Big Smith Tickets for Sale

They captured a devoted base of fans with their raucous acoustic music. The music was able to capture the spirit of the native Ozarks, though the band was equipped only with mandolin, bass fiddle, washboard and acoustic guitar. Their deadly combinations of the soul of gospel harmonies, the energy of bluegrass and the indigenous raw mojo as well as the authentic hillbilly culture, brought in liberation and joy to the audiences, who had never such music before. Throughout the course of their musical career, Big Smith have elongated their musical accompaniment by including drums, piano and electric guitars. The members can also play a number of various instruments onstage, such as accordion, sousaphone, trombone, harmonica, the mouth bow, spoons and bones, and all these makes their shows quite lively and interesting. Almost all of their shows comes with variety performance which makes the audience want for more and more of their songs. What makes these band stand out is their quirky, well-crafted, melodious and catchy original songs.

According to University Daily Kansan, "The band combines a little bluegrass, a bit of blues, hints of early country and talented musicianship. Even if you aren't a fan of the aforementioned styles, give this entertaining piece of work a chance..."

Big Smith are hot favorites and are loved and adored in Ozarks, their native place. They also enjoy huge popularity in other cities, such as St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Memphis, Lawrence, Fayetteville, Little Rock, and Tulsa, and have also performed in Chicago, Nashville, Austin, and conducts extensive tours throughout the West Coast and Mississippi, right from the Twin Cities to New Orleans. Recently, they have also opened gigs for famous musicians such as Emmylou Harris, Doc Watson and the Del McCoury band. Recently, they are touring the west coast jaunt.

A documentary has also been made on the band, that has been entitled as "Homemade Hillbilly Jam", which tells about the members of the band and also about their music. The documentary was became very popular, with fans pouring in a number of festivals, where the documentary was screened, all around the world. The documentary also garnered critical reviews.

According to Chicago Reader, "Big Smith, a hippie-tinged roots band is the nominal focus of (Homemade Hillbilly Jam), but (it) captures an extended family, descended from Ozark hillbillies and bound together by music…the clan keeps the old mountain repertoire alive, singing with a passion and grace that need no elaboration".

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Big Smith comprises of five cousins- Mark and Jody Bilyeu, who are brothers, Jay and Mike Williamson, again are brothers and Rik Thomas, which was formed in the year 1996. Hailing from Springfield, MO, the band is known to mix acoustic country music with Southern accented rock and also mixes gospel and bluegrass, which in turn results a kind of eclectic mixture. Known not only for their music, but also for their lively and energetic shows and constant touring, which they does quite frequently. Mark Bilyeu as the guitarist and Jody Bilyeu plays mandolin and keyboards, Jay Williamson plays the percussion and Mike Williamson is the bassist of the group, while Rik Thomas is the soundman of the group.

The members are known to grown up with dance music and are heavily influenced by Appalachian gospel. During the initial stage, the members of Big Smith began as a quartet, an acoustic "hillbilly". As their popularity grew and finally with the passage of time, horns, keyboards and electric guitars, keyboards, and occasional horns began to make their way into the repertoire of the band. During that time Thomas joined the band to help them with the soundtracks, touring schedules and also the on-stage jams session. The band then formed their own MayApple Records label, and released four albums in their own label consecutively. They also did two studio sets, Big Smith and Big Rock, also did different live recordings, as well as released Big Smith Family and Friends Live at Lonestar, both of which is a collection of vintage Appalachian gospel songs and did a number of live shows.
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