an acoustic performance with legendary reggae guitarist Chinna Smith
with Joseph Israel
Perhaps no other guitarist has had as much influence on Jamaican music, and certainly none as far as contemporary reggae is concerned, than Earl "Chinna" Smith, the quintessential session musician and tour player.
In a career that has spanned over three decades, "Chinna" has made a name for himself with countless sessions for reggaes biggest names, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Black Uhuru, Burning Spear, Bunny Wailer, and Agustus Pablo to name a few. Smith has literally played with everyone in reggae lending his unique guitar sound and arrangements to well over 300 recordings, including many of reggae music's most memorable classics.
When Smiths guitar work reached the ears of Bob Marley, he was asked to add his guitar sound to the reggae legends 1976 classic, "Rastaman Vibration" album, as well as touring with the Wailers. He also played guitar on several other sessions for Marley over the years, including several of the classic songs on "Exodus."
An unabashed purest, and a musician's musician, Chinna is committed to live recording, a trait that caries over to his guitar playing style which involves a minimum use of studio gadgets.
"People have stopped working and let electronics do their work for them," Chinna told Guitar Player Magazine in a 1983 interview, "I'm not against electronics but I believe if the music I'm playing can be more natural, then it will be more spiritual." Chinna continues to play and produce the music he loves and has much more yet to be released, so stay tuned...