To hear Eric Smith tell it, he’s just this guy who loves to make music. If you’ve ever been to the Sidebar, you’d know him right off the bat, because when he’s not on the road touring, he’s probably pouring you a shot, his grandfather’s name tattooed in bold black lettering on his forearm.
The homegrown handsome lead singer/songwriter for Killer Meteor is modest, speaking often and with genuine affection for his collaborators and band mates, past and present. He lights up like an all-night diner sign (the kind without missing letters) when he talks of being on the road for his art, even through the grimier parts like having to camp out on the side of the interstate while trying to figure out how to get the van to where it needs to go.
If you're not familiar with them, Killer Meteor’s sound is part “takin’ em to church,” and part “midnight rambler,” a testament to Smith’s earlier influences which include classic country, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles. Their first album, Rescue Dogs and Ravens is primarily Smith’s brainchild in terms of songwriting, but also a labor of love for the folks that rallied around him to get the job done, including veteran music-man Fred Sexton, long-time co-conspirator, Robby Cosenza of These United States, Duane Lundy of Shangri-La Productions, and Smith’s cousin, Corey Wilson lead singer for Coralee and the Townies.
While Smith is excited about a DVD in the works featuring live performances by Killer Meteor and photos taken by noted regional photographer, Richie Wireman, Smith strives for integrity above all in the music, “I feel like Killer Meteor brings a certain honest piece of work to the listener. Honest and exposed. Struggles and triumphs. Desert highways and long lonely nights. Hard working hands and barbed wire.”
But for Smith, anyway, before the open road and calluses, he had to learn how to tune in, “I tend to be drawn in on matters of the heart and human emotion. If it doesn't hurt a little, I may not be drawn to it...As a singer, my mother is a southern gospel singer and I grew up listening to her, in the car and around the house, singing along with old country songs. She never sang a melody that was already there. If the song had four part harmony, she'd add a fifth. You can hear the purest of hearts pour out of her when she is singing. She gave me some of my fondest memories and the gift of an ability to hear music.”
Friday, November 26th is a “Musical Feast Housewarming at The Hive.” Five bucks gets you into this intimate set featuring Killer Meteor which is comprised of a veritable who’s who of local musicians: Eric Smith on lead guitar and vocals, Emily Hagihara on drums/background vocals, Blake Cox on bass/vocals, and Rachael Yanarella on violin.
Another local gem, Carla Brown, owner of The Hive, a “green salon” is a true arts enthusiast with a passion for hosting artists and musicians in her space. “It’s a listening room situation,” she says, “People feel obligated to actually listen to the music.” This is a welcome contrast to the typical bar scene where people are shouting out cocktails over the type of music that should be stopping hearts and traffic when housed in the right facility. So between the acoustics of The Hive and the layout of this intimate space, the audience is in for a rare treat and should be prepared to see more than one lens lurking around as the performance will be officially filmed and photographed.
Smith and Brown are also encouraging folks to bring a gift of a non-perishable food item, gently used or unworn warm clothing, or bring a child’s toy or game (preferably in original packaging). “For this particular event, I would love to spend more time at the end of the evening loading up more donations than our gear,” Smith asserts, “This is partly a charity event and it's a tough time of year for a lot of folks. Hell, it's a tough time for everybody. I would love to be able to contribute somehow and this is one way I know how.”
And when it comes to the music, Smith is confident that fans and new converts will walk away pleased. Reese Richardson will be opening with a solo set and as far as Killer Meteor goes, “We'll be performing some new material at The Hive and I'm very excited about that. This project has, from the beginning, consisted of a rotating cast of wonderful and talented musicians. Without just one of them would change the music entirely, on record and live. Having said that, the current and longest standing line-up is certainly a bona fide representation of what Killer Meteor is and means to me.”
Who: Killer Meteor
What: Musical Feast Housewarming at The Hive
Where: The Hive Salon, 156 Deweese Street
When: Friday, November 26, 2010 9 PM
Cover: $5 + Canned good or non-perishable food item/gently or unused clothing/toy or game in original packaging
Merch: “Rescue Dogs and Ravens” $10
Killer Meteor is also scheduled to perform December 23 at Cosmic Charlie's.
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December Calendar; Lexington KY