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Guitarist John Smith to rock Clitheroe audiences at the Grand Theatre

He might have the world's most ordinary name, but folk-rocker John Smith is a man of extraordinary talent.
He might have the world's most ordinary name, but folk-rocker John Smith is a man of extraordinary talent.
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John Smith is told every day that he has the most common name in the world.

However, other than the name, there is nothing commonplace about this brilliant guitarist who arrives in Clitheroe for a solo show at the Grand Theatre on Wednesday.

Smith has played to audiences all over the world, in living rooms, festival tents and sold-out concert halls.

He tours relentlessly with a guitar and a suitcase, sometimes with a small band, always looking to communicate through a song and to share something special.

His early experiences of playing live came not from folk clubs but in the pubs of Liverpool, where he went to college.

The demands of those early performances perhaps explain the powerful singing voice that has seen his live act compared to John Martyn and Ray Lamontagne.

And, as his reputation grew, he provided support for Jackson Browne, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker; and in his occasional role as sidekick he has played guitar for David Gray and Joan Baez.

It’s all for the love of the guitar.

Smith plays a rumbling finger-style and sometimes uses a slide, often playing the guitar on his lap.

Smith will be showcasing tracks from his new album, Headlong, which bears the loss of his great friend and guitar hero John Renbourn, who called Smith “the future of folk music” and to whose memory Headlong is dedicated.

John Smith, Clitheroe Grand Theatre, Wednesday.

Doors open at 7pm with the gig kicking off at 7-45pm.

For more information or to book tickets for £13 each, please call 01200 421599 or visit www.thegrandvenue.co.uk