Smile Politely

Cpt. Captain set sail to Chambana

Sometimes I get to talk to really nice people through this gig. There are some people who seem…warm. Kind and good-humored. Kevin Smith is one of them. He’s in Chicago country-folk band Cpt. Captain, playing this Saturday at Memphis on Main. I got to talk to Kevin about his writing process and the gorgeous people on the road.

Smile Politely: How did you get started in music? What drew you to it?

Kevin Smith: My folks made me take piano lessons for a few years when I was little, but I absolutely hated it. Finally, when I was in middle school, I started playing guitar after I got really into the Beatles. I figured that if those guys could write their own songs, I probably could too.

SP: Unfair question: What is your favorite Beatles song?

Smith: That is somewhat of an unfair question, but I’m willing to try. Obviously, I’m a huge fan of most of their tunes, but “I’ve Just Seen A Face” could very well be my favorite. That song was a kind of gateway to country music for me, too.

SP: How do you write a song? What’s your inspiration and process?

Smith: My songwriting process is also a hard thing to nail down. Honestly, it seems to change from song to song. However, I do like to start with a bit of melody and some kind of lyrical phrase or concept. Once I feel like I have something somewhat promising I then reach for a guitar and start adding music. I feel like I can get stuck in some serious writing ruts if start with an instrument in my hands. It’s probably not super safe, but most of my ideas come to me when I’m driving.

SP: Have you toured?

Smith: I have done some travel with the band as well as solo, but I’d love to do more.

SP: Where so you like to go the most?

Smith: Two of my favorite places have been Athens, Georgia and Portland, Oregon. They’re both great towns, but, for me, it really comes down to the people. Those places are packed with some lovely and generous people.

SP: What can the gorgeous people at Memphis on Main expect?

Smith: You can expect great music, bad jokes, and big, big fun. We just like to have a good time when we play and y’all are more than invited to join in.

Cpt. Captain will be playing at Memphis on Main this Saturday, along with The Fights and Tractor Kings. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 9. You’ll pay just two bucks a band. This show is a part of Memphest, starting Friday the 21st.

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