John Smith (musician)

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John Smith
Origin Essex, England
Genres Folk, Indie
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Guitar, Vocals
Labels BARP Ltd(UK),
Associated acts

James Newton Chadwick

John Martyn

John Smith is an English folk guitarist and singer from Devon. [1] He has toured Britain, Europe and America extensively, both solo and with artists such as Iron and Wine, James Yorkston, John Martyn, David Gray, [2] Jools Holland, Gil Scott-Heron and Lisa Hannigan[3] (whose records he also plays on). Smith remains unsigned to any record label, but has released four self-funded albums to date.

After the death of John Martyn, he appeared on a tribute album to Martyn alongside Bombay Bicycle Club, Paolo Nutini, Snow Patrol, Phil Collins and Beth Orton.[4][5]

His unique guitar style has influenced many artists including James Newton Chadwick and Ben Howard.[6] In particular Smith uses a variety of open tunings and percussive techniques (especially on the song "Winter").


  • The Fox and the Monk (2006)
  • Map or Direction (2009)
  • Eavesdropping (2011)
  • Great Lakes (2013)
  • Headlong (2017)


  1. ^ "John Smith biography". Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Announcement of John Smith supporting David Gray". Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "List of musicians playing on Lisa Hannigan's records". Archived from the original on 9 March 2013. Retrieved 9 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Review of "Johnny Boy Would Love This - A Tribute to John Martyn"". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  5. ^ "Johnny Boy Would Love This - A Tribute to John Martyn on Amazon". Retrieved 2013-03-09. 
  6. ^ "Ben Howard talks about John Smith's influence on his guitar style". Retrieved 2013-03-09. - Fan Website