Live in Chattanooga by Corey Smith
For those unfamiliar with Corey Smith’s music, now might be the time to get to know this gifted singer/songwriter.
Hailing from tiny Jefferson, Ga., Corey has been making noise in his home state and throughout the Southeast for 10 years, and has released seven albums—including 2011’s The Broken Record on Average Joes—prior to his latest, Live in Chattanooga. Released, for now in a digital-only format, Live is a recap of Corey’s career, featuring live performances of some of his most popular songs, including the unapologetic look back at college life, “If I Could Do It Again,” his hilarious take on growing up, “Maybe Next Year,” and the tongue-in-cheek “I Love Everyone,” which he describes here as a more adult “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” (It’s OK . . . you can laugh when you hear it.)
The mood of Live in Chattanooga, incidentally his first full-length concert album, is definitely that of a party, and new fans will appreciate the energy and singalong enthusiasm of those present the night it was recorded at the Track 29 nightclub.
However, Corey does surrender to a few poignant moments. Songs such as “The Good Life,” “Speak the Truth” and “What Happened”—a tale of a struggling relationship set to a groovy beat—are moving, touching, but without slowing down the show or the album’s pace.
Taken as a whole, Live in Chattanooga is a solid and decidedly energetic representation of who Corey is as a performer and songwriter, an artist who may reside on the fringes of country music, but one who has earned the kind of rural cred that others can only dream of.