Smokey Hormel (born 1959), is a session guitarist who has recorded with Adele, Beck, The Backyardigans, R. L. Burnside, Johnny Cash, Cibo Matto, Neil Diamond, The Dixie Chicks, John Doe, Erasmo Carlos, Steve Earle, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, Josh Groban, Marianne Faithfull, Wanda Jackson, Norah Jones, K. D. Lang, Sean Lennon, David Lynch, Jennifer Nettles, Beth Orton, Kid Rock, Joe Strummer, Justin Timberlake, Rufus Wainwright, and Tom Waits.
Hormel was born and raised in Los Angeles. His uncle owned the The Village Recorders studio. As a teenager he studied with legendary Texas Playboys, Benny Goodman guitarist, Jimmy Wyble. In the mid-1980s, he played lead guitar with The Radio Ranch Straight Shooters and later joined The Blasters, with whom he toured the US and Europe from 1988 until 1992. At the same time, he formed The Blue Shadows with Lester Butler, performing weekly in Hollywood at the King King club, where the band was chosen by producer Rick Rubin, to record with Mick Jagger and Johnny Cash. Throughout the early 90s, he toured and recorded with John Doe, the two of them appearing together in Georgia with John C Reilly and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
In 2003, he formed Forro in the Dark with Rob Curto and Mauro Refosco, playing a popular after-hour set every Wednesday night at an east village bar. The band recorded and performed with David Byrne, Seu Jorge, Bebel Gilberto and Steve Earle.
From 2004 to 2010, he was a guitarist and composer for the Nickelodeon cartoon series The Backyardigans.
Smokey's film score work includes films by Michel Gondry Be Kind Rewind, David Lynch The Cowboy and The Frenchman and The Straight Story, Miguel Arteta Star Maps and Chuck and Buck, Steve Buscemi Trees Lounge and Lonesome Jim, Kelly Reichardt Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy and Certain Women and Todd Haynes I'm Not There.
Since 2006, he has led Smokey's Round-Up a small western swing combo that plays weekly at Sunny's Bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
- Official site
- Smokey Hormel discography at Discogs
- Smokey Hormel at AllMusic
- Smokey Hormel at the Internet Movie Database
- Browne, David (2006-07-30). "Smokey Hormel: This Guitar for Hire, Eccentrics Preferred". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
- "Guitarist to the Stars Smokey Hormel Gets Big Tones From Vintage Gibson Hollowbodies and Amps". Gibson. 2009-08-17. Retrieved 2015-11-11.