserve a definite shout-out! 

In short, Gerard Smith made a very enjoyable, diverse, and thoughtful progressive rock album that will be a welcome listen to fans of both classic and modern progressive music. 

Gerard Smith’s latest solo album, Lullabies in an Ancient Tongue, was released on June 22, 2021. Buy it here on Bandcamp.

 

New Solo Album Out Now! 

June 22 saw the release date for the new solo album, "Lullabies In An Ancient Tongue". Downloads went live that day, as well as ordering for the CD. There will also be a vinyl campaign on Bandcamp, at https://gerardsmith2.bandcamp.com starting soon. Stay tuned!

Welcome! 

...to my new and improved web site.  I hope you find the information that you seek here.  If not, please let me know.
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  • digiexpertsst
    digiexpertsst india
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    This is a subject which is principal to me... Unprecedented flourishing! Where are your contact subtleties notwithstanding? hiidude

  • Roy Steele
    Roy Steele Canada
    Iam driving the VAN to Utah....

    Iam driving the VAN to Utah....

  • jenny lee
    jenny lee
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    Well, I have always been a fan of Gerald Smith ever since he started in the world of music. That is the reason why I always seek help from essayoneday so I could come up with a good message to him. i just want him to know that there are so many people who appreciate his craft!

  • jenny lee
    jenny lee
    love this

    love this

  • Stephen Smith
    Stephen Smith Murray, UT
    Site looks great and love the tracks Gerard! I have a friend who loves Celtic so I sent him the link. He loves it too. We want to get you solo or with your band out to Utah! Ready for a tour once all this blows over?

    Site looks great and love the tracks Gerard! I have a friend who loves Celtic so I sent him the link. He loves it too. We want to get you solo or with your band out to Utah! Ready for a tour once all this blows over?

  • Lynda
    Lynda
    Rock it buddy!

    Rock it buddy!

  • Pauly
    Pauly The Brewery
    Rock on bud!!!

    Rock on bud!!!

  • Jeannine Smith
    Jeannine Smith Lapeer, Mi.
    Looking good at your new website.

    Looking good at your new website.

  • Paul
    Paul The Piney Woods, Mi.
    Great looking website.

    Great looking website.

  • Sally Hunter
    Sally Hunter Kentwood, MI
    New site looks great, my friend!

    New site looks great, my friend!

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