This band of seasoned players is a true Blues band with one goal in mind…keeping the Blues alive. J. C. Smith,winner of the 2012 Metro Newspapers Best Of Silicon Valley “Best Original/local Band”, and 2006 Bay Area Blues Society West Coast Blues Band of the Year award winner is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an outstanding performer noted for his energy and charisma. Prior to playing guitar, he was the drummer for the Back to Back Blues Band. In 2000, he emerged from behind his drums, armed with a Gibson 335. J. C. attacks the Blues as if he is being guided by the masters like T-Bone Walker, Albert King, and Johnnie Guitar Watson.
The J. C. Smith Band’s current release “Defining Cool” is by far the best recording to date. Listed for the 52nd Grammy Awards for “Best Contemporary Blues CD,” it entered the Living Blues Radio Charts at #16 and was a “Pick to Click” on XM Radio. After 20 weeks on the Roots Report, the CD climbed the charts as high as #25 nationally. In 2004, Smith released “That’s What I’m Talk’n ‘Bout,” co-produced by Grammy Award Nominee Joanna Connor.
This CD shows masterful songwriting, outstanding arrangements, and traditional quality. It features a host of Chicago players including Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, who worked with the Muddy Waters Band for twenty years. 2001 marked the release of Smith’s first effort “Midnight Creeper” which brought him international attention. Smith has toured throughout the United States, Eastern Europe, Mexico,South America,and Russia,to sell out crowds. Smith has work with and shared the stage with notable artist such as Hubert Sumlin, B,B, King, Buddy Guy, Buddy Miles, Son Seals Willie Bigeyes Smith, Pinetop Perkins and many more. He is also known as radio personality Johnnie Cozmik on KKUP F.M. J. C. feels that his goal in life is “To keep the Blues alive and take the message to the people.”
Robert “Jay” Green (Bass). Jay joined the group with a very short notice yet rose to the challenge. Four days after accepting the offer from the band, he played a club date that served as a rehearsal, then three days later he was on tour in Southern California which included two performances at the NAMM show in Anaheim.
Abraham Vasquez (Sax) is one of the hardest working horn men in the Bay Area. His masterful solos and arrangements bring you back to the days of Louis Jordan, and Sam Butera. Vasquez and Smith first teamed up in the late 80′s to form The Back To Back Blues Band. Vasquez has worked with the likes of Tommy Castro, Hall and Oates, Dr. John, and more.
Tommy Maitland (Trumpet) formally with Dub Nation and KFJC Radio.
Gene Reynolds (Trombone) formally with Gregarious Movement.
Todd Reid (keys) is an all around pro. He has worked with as music directector with a host of groups. He delivers a one two punch that will rock your socks off…
Donnie Green (drummer) toured Europe seven times before joining the JC Smith Band. Drumming professionally since the age of 12, you’ve got to hear this solid funk and blues drummer to believe him. He is as exciting to watch as well as listen to because of his style and showmanship.