John Hampton Tracks & Mixes Top Touring Artist
For his ninth album, popular touring artist Corey Smith picked Ardent Studios in Memphis and renowned engineer John Hampton (White Stripes, Gin Blossoms, Replacements) to capture the essence of his enduring success.
“It exceeded my wildest expectations,” remarked Smith. “I’ve always wanted to capture the sound of our live shows and I think my entire recording career has been building towards this new album at Ardent. I’d been working on some songs for the past year and suddenly I hit an explosion of new material and luckily found a window in our touring schedule to record.”
Corey Smith grew up in Jefferson, Georgia, and often visited the nearby college town of Athens, home of REM, The B-52’s and other indie bands. After attending Gainesville State College and the University of West Georgia, he then entered the University of Georgia, where he majored in Social Studies education. While studying, he began to develop his musical career and found popularity among his peers and fellow students. After graduation, he became a high school teacher of geography and history before deciding to pursue music full-time at the age of 28.
“What is so cool is how we recorded this new record at Ardent,” added Smith. “It was really old school with the band live and me recording vocals and guitar at the same time. Coming to Ardent made all the difference, where we felt so comfortable, with nothing else to focus on but the playing, where the musicians could see each other and feed off one another.”
Corey Smith’s first album, “Undertones,” contains one of his most requested songs, “Twenty One.” His second album was “In the Mood” and his third album, “The Good Life”, was written and released in 2005. Other albums include “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” “The Broken Record, and in 2012, “Live In Chattanooga.”
“Ardent has a tremendous gear selection and our engineer John Hampton was amazing to work with,” Smith explained. “It felt as if he was part of the band, taking our sound to another level. During playbacks, you could see that he was already thinking about the mix. He understood what we are all about, and the meanings of the songs, and worked his magic to bring it all to life. My goal is to tap into the tradition of American music and take it somewhere new. I don’t want to be categorized as this or that type of country artist, so I call my new direction in music “The Junkyard Revival.”
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