John Smith in Bristol and Weston

JOHN Smith stops off the The Louisiana in Bristol on 14th  Nov­em­ber and Loves Cafe at Weston super Mare on 17th, as part of an extensive UK tour.

John has built up a keen following for his intense acoustic sets. His name might be ordinary, but there is nothing ordinary about his singing and songwriting.

Headlong, his newest and fifth album, had a rapturously reception, produced by Sam Lakeman and featuring Cara Dillon. It is dedicated to the memory of John Renbourn and follows Great Lakes, John’s 2013 release.

Devon-born Smith  has a dedicated following and has won the respect and admiration of his peers. Renbourn called him “the future of folk music”.

Many of the songs on the new album are inspired by John’s wife and newborn baby. His wife is the source of the redemptive, unconditional love to which Save My Lifeis indebted – she’s also the Joanna of the track that bears the same title, spurring Smith through the humdrum niggles which invariably pepper lengthy stints on the road, from clearance issues on the Oregon country border to inter-band squabbles.

Headlong also bears the indelible loss of close friend Renbourn. The death of the Pentangle legend took a particularly strong toll.

“His death really hit me hard,” says Smith; “He was so much more to me than someone I’d played with, and who had encouraged me. He was a friend as well.”

Renbourn’s presence is palpable in Smith’s equally sparing and striking electric guitar work.