Following the release of his rapturously received new album Headlong, acclaimed singer and guitarist John Smith headlines The Stables on Monday.
Produced by Sam Lakeman and featuring Cara Dillon, Headlong comes dedicated to the memory of John Renbourn and is the follow up to Great Lakes, John’s widely-applauded and Radio 2-supported release of 2013.
Headlong is the fifth album in a hard-working, under-the-radar career that has earned the Devon-born Smith a dedicated following and secured the respect and admiration of his peers.
The late Renbourn called him “the future of folk music”, and Smith has opened shows for artists as diverse as Iron and Wine, John Martyn, Tinariwen and Gil Scott-Heron.
He has also played on sessions for Joan Baez, Cara Dillon and Joe Henry among others, with Lianne La Havas and Lisa Hannigan both recruiting him to play lead guitar in their bands.
Headlong was written across various touring stints playing guitar for the likes of La Havas and Hannigan, across the US.
Having wound up his own successful two year stint touring Great Lakes round the UK and across Europe, in early 2016 John was finally afforded a chance to come off the road, settle in one place for a while.
An opportunity which, for better or worse, Smith elected to decline.
He said: "When I finished touring Great Lakes I felt like I had time on my hands, and I thought rather than go home and try to write where it just didn’t feel natural, I wanted to keep on touring, it felt right”.
The album bears the indelible loss of John’s close friend Renbourn.
The death of the Pentangle legend took a particularly strong toll.
He said: "His death really hit me hard. He was so much more to me than someone I’d played with, and who had encouraged me.
"He was a friend as well, so I wanted to reference him on this album- that’s why I’ve dedicated it to his memory."
John Smith headlines the Milton Keynes venue on Monday, October 30.
Doors oepn at 8pm, tickets cost £15 in advance before fees.
Visit www.stables.org for more details.