First Listen: Chris Smither – Drive You Home Again

20TH ANNIV-ss-LOGO2014 was a milestone year for American folk and blues icon Chris Smither. Having turned 70, Smither celebrated his 50th year in the music industry by releasing Still on the Levee, a 24-track collection of newly-recorded versions of songs spanning his five decades as an artist. To further commemorate this golden anniversary, Signature Sounds issued Link of Chain: A Songwriters Tribute to Chris Smither, a star-studded gathering of artists including Loudon Wainwright III, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Alvin and Josh Ritter covering songs from the Smither canon.

Also celebrating an anniversary in 2014 was Signature Sounds itself. As they did for their 10th anniversary, the Americana and folk label will issue Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Favorite and Rarities from the Second Decade on 3 March. The 18-track release will includes artists from the label’s roster such as Crooked Still, Peter Mulvey, Eilen Jewell, Lake Street Dive and the aforementioned Smither. A majority of songs on the release are previously unreleased, including a new version of Smither’s “Drive You Home Again,” the title track from his 1999 album.

Well, yes, I know you think I’m crazy
Yeah, but we’re almost to the end
And if I drive you to distraction
I will drive you home again

Sixteen years later, the full-view blues of the original is given blinders, carrying a menacing undercurrent in Smither’s weathered but still-strong delivery.

Stream “Drive You Home Again” below and pre-order Signature Sounds 20th Anniversary Collection: Favorite and Rarities from the Second Decade via Amazon.

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