Sometimes someone in your little circle of friends makes a dash for it and ‘makes it’ and you feel so proud for them and incredibly special to even know them! Well Kevin and Fong have already done that twice already! With Ridgely AND Forty Day Fast but that’s not slowing them down at all! (Funny little fact, I always wanted to “be” Forty Day “back in the day” when our bands were playing gigs around town! Then I show up here at River and Fong’s drumming for our church!) But now Kevin has launched his solo project and it’s the indie Spotlight over at Independent Bands.com
Bubba Fong is a friend of mine who used to play drums with us here at River twice a month until he left us for Austin! Kevin is his brother who’s the worship leader at my in-law’s church in Lafayette. So it’s wild. My brother and father-in-law get to play with Kevin and Fong got to play with me! Small little world we live in.
Kevin Smith, of the popular ‘90s acoustic duo Ridgely and later Forty Day Fast, has finally released his long awaited (by him at least) solo project, entitled Lighter. From his days opening for college favorites such as Caedmon’s Call and Bebo Norman, Kevin has been regarded as a talented and creative acoustic guitar player. (This in spite of the widespread recognition that bubbafong’s drums were what really defined his early bands.) His signature sound is however on full display on songs like “Everything”, “Surely Closer” (co- written with Ross King), “Tonight” and the worshipful “We Love Our Lord”, which was included on a recent Saddleback compilation.
A lesser-known fact about Kevin is that he grew up playing bass and electric guitar in rock bands. Lighter embraces these roots, as evidenced in the driving rhythms (i.e. rockin’ drums) of “Touch Me” and “Benediction”. The variety continues with the slight country feel of “Moth”, the funk-influenced “War” and the groove oriented “You”—truly highlighting bubbafong’s versatility. The point is, Lighter is a diverse collection of solid songs, replete with complex vocal harmonies, unique instrumentation and high-quality production. Oh, and the lyrics say some good stuff too…honestly and thoughtfully treating themes of life, grace and redemption. But more importantly, the drums on this record are truly a work of art, and are more than enough reason to add it to your collection.
—reviewed by Bubba Fong (drummer for KS)
I miss me some Fong 🙂