Husband and wife duo, Zack Smith and Cailyn Doyle-Smith, make up Smooth Hound Smith, which began in Southern California, and then to endless club gigs in East Nashville and opening for huge acts like The Dixie Chicks. Now the duo are releasing their new and third album, Dog In A Manger, on August 9 via Tone Tree.
The songs on Dog in a Manger‘s tracklist salute the far corners of the Americana world, touching upon everything from greasy, big-city blues to acoustic folk. There are slide guitar solos, coed harmonies, a Fleetwood Mac cover and a cameo by the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson tossed into the mix, too.
“I wasn’t conscious of it as I was writing this songs,” Zack explains. “But I realized when I finished that I can relate the lyrics back to was what my dad went through before he passed. He had been diagnosed with CJD (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease), which attacks the brain. Literally one in a million people suffer from it. There is no cure. The fatality rate is 100 percent, usually within a year.”
In fact, he died just three weeks after being diagnosed, though Zack and Caitlin were able to make it back to L.A. to say goodbye literally minutes before he passed. “That really lit a fire under my ass to get things done in a way I couldn’t have predicted, Zack says. “Caitlin and I knew it was sink or swim. We had to put out new content and it had to be good.”
Dog In A Manger was recorded in the couple’s living room and tracked on Pro Tools. As much as they’ve achieved with Dog In A Manger, Smooth Hound Smith know that this is just one stop down their path toward promising horizons. “Caitlin and I feel like this is exploratory,” Zack explains. “It’s like, say, leather working: If you put in five or ten years of working leather, you’re going to be pretty good at it. If anybody throws a job at you, you’ll be able to do it.
“I feel that way about music. Everyone of our songs is a little different from the others. The next song I write could be the best one I’ve ever written. It could be the worst song I’ve ever written. But I do know that five years from now Caitlin and i are gonna be making music much better than anything we’d made before.”
Source: Press Release