Guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Cyd Smith is a bit of a musical chameleon. She began studying classical guitar in her early teens and majored in music at Stanford University. While living in the Bay Area, she was introduced to the rich treasury of American folk music, especially bluegrass and vintage country music. From there it was a smooth transition into 20’s, 30's, and 40’s swing music, and she has delved deeply since into the guitarists, vocalists, and songwriters of that era. All these influences feed into her own genre-blending/bending songwriting.
Over the years she has performed with many luminaries of the national acoustic music scene, including Mary Flower, Laurie Lewis, Bob Brozman, Russ Barenberg, and Rebecca Kilgore. She has been a cornerstone of many Northwest bands in a wide range of styles from Swing to Americana to Classic Rock.
As a songwriter, Cyd is an explorer of the unexpected--lyrically, harmonically, and melodically. Northwest music critic Paul de Barros writes, "“A sort of Sheila Jordan of the folk/jazz beat, Cyd weds her flutey voice and alluring turns of phrase to a run of crisp rhythms, all propelled by indomitable guitar and lyrics that look sideways at life with a sharp, smart edge."
A passion for swing and zeal for passing on the swing torch has made Cyd a favorite teacher at music camps throughout the US. The long list of camps she has taught at include Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, California Coast Music Camp, WinterSongs West, Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop, and Augusta Blues & Swing Week.
Here are some of the responses to her music:
- "An extremely gifted songwriter from the Northwest, Cyd Smith sometimes sounds like a missing Roche sister on her fine self-produced CD.” The Bay Area Guardian
- “There’s no simple formula to Cyd Smith’s songs; refreshing, unpredictable, and quirky, they’re great songs that really work.” Laurie Lewis
- "Breathtaking...it's been a long time since I've been this delighted by a new recording...I salute and celebrate this lovely accomplishment." Bob Franke
- "I'm having a great time re-listening while admiring your breathtaking lyrics. Ahhhh!!! So many brilliant lines! You are so wonderfully unique!!! Kristina Olsen
- “Cyd is one of the sharpest songwriters you are likely to hear…she not only delivers her material in a uniquely alluring voice, her tasteful arrangements move from sensuous bluesy to hip and funky. Her songs are full of emotional tension, some tender, some tough, all impeccably crafted.” Sue Madden, radio programmer for KBCS, Seattle, WA
- "Because of Cyd’s background I was expecting to hear jazz and swing tunes, but these songs aren’t so easily pigeonholed. I’d call them pop songs, but that doesn’t do them justice; there’s a richness and depth that I haven’t heard in pop songs for a long time. They’re not fluff, but they’re not stuffy art songs, either. They’re filled with gorgeous melodies, spry rhythms and lush harmonies...They’re just great songs!" Victory Music Review
- “This is not your typical self-produced singer/songwriter project. There are no songs about war, old age, or the environment, yet this isn't another batch of love songs either. Cyd’s view of the human condition is presented with off-beat arrangements and on-target lyrics that continually jolted me like a swift but gentle kick in the butt. Here is loneliness with humor, love with no illusions, and tears that fall at different angles. . . This recording is full of surprises, and though the word ‘refreshing’ is overused in reviews, it certainly applies here.” Gryphon Gazette“