Rob Dickens is a Melbourne based roots music blogger and supporter. His site is, and below is what he had to say about the new album Year Of The Dog.

Phil Smith hails from Brisbane Australia and is a very impressive singer and storyteller.  He is about to head out on the road for a significant tour around Australia for his new album Year Of The Dog.

The new album has seeped into my brain, slowly and steadily.  It’s a release without an emotional filter and it is stripped bare on every level.

The album for me has a deep and resonating serenity.  It is stark and profound.  The opening track “Calling Home” is a perfect blend of melody, rich voice and Dave Rawlins or Milk Carton Kids guitar picking style.  “Broken Rivers” strives for truth and freedom in another delightfully restrained piece, this time with banjo.  “Homeward Bound” is world-weary and shows a mature hand, while “Avenue Girl” is reminiscent of Nick Drake with its acoustic strumming and piano combo.  “Nightwinds” again has Smith’s voice way out front in the mix with subdued guitar and other augmented sounds pushed back for effect – backing vocals and pedal steel.

“Memories” details a drug overdose and “The Train” recounts an emotion-laden funeral day.  I am particularly fond of a number of songs/tunes called “El Corazon” and I can add Smith’s song to my list – it is beautiful and sublime from start to finish.

From all reports, 2013 was a long, hard year for Phil Smith but it has provided plenty of excellent material for Year Of The Dog, which is a brutally honest musical journal.  It’s not all doom and gloom though – there’s hope and light here as well.

Year Of The Dog is an intense and captivating release.  I look forward to his tour and seeing Phil Smith live and personal.

“Like the best songwriters in the genre, Smith manages to shape an album of his and others’ troubles, a dash of drink, women, self-reflection and redemption. And like the best albums, “Year Of The Dog” avoids being defined by its mood; relying on the strength of the songs rather than the weight of the subject matter.”

James McCurry.

Read the full review in the ‘Press’ section of this site or copy and paste the link below into your browser.

Wow! So this is the uber cool new vid for El Corazon, track 7 from the new album Year Of The Dog. It was shot and edited super quickly by two Brisbane based videographers, Jezza Keegan and Tom McCaw, with the talented Morgan Hann providing the piano playing. Enjoy!!


So! Looks like we’ll be starting work on a new video for the next single off the album this week, which is pretty exciting. We’re looking to get it out as soon as possible so I will post news on the progress as it comes in. On the gig front, we’re also putting an East Coast tour together which should take in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Byron Bay, Yamba, Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. This will be happening in June, so once those dates are confirmed I’ll post them up here also. Thanks to everyone who turned up at Crosstown last Friday for the show with Rattlehand. It was an intimate little gig, and I hope you all enjoyed the music. Phil Smith.

So the lovely folks from 612ABC here in Brisbane have invited me to be part of their Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue show this Friday night (28th March). Hosted by Rebecca Levingston, we’ll be playing some songs in the studio and chatting about the new album Year Of The Dog. The premise behind the show is to pick 4 songs, 2 of which will be played live in the studio. 3 songs from other artists which have been an influence, and an original song of mine which is new. The interview will be airing from 8–9pm.

Huge thanks to everyone who turned up to the Old Museum on Saturday the 8th of March and helped to make the album launch so memorable. We all had a ball up on stage, and by all accounts so did everybody who attended.

There will be some more gig dates coming up very soon, as well as some media reviews of the new album Year Of The Dog, so keep your eyes on this space. In the meantime I’m attaching a link to the video released last week of the second single–Homeward Bound–from the new album.