LEVITT FREE CONCERT SERIES PRESENTS
SMOOTH HOUND SMITH
ANTHONY RUPTAK & THE MIDNIGHT FRIENDS
Smooth Hound Smith is a foot stompin' American roots duo comprised of "one-man-band" Zack Smith (guitars/vocals/foot drums/harmonicas/banjo) and Caitlin Doyle (vocals/percussion). Established in 2012, and currently based in East Nashville, TN, they record and perform a varied and unique style of folky, garage-infused rhythm & blues. Using primal foot percussion, complex, fuzzed-out, finger-picked guitar patterns, warbled harmonicas, tasty harmonies and A LOT of tambourine, they are able to create something rugged and visceral- a modern interpretation of early blues, soul, and rock 'n' roll music that harkens back to the traditions of hazy front porch folk songs as well as raucous back-alley juke joints.
The duo has traveled over 100,000 road miles, playing over 500 shows in over 30 states in the last two-and-a-half years. Their eponymous debut album garnered attention from media outlets such as Nashville's independent radio, WRLT Lightning 100, as well as publications like American Songwriter and RELIX Magazine. They were also selected over thousands of other bands to perform at the 2015 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester, TN, headlined by Billy Joel, Mumford & Sons, Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals, and more. In addition, the music of Smooth Hound Smith has been featured on ABC’s Nashville, MTV’s The Real World and the Esquire Network.
Smooth Hound Smith's second full-length album, Sweet Tennessee Honey, was released January 15th, 2016, and they will be touring heavily in support of it for the foreseeable future.
Anthony Ruptak has never been content with doing things the way they should be done. Or rather, the way people expected him to do them.
Leaving his home at age seventeen with few possessions and a zealous drive, Ruptak began his journey into professional musicianship. He started by busking on the streets of Denver for enough cash to make it through the night, and soon migrated to the open-mic scene -- where he played six to seven nights per week, often doubling down on local mics in a single evening, for over a year. Once he began booking his own shows, Ruptak found himself at the point of no return and committed to persevering on his musical path.
Since then, Anthony's brother, Matt, enlisted himself into the group as an atypical percussionist in 2014 and joined in following the invisible glow that only the brothers could see.
Raised in the high mountains of Bailey, Colorado, Anthony Ruptak evolved from a junior high youth group singer to a studded-belt- wearing hardcore screamer, and then to a finger-picking folk artist and eventually an interpreter and manipulator of his own emotive sound. The songs he fashions are unique in their own right, but have been compared to the colors of Connor Oberst, Modest Mouse and Fionn Regan.
Ruptak performs with an ever-shifting cast of characters ranging from a stark and gripping solo performance to an ensemble of 10 or more musicians. At the root, there is Anthony and his brother. From playing the stickiest bar-corner gigs imaginable to some of the country's great concert halls and amphitheaters like Red Rocks, Ruptak's momentum harbors no hesitation. And he intends to take that train as far as it goes -- in continuing to run his songwriter open mic, in cultivating a welcoming, progressive musical spirit in Denver, and in his growing connection to the world and the people around him.