Second Single from Upcoming Debut Album Set to Release on February 18th
“Nothing in the World to Do,” Jesse Smathers’ debut single as a solo artist, recently made its first appearance on the Bluegrass Today weekly charts. Hot on its heels, Smathers announces the release of a second single, “Yesterday’s Blues.”
A native of Eden, North Carolina, Smathers now resides in Floyd, Virginia. He’s a full-time member of seminal Southwest Virginia group Lonesome River Band, and a music instructor at the Handmade Music School - where he met fellow instructor and songwriter Andrew Small.
“When I moved to Southwest Virginia, I made friends with Andrew,” Smathers explains. “He’s a tremendous talent, whose musical tastes are very much in line with mine. As I was picking out tunes for the album, I put a lot of thought into choosing songs that are authentic. On a whim, I asked Andrew if he had any tunes. He shared ‘Yesterday’s Blues’ with me, and it was an instant decision: this tune would be on the project.”
The hard-driving tune features Jesse on guitar and vocals, with instrumental support from bassist Joe Hannabach, banjoist Johnathan Dillon, and fiddler Jason Carter. Harmony vocals are provided by Heather Berry Mabe and Jessie Baker, the latter of whom also plays mandolin on the track.
To Smathers, “Yesterday’s Blues” has all the hallmarks of a classic bluegrass song: “It covers a topic bluegrass can cover like no other genre: heartache.” And he isn’t alone in that sentiment. Writer Andrew Small submitted “Yesterday’s Blues” into the 2021 Chris Austin Songwriting Competition at Merlefest in 2021 - shortly after Smathers recorded the tune. It took first place in the bluegrass category.
“I knew all along this tune was a must-have for my project,” Smathers concludes. “I am excited for you to hear it!”