John Adam Smith
Session Date: 10/25/2018
Session Location: The Growing Project - Fort Collins, CO
Meet John Adam Smith. John grew up in the mountains of Northwest Montana. Primarily Missoula and the surrounding areas. Having been drawn to Colorado for quite some time, becoming friends and playing music with the band Elephant Revival in 2008/2009 was his first connection to what the lifestyle and music scene is like in CO. “They always made me feel like I had a spot here on the Front Range if I wanted to come down and that my music would be warmly welcomed here. Lots of life happened since then and in February of 2017, my dog and I packed up our life and rolled into Denver in my ‘85 Westy” (pictured in this session).
“My dad bought me a drum when I was 2 years old and it took from there. It all started for me on drums. Playing Gospel music on the drum set in church as a child. Percussion was a huge draw for me. I picked up a guitar and found melody before I was 10 and started learning and writing songs. Played open mics with my dad as a teenager. My dad was the catalyst for my siblings and I loving music. We all have it in our blood but he really was the one who steeped us in music culture as kids. Once I hit my mid-teens I was performing and writing and started a couple bands and that was the beginning.”
John grew up on a lot of different music. It began with the classics like Allman Brothers, Mark Knopfler, The Beatles, CSN & Y, Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, etc. In his teenage years, John got into heavier music and more rock & roll. “I started studying traditional West African music and it completely opened my mind and songwriting to incredible new musical territories.” As an adult, some other notable influences have been Kelly Joe Phelps, JJ Cale, Xavier Rudd, Steve Kimock, John Butler, Trevor Hall, Railroad Earth, Elephant Revival, Wood Brothers, and Ben Howard. “Musicians from all walks of life inspire me on a daily basis. I’m deeply grateful for every one of them.”
In particular, John loves playing outdoor festivals. “So much happiness and positive vibes all in one space hanging in the trees and celebrating life”. He’s also had the pleasure of opening up for a lot of musicians that he greatly respects. Such artists include Railroad Earth, Galactic, Trampled By Turtles, Brett Dennen, Elephant Revival, and Papa Mali. “So many amazing experiences on stages over the last 15 years”.
When asked for a story from the road, John had this to say… “I ended up buying Elephant Revival‘s tour bus in 2013. Touring around in that bus was a blast. There were some pretty wild times. I remember being on stage at a club and we were rocking a packed dance floor and I looked up and saw Lady Gaga dancing with some friends to my music. That was a pretty awesome moment. So many stories. Excited to get back on the road and make some more.”
Currently, John is looking for a solid rhythm section to dig into a bunch of new material. He has a full album (maybe two) worth of songs ready to record, and he’s excited to get into the studio! “Once I have a new record and a fantastic band, I can’t wait to get on the road and be sharing my music with the world again soon. “
“Eric Smith is the baddest dude I’ve met in Colorado! Stoked to develop a brand with him and create some family operations that can support our families and make some beautiful things happen around the world! No doubt!!”
John Adam Smith