An album I’m really excited about that I recorded twelve years ago with my long time musical collaborator Matt Verta-Ray has just been released. We’d recorded it as a lobor of love, and then put it on the proverbial shelf, busy with other musical projects. Now the stars have aligned and it’s out there walking and talking on its own, available through iTunes and Amazon as well as through the labels listed at the end of this promo video.
About a dozen years ago, my closest friend Matt Vert-ray and I recorded an album under the name of The Oubliettes. It looks as though this album is finally going to see the light of day, and it got me to look at this old music video shot by the incredible Sinister Productions.
the oubliettes | Myspace Music Videos
Singing Club: Ali Smith, Chris Maxwell, and Marcellus Hall
I was in the band Speedball Baby for nine years. It was quite a ride. We recorded numerous albums, included our major label release, mostly out of a recording studio that was owned at the time by guitarist Matt Verta-Ray down on Ridge street on the Lower East Side. That meant the available hours were 24/7 and the inspiration was followed as it came. It was a pretty magical time.
Touring with Speedball took me to amazing places I don’t imagine I would have visited otherwise. The story of our strip search and near arrest at the Croatian border was documented in an article in the now defunkt Jane Magazine.
I had the good fortune of getting to sing with my old friends Matt Verta-ray and Jon Spencer on this, their debut album as Heavy Trash.
See more at http://www.heavytrash.net/
The songs of Steve Almaas, the voice of Ali Smith, along with luminaries such as producer Chris Maxwell, have come together to create the second Steve Almaas & Ali Smith album,` You Showed Me’. Voices blend in harmony, a steel guitar answers a musical question, the slide guitar comments, while bass, drums and rhythm guitar lock in tight. Devotion, but no surrender… This is music that makes love and war. Together, Steve Almaas and Ali Smith take a shared love of harmony and songcraft and put their personal stamp on modern American music.
Minneapolis born and bred, Steve Almaas began his musical career as one-third of the seminal punk rock band, The Suicide Commandos. Upon arriving in New York City, he became part of the thriving post-punk scene that included The dB’s, The Bush Tetras and The New York Rocker. His next musical venture was an exploration of the sources of the music he loved: Beat Rodeo was an acclaimed amalgam of country, punk, soul and rock and roll. These elements continue to fuel the music he makes today.
New York native, Ali Smith is a respected author, photographer and graphic artist. Her first book, Laws Of The Bandit Queens, was published in 2001. Ali’s musical roots lie in the delta blues drenched punk of former band Speedball Baby and the sweet, demented, lullabies of the Oubliettes. These days she can often be found lending her vocal talents to artists such as Marcellus Hall and Shonali Bhowmik.
Together, Steve Almaas and Ali Smith take a shared love of harmony and songcraft and put their personal stamp on modern American music.
The Oubliettes is the “love child” of me and Speedball Baby guitarist, brother, ex husband Matt Verta-Ray. We think of it as lullabies for evil babies.
The single pictured above will be coming out on a French label in 2010.
Ali Smith and Matt Verta-Ray