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about

Bet Smith's new EP, Loose Ends is a collection of songs from the shadowy pages of her notebook. Having rarely made it onto stages or set lists, these five songs have found a home on this stirring, poignant and carefully crafted assemblage, created in collaboration with The Currie Brothers in Gravenhurst, Ontario.

Sonically gripping and beautifully phrased lyrically as well as instrumentally, the songs that make up Loose Ends are rich in environmental imagery, and reflect on both the fragilities and strengths of nature and human beings as animals within it. Hardships and missteps of a rural youth, reflections on a back-to-the-land lifestyle, loneliness, acceptance and feminine realities are strong themes represented within the work - songs composed of fragmented personal memories mixed with observances and invention.

Produced and engineered by Rob Currie, Loose Ends was recorded in a dimly lit, cozy studio tucked away in the Currie brothers' vintage music store. An unexpected chemistry between Bet and new acquaintances Rob and Andrew became apparent from project start, grew stronger over the course of the recording process and is evident throughout the EP. Bet's lyrically rich folk songs are underlined by weighty layers of both dreamlike and driving instrumentation put in place by the Currie Brothers as well as Bet, with contributions by Johnny Fay, (The Tragically Hip) Bronwyn Smith, (Bet's little sister) and visiting friends. Bet's honest, oaky voice is captured and complimented artfully by the tracking arranged by Rob in his debut as a producer.

Bet Smith, (Ashlea-Elizabeth Smith) was born in Toronto and raised in Bracebridge, Ontario. After ten years of taking the road less travelled, Bet considers this album a reflection of a newly-found grownup voice.

Loose Ends came to exist after a two-year hiatus from music as Bet's life turned upside-down and right side up again. Previously, Bet had recorded and toured throughout Canada as a duo billed as Ashlea Jonesmith and Oliver Wives. The duo released a full-length album and an EP, and performed festivals such as the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival and Islands Folk Festival. Bet's introduction to the folk music scene was at the age of fifteen when she debuted on a small stage at Mariposa Folk Festival.

By day Bet works as a welder, builder and craftsperson between Toronto and Muskoka. Having recently returned to Ontario after living off-grid on Denman Island for three years, Bet is passionate about wilderness preservation, low-impact living, small farms and the local food movement. With education in the art of blacksmithing, Bet's long term dream is to live a sustainable lifestyle as an artist blacksmith and farmer. In the meantime, she says "ideas about touring in support of sustainable agriculture are brewing in my soul."

credits

released April 22, 2015

PRODUCED AND ENGINEERED BY ROB CURRIE

RECORDED AND MIXED AT CURRIE’S MUSIC IN GRAVENHURST, ONTARIO, CANADA

MASTERED BY JOAO CARVALHO AT JOAO CARVALHO MASTERING IN TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA

ALL SONGS WRITTEN BY BET SMITH (Ashlea-Elizabeth Smith, SOCAN/ASCAP)

BET SMITH - VOCALS, ACOUSTIC GUITAR, BANJO, (Lone Wolf) XYLOPHONE, (Loose Ends) TYPING, (Dynamite) CLAPPING, (Talisman)

ANDREW CURRIE - DRUMS, BASS, (Dynamite) UPRIGHT BASS, (Loose Ends) DOBRO, (Lone Wolf) ORGAN, (Talisman, Dynamite) GLOCKENSPIEL, (Dynamite) CLAPPING, (Talisman) WOODEN STOOL LEGS, (Hostility) IDEAS

ROB CURRIE - ELECTRIC GUITAR, BASS,(Loose Ends, Talisman, Signs of Hostility) CLAPPING, (Talisman) IDEAS

JOHNNY FAY - AFRICAN BELL and TENOR TOM, (Loose Ends) IDEAS

BRONWYN SMITH - TAMBOURINE and CLAPPING (Talisman)

ADDITIONAL HAND-CLAPPING FOR TALISMAN BY: ALISSA AHSOME, JOHNNY AHSOME, JAMES SEVAZLIAN, LUKE THOMPSON


THANKS FROM BET

BARB LEEK - YOU WERE THE SPARK THAT STARTED THIS WONDERFUL FIRE. THANK YOU FOR CONNECTING ME TO THE CURRIE BROS. ALL OF OUR LIVES CHANGED FOR THE BETTER BECAUSE I RAN INTO YOU ON A DOG WALK. I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THAT DAY.

ROB AND ANDREW CURRIE - I LOVE YOU, AND I AM IN AWE OF YOUR TALENTS AND GENEROSITY. I AM SO TEMPTED TO GET YOUR NAMES TATTOOED ON MY SKIN FOR EVER AND EVER. THERE AREN’T ENOUGH WORDS TO TELL YOU HOW MUCH YOUR HARD WORK MEANS TO ME.

JOHNNY FAY - THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THE PROJECT. YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT AND PARTICIPATION MEANT THE WORLD TO US.

MUM AND DAD - FOR SUPPORTING ME THROUGHOUT MY CRAZY, ARTIST/HIPPY LIFE AND MAKING THIS PROJECT POSSIBLE BY PUTTING A ROOF OVER MY HEAD LAST YEAR AND LEAVING THE PORCH LIGHT ON.

LORI LOU HIRST - FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE THROUGH THE TWISTED LABYRINTH THAT IS OUR CURRENT MUSIC INDUSTRY. I AM PERPETUALLY LOST AND YOU ARE A LIGHTHOUSE. AND AN AMAZING FRIEND.

TO ALL MY CLAPPING CONTRIBUTORS. THANKS FOR THE SOUND BITES AND THE GOOD LAUGHS.

TO JOAO, BRYAN AND SAGE AT JOAO CARVALHO MASTERING - THANKS FOR THE FABULOUS EXPERIENCE AND POLISHING.

TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS, AND THOSE OF THE CURRIE BROS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT.

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about

Bet Smith Gravenhurst, Ontario

Bet Smith has shoveled manure, welded, built film sets, carved signs, fed cattle, planted gardens and tended bar to pay for her bad habit - music. Add to that an arts degree and a diploma in blacksmithing and foundry craft, years living in the heart of Toronto and others in an off-grid cabin in rural BC and you have yourself a treasure chest of stories, shaped like a thirty-year-old woman. ... more

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Track Name: Signs of Hostility
You've got your hands buried deep in the soil
Stones making holes in your jeans
You're planting chard and kale mighty early
Planting your potatoes deep

Whatever's coming, it's coming fast
It's showing signs of hostility
Whatever's coming won't catch you by surprise
You're gonna be ready

You build your fences eight feet high
You'll keep your garden safe inside
You're canning everything you can find
Every mason jar is just a little piece of mind

Whatever's coming, it's coming fast
It's showing signs of hostility
Whatever's coming won't catch you by surprise
You're gonna be ready

You don't stockpile, you don't hoard
You take nothing from the grocery store
You're an independent woman, don't need no man
You've got enough mouths to feed, don't want one more

Once you did have love, a lot of good that did
Left you more empty than you were before
But you've still got two strong hands and a capable mind and
Rows of carrots and rows of corn

Whatever's coming, it's coming fast
It's showing signs of hostility
Whatever's coming won't catch you by surprise
You're gonna be ready

You keep your hand tools as sharp as your knives
You've gone back to horses
Can't stand the TV, can't take that noise
Can't take those ugly voices

You love the beating of the raven's wings, the song of the chickadee
the calming thunder
You've got your fathers rifle and your grandmother's rosary
And you're doing fine without her

Whatever's coming, it's coming fast
It's showing signs of hostility
Whatever's coming won't catch you by surprise
You're gonna be ready
Track Name: Loose Ends
You begged me to save you
For two weeks steady
If there was anything I could do, hell I would've done it already
But you're too far gone
You're gonna drag me in with you
And I can't love you in that foolish way I used to do.

Well this ain't school anymore
This ain't those disposable years
You asked me to come with you just to tell everybody that you ain't here
"I haven't seen him in days
I haven't seen him around
We don't talk anymore, he must have left town."

All those other women who go for this type of thing
Can't you ask one of them a favour, can't you give one of them a ring?
Would she just blow your cover? Is she incapable of deceit?
All those ne'er-do-well ladies can't keep your loose ends neat

I'm gonna stick you with the label
Do not resuscitate
Do not attempt to mend this man, for he has chosen his fate
Been there, done that
Bought the bobble-head doll
You can save one or two, can't you, but you can't save them all.

You begged me to save you
For two weeks steady
If there was anything I could do, hell I would've done it already
Track Name: Lone Wolf
I am a lone wolf
I am a lone wolf
I am alone
Well if you hear me crying out
you will know without a doubt
that I'm alone
Alone

If you don't want to be my man
If you only want me for the night
Wanna take something from me
Wanna waste my time
If you're afraid out in the woods
If your scared in the wild
If you won't make it till the morning
This ain't worth my while

I am a lone wolf
I am a lone wolf
I am alone
Well if you hear me crying out,
you will know without a doubt
that I'm alone
Alone

Just another hungry hunter
Just a trapper in the hills
Doesn't know just what he's after
But he's out to kill
Says the chirping of the birds
Says the chattering of the squirrels
Says the wise grey owl
Awoooooooo

I am a lone wolf
I am a lone wolf
I am alone
Well if you hear me crying out,
you will know without a doubt
that I'm alone
Alone
Track Name: Talisman
I made this talisman for you
I made it out of holly
And apple seeds and little shells from the west-coast beach
And if he ever falls into your sight
You'll fill him up with honey
And berry wine, and cherry pie
And love so sweet

Don't you break it
I spent all that time making it
Don't you break it
I spent all that time making it

I know there's never been a man who's touched you kind
You wanna rewind your life, but you can't seem to find the time
And all you know to do it run and hide, you're burning up inside
But you can never let it out, you stay high and dry

Well I made this talisman for you
I made it out of holly
And apple seeds and little shells from the west-coast beach
And if he ever falls into your sight
You'll fill him up with honey
And berry wine, and cherry pie
And love so sweet

Don't you break it
I spent all that time making it
Don't you break it
I spent all that time making it

I see that you've got fighting arms and willing eyes
Why don't you fight for your own right to freedom
And I will hold you myself if it will make it any better
I will hold you all night if it will help

And I made this talisman for you
I made it out of holly
And apple seeds and little shells from the west-coast beach
And if he ever falls into your sight
You'll fill him up with honey
And berry wine, and cherry pie
And love so sweet

Don't you break it
I spent all that time making it
Don't you break it
I spent all that time making it
Track Name: Dynamite
You say that I'll forget you, but that ain't right
How could I forget you and your dynamite
And your dad who buys you liquor by the case
And hopes that you'll forget my god-forsaken face

But I ain't the one who done you wrong
No I ain't the one who done you wrong
Just turn around and look at what your daddy done
And you will see that I ain't the one

And I swore that oath in front of the whole damn town
And it's your bad reputation's gonna bring me down
And what was I to say, since there were other folks around
When you and your daddy blew old greeny down

I ain't the one who done you wrong
No I ain't the one who done you wrong
Just turn around and look at what your daddy done
And you will see that I ain't the one

And you and your daddy in the motel room
And me in the back seat, shaking in my boots
And that fucking sound when you blew it down
And how fast the cops swarmed all around

And your dad, he never could drive
Should've stayed sober this one time
And I ain't the one who done you wrong
And you will see that I ain't the one