Smith & Jones
- Machattie Park
- Friday 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Machattie Park comes alive on Friday night with a free outdoor concert by Central West iconic country duo and Bathurst favourites, Smith & Jones.
Supported by Bathurst local musician, Kris Schubert, Friday night in the park is a celebration of the regions flourishing independent music scene, set in the gorgeous gardens of Machattie Park.
About Smith & Jones
Smith & Jones are a duo hailing from Bathurst and Tamworth respectively. Made up of keyboard player and vocalist Abby Smith, with guitarist, harmonica player and vocalist Sophie Jones, they met at a much loved record store in 2013 where they bonded over a love of classic country and blues, and spent far too much of their hard-earned money. During this time they established The CanBeltos Choir, a Bathurst and Orange based community choir, which saw them nominated for Young Australians of the Year for 2015.
Though their small-town roots had similarities, their musical upbringings couldn’t be more different. Sophie Jones grew up on a blend of classic country and old school rock (think Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles) as well as Australian legends such as Kevin Bennett, who she saw play many time as a kid growing up in Tamworth. Soul music and jazz (as well as endless Joni Mitchell) were Abby’s very first influences as a child, and she can recall staying home from school to learn sing like Aretha or Nina. Together, these influences have been the basis of Smith & Jones’s charm, and though their voices offer their own unique appeal when solo, it is together that they find their true expressive power.
During their time together they have played countless gigs, supported Dragon and The Pigs at the Crooked Mountain Concert, played shows with the likes of Troy Cassar-Daley, Tex Perkins, James Reyne and Boom Crash Opera and, at Bathurst’s Inland Sea of Sound Festival, The Black Sorrows with Vika & Linda Bull. In 2017 for the same festival, held on top of Mount Panorama, Sophie and Abby played alongside Megan Washington and Bernard Fanning. Sophie and Abby have also sung as session vocalists on Toyota Star Maker Mickey Pye’s debut album, Unleashed, as well as The Safety of Life At Sea’s album, Foxy’s Farm. They also play sold out shows throughout the Central West with Rumours, a Fleetwood Mac tribute night with guitarist Matt Ferry.
In late 2016 Smith & Jones finished recording their debut album, Dark Gives Way, with Michael Carpenter at Love Hz in Sydney. The first three singles, Baby Blue, Small Town Woman and Your Achin Heart all went to number one on the internet’s Australian Country Radio charts. On the 3rd of March 2017 Abby and Sophie launched their album to a 300-strong hometown crowd in Bathurst. The launch took place in a hangar at the Bathurst airport that the girls transformed into a live music venue, which is a testament to the love and support they receive from the Bathurst community. 2018 will see Smith & Jones tour Dark Gives Way regionally and interstate.
Though their roots will always remain in the foundations of country music, their originals have found an undefinable energy of their own. Part classic country ballads, part sweet jazz standards, and often with a tongue firmly planted in their cheek, their beauty is in their harmonic simplicity and lyrical power.