“Fred Smith is simply the best folk/country musician working in this country in 2020. Beyond writing some of the finest songs about Australians at war, he has created a repertoire that is wry, literate, witty, powerfully emotional and insightful.” (Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald).
Fred Smith writes songs. Some of them are sad. Some of them are funny. Some of them are sad and funny. Some of them are quite serious. They have melodies and stories you can remember - that stay with you and keep you company during the day and at night when you are sitting in a chair. Fred’s songs reflect the world he has seen in what, so far, has been a messy and interesting life. He was the subject of an Australian Story documentary feature about his experiences in Afghanistan and Bougainville. His book, The Dust of Uruzgan, was published by Allen and Unwin.
An easy raconteur with a deep catalogue of great songs, Fred and band never repeat a song from set to set at a festival. His solo albums and collaborative recordings with Liz Frencham and The Spooky Men's Chorale are on many people’s ‘best ever’ lists. His songs capture the human complexities of the countries he has worked in - Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, the USA, and lately Australia – with poetry that is wry, tender and comprehending.