Putnam Smith & Ashley Storrow at Passim
Putnam Smith, who hails from Portland, Maine, could be an old-world troubadour fresh from the 19th Century.
After all, he lives in a log cabin, plays his Grandfather’s banjo, and prints up the jackets of his CDs on an antique Letterpress. Yet this rootsy multi-instrumentalist songwriter (he also writes and performs on guitar, mandolin, fretless banjo, and piano), steeped as he is in old-time Appalachian traditions, is very much a storyteller for the modern age. Putnam first came to national attention with his 2009 release, “Goldrush,” which went to #5 on the national Folk & Bluegrass DJ Charts (and made it on 6 “Favorite Albums of 2009” lists). His next release, “We Could Be Beekeepers” shot right up to #2 the month it was released, charting 3 songs in the top ten (www.folkradio.org). Selected as an “Emerging Artist” at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (2016), and noted as “One To Watch” (Rob Reinhart, Acoustic Cafe), Putnam has begun to establish himself as an acoustic tour-de-force not only in his hometown of Portland, but as a nationally touring musician as well. Engaging folks with humor, charm, and storytelling, Putnam has performed in 40 states, from East Coast to West. His audiences have been known to howl like wolves, sing like moonshiners, and laugh and cry like, well, like human beings. As Maine’s indie newspaper the Maine Edge says: “He’s that rare breed of musician that manages to sound like a throwback without ever coming off as dated.”