With a love of artists like The Stones, The Band, Creedence and Dylan at his most shambolic, a couple of mates and I have been jamming on some new material that harks back to the golden age of these amazing artists. Strong on story, loose on delivery, with a big emphasis on having a blast and bringing back the purpose of entertaining. With enough material for a new long player, we’ve just received funding for this project, and with one of the guys heading south in the new year we’re aiming to lay down an album before the end of this year. If you wanna catch the new material before it gets laid down, come and check one of the Padre shows in October/ November out. We’d love to see you there…and make sure you come and say hi 🙂

Rob Dickens is a Melbourne based roots music blogger and supporter. His site is www.robdickens101.com, 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.


Just when I thought it was going to be a quiet week I realised I have a bunch of radio interviews coming up before the tour kicks off. The first one will be this Wednesday 4th June on Switch 1197’s Breakfast Show. Switch is a community broadcast radio station based here in Brisbane, and it’s at 1197 on the AM dial. Tune in from 8am for a bit of a chat about the upcoming tour and maybe a song or 2. Thursday 5th June at 3:30pm I’ll be interviewed by ABC 612’s Tim Cox, with a chat and a live to air acoustic song, and the next day, Fri 6th June I’ll be on 4zzz at 11am with Quentin. The following day is the first date of the tour. The Bearded Lady in West End is where the action will be kicking off at 8pm with Bree De Rome. We’ll be on at 9, and there’s no cover charge.

For website
So, the time has nearly come to introduce the new album to parts of the east coast, incl. Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. I’ll be playing with some great artists along the way and will be joined onstage in Melbourne by some great local musicians to help bring the songs to life. Kicking off June 7 in Brisbane and winding up on the 22nd in Hobart. Come along or spread the word if you can’t make it. I’ll have hard copies of the new album for sale in each of the venues.