craig smith : liner notes / patrick brayer
When I think of the city of San Bernardino California, I think of a desert dust devil at a yard sale flinging a tattered moo-moo into a sun streaked sky. My suspicion towards divine intervention was once coalesced through that same paradoxical valley of smog and hard wind, amidst the early seventies, when I met a 16 year old Craig Smith. What could be more unlikely, I questioned, seeing the Virgin Mother of Guadeloupe in mud on the door of a Buick Riviera, or an Inland Empire surf rascal with shoulder length blonde hair being in love with, and mastering an Appalachian syncopation, alone and in the dark of his room. I have come forward to give Smith his due credit for the years of working with a clock maker’s precision at his craft, in the humblest of self defined manners. The musical notes are just the residue of the dedication. An applied dedication to create something mysteriously transparent to everything but the heart. That long drawn byproduct is manifest in the commodity called “tone”. Try to steal it and it turns and follows a tumbleweed up the San Gabriels. Segovia had tone, Django Reinhardt had tone, God knows Earl Scruggs lathered with tone. And tone comes from one place, and that place, my life of contemplation tells me, is “the house of process”. The love of the process of music is so much bigger than the music itself, that when the material tries to stand on it’s own, it is almost always considered illusion.