Meet Andrew and Zachari Smith and you quickly understand this father/son duo have music flowing in their veins.
Andrew’s father, Zach’s grandfather, is still gigging as part of the Old Time Fiddlers, though he’s now in his 70s. Zach had his first drums before he went to school—his father figures he was three—and Andrew is one of the few Canadians to have won the prestigious Kerrville Newfolk Songwriting Competition, an honour he earned in 2006.
Nevertheless, the fact that Zach, an up-and-coming indie rock musician whose songwriting collective The Geese just launched their first EP, decided to spend his spare time during his 20s working with his father is unique.
“It’s nice to be able to play in front of different audiences,” he says. “This is more mellow, which I’m a big fan of.”
“This” refers to their act—Andrew and Zachari Smith—and they launch their first CD in East Kelowna next week. While Andrew still tours on his own, and Zach plays with The Geese, they’ve also been touring their collaborative folk, alt-country act for almost two years and have compiled a collection of songs—several written by Andrew, several written by Zach and the rest penned together.
The pair solidified the working relationship after Zach finished his bachelor of arts and left university, though they’ve obviously jammed together for the better part of a lifetime, and they’re clearly steeped in a rich musical community.
Launching the CD on the East Kelowna property where they currently rent a home, they will be the first official concert in the other building on the acreage—a new venue dubbed Bottega Farm Inn at Lille Gard (www.bottegakelowna.com).
The property is owned by Dave Krysko, who Andrew describes as a longtime friend and fellow arts enthusiast who has been a big supporter over the years. Krysko—same name as the Club Penguin founder—apparently doesn’t want to talk about the new space just yet, though the web site indicates it’s set to launch this week.
“It’s really just a soft launch right now,” Andrew explained, saying their concert will be the first to use the sound system. It was being tested during this interview.
A massive cement and glass theatre space with hotel rooms, a conference area and audio engineering studio, it should be an impressive addition to Kelowna’s arts scene when it officially launches in the spring.
Andrew said he and Krysco had been talking about the idea of creating a place where musicians could come and do gigs and maybe stay for some time and “it just snowballed.”
So far the venue has hosted a lecture and a birthday party for local opera singer Alexandra Babble, but their concert will be the first show.
Joined by Colourful Language, of Vancouver, and local musician Graham Ord, the CD Travelling will launch at a release party on the property, 4485 Sallows Rd., with doors opening at 7 p.m., and the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $12 or $15 at the door. For more information see www.andrewandzacharismith.com.