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Blues rock guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter and producer, Josh Smith, is hailed the world over as a master guitarist with raw talent and power to spare. Blending his signature mix of blues, rock and jazz into dynamic original songs, Smith is known for his incendiary live performances, whether at the Grammy Awards or the Kennedy Center Honors with Mick Jagger, Raphael Saadiq and others.
"Anyone who has witnessed one of Josh Smith's live performances comes away in awe of the man's ability to fuse jazz, blues, and country into one neat package—with a technical ability that has to be seen to be believed." Music Radar
Josh has been named the 16th best living blues guitar player in the world by Guitar World Magazine.
Born in 1979, Josh started playing guitar at age six. Praised as a blues prodigy by the time he was 12 years old, he began playing at professional blues jams in South Florida, sitting in with such greats as Jimmy Thackery, Tinsley Ellis, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Johnny "Clyde" Copeland, Double Trouble, Joanna Connor and Kim Simmonds, among others. Jimmy Thackery said of the 14-year-old, "Josh is three heartbreaks away from being a true blues guitar genius."
That insight from Jimmy Thackery proved true as Josh began releasing CDs at age 14. His first national tour with his power trio, Josh Smith and the Frost, featured Josh as bandleader, vocalist as well as guitarist. The legendary producer Jim Gaines (Santana, SRV, Luther Allison, Steve Miller, Jimmy Thackery) produced Josh's third CD, Too Damn Cold and Woman. By 1998, he had completed four national tours with his band. Josh was then asked to support the great B.B. King on a number of shows.
Opening for B.B. King was just the beginning for this in-demand artist and lead guitarist for artists such as Taylor Hicks, Ricky Fante (Virgin Records), Raphael Saadiq, actress Taryn Manning, Universal Music Group hip-hop artists Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, and more. He has the distinction of inducting Neil Diamond into the Kennedy Center Honors with Raphael Saadiq's band and honoring Solomon Burke at the Grammys with Mick Jagger.
Within a year of moving to L.A. in 2002, Josh was retained by Virgin recording artist Ricky Fante and performed nationally and internationally with Ricky for the next two years. In 2006, Josh recorded his fifth CD, Deep Roots and continued to play with a variety of artists such as actress Taryn Manning, Universal Music hip-hop artists Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, to name a few. In 2007, Josh was hired by 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks to be his lead guitarist. They completed two national tours before Josh was hired as lead guitarist by Grammy Award winner Raphael Saadiq. Josh continues to tour with Saadiq.
In 2009, Josh released his 6th studio CD, Inception and in 2010 he was signed to Crosscut Records based in Germany. Crosscut re-released Josh's breakout album, Deep Roots as I'm Gonna Be Ready. In 2013, Josh's CD Don't Give Up On Me was also released in Germany, followed by Over Your Head in 2014. In 2016, Josh's jazz album, Still was released to critical acclaim as was Burn To Grow in 2018.
Along with touring the world, recording and performing with renowned artists such as Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Andy Timmons, Kirk Fletcher and others, Smith is also a producer and owns Flat V Studios in Los Angeles. He has produced artists Reese Wynans (Joe Bonamassa), Artur Menezes (winner of the Eric Clapton 2019 Crossroads Festival) Seth Rosenbloom, Jamey Arent and many more.
"Josh is one of my favorite musicians on the planet. His musical depth and guitar playing transcend the boundaries of the blues genre into a genre of his own. I am proud to always share a stage with him and even prouder to call him my friend.
Josh's latest and 11th album, Live At The Spud, was released January 8, 2020 on Flat V Music, and features Smith and his power trio recorded live over two nights at the legendary Baked Potato in Los Angeles. The new album features Smith on guitar and vocals, Gary Novak on drums and Trevor Carlton on bass. The goal was to present an unedited look at a normal night at the Baked Potato. Compelling, improvisational and explosive. Josh is currently touring worldwide in support of the live album.
Josh gladly endorses Morgan Amps, Vemuram Pedals, Eminence Speakers
"As a player, writer, singer and producer, Josh Smith has it all. Smith can truly rock. But his sense is strengthened by tasteful ideas, substantive playing, and a deep understanding of blues guitar." Vintage Guitar Magazine, August 2018.
Josh lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.