News: Fred Smith ‘What Could Go Wrong’ single drops, tour dates announced

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Renowned Australian singer-songwriter Fred Smith releases lead single ‘What Could Go Wrong’ from his new album Great (out Friday 6 October). This spring, Fred will take the album on the road around the country to venues in Fremantle, Canberra, Sydney, Tasmania, Melbourne and Wollongong, and will perform at regional festivals in Healesville, Hornsby and Newcastle.

A rocking track, ‘What Could Go Wrong’ swings around a sublime electric guitar riff, marking a departure for an artist who has hitherto plied his trade mostly on the folk circuit. The content is even more surprising. Fred explains “I set out to capture the ebullience of Donald Trump, and the wave of optimism sweeping America with his election. But the liberal media elite are misconstruing it as a pisstake!”.

As is evident with the first single, the forthcoming album Great sees Fred turn his attention to the USA. The double album set highlights his reverence and comprehension of Americana musical formats, and his knowledge of American history, literature and mythology. The first disc contains a dozen story songs in Americana folk stylings from alt country to Waltz times. On the second disc, Fred lets his band off the leash with electric guitars, rhythm section and trumpets contributing to a rollicking ride through rock ‘n’ roll, blues, disco and even hip hop. 

Fred Smith has been a favourite on the Australian festival circuit for years, much loved for his gentle wit, gift for story and melody, and sublime collaborations with Liz Frencham and The Spooky Men’s Chorale. Now the rest of Australia is catching up with Fred Smith. He was the subject of an Australian Story feature about his work as a musician and diplomat in war zones from the South Pacific to Afghanistan. His album Dust of Uruzgan earned him comparisons with top-flight Australian songwriters Don Walker, John Schumann and Eric Bogle. He recently wrote a book, The Dust of Uruzgan, published by Allen and Unwin.
“It is about time Australia caught up with Fred Smith. This remarkable singer-songwriter – who at various times reveals influences that range from Paul Kelly via Lou Reed to Loudon Wainwright III to Leonard Cohen – keeps releasing amazingly accomplished albums.” (Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald).

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