On a cold, rainy evening in Berkeley this past weekend I saw Chris Smither perform at one of the coolest venues in town: the Freight and Salvage coffeehouse. With floor to ceiling wooden walls and wagon wheel chandeliers, Freight and Salvage offered me an incredible concert experience (while completely satisfying my caffeine addiction). Every seat was filled and the aisles were full of people teeming to get an earful of Chris Smither, an acclaimed "blues infused innovator." Celebrating it's 40th anniversary in 2008, Freight and Coffee has created a tradition of playing host to a myriad of musicians of all genres. In its biography, the owner, Nancy Owens, states that, "
Christ Smither put on a great show, expertly blending beautiful guitar with gruff, grainy vocals. Tossing his hair back and forth and singing through a half-cracked smile, his commanding presence and witty banter was comfortable and effortless. He charmed the audience with anecdotes and stories about everything from past music festivals, to his impeding age, and, most memorably, to his young daughter.