Asheville, North Carolina’s BIG DADDY LOVE brings a unique and natural blend of jam, grass, roots, and rock to the emerging North Carolina music scene. With fiery vocals, sweet-sugary harmonies, authentic song-craft, and undeniable musicianship, the quintet delivers high-energy performances of ‘Appalachian Rock’– their own brand of good-time music. It is the startling power of these live shows that resonate with audiences and the genuine, intensely personal lyrics of their original songs captivate and convert listeners into passionate fans.
In the late Summer of 2009, singer/songwriter Daniel Justin Smith and two of his high school friends from Sparta, NC got together for some casual acoustic pickin’ and realized that something special was happening. This hometown roots collaboration inspired Smith to revamp the band he was already toying around with and Big Daddy Love emerged. Beginning with the core of Alleghany County boys—Smith, Joey Recchio on electric guitar and Brian Swenk on acoustic and electric banjos– the addition a tight, funk-infused Carolina foothills rhythm (bassist Ashley Sutton and drummer Kelly Linville) sealed the deal. After touring that Fall the new band recorded To The Mountain in January 2010 at the famous Echo Mountain Studios in Asheville, NC.
To The Mountain is an album in the truest sense—a carefully crafted journey of songs—that has received emphatic and heartfelt reviews from reviewers throughout the region and far beyond. “…The thing is, this all works together well, and it flows as album — remember those, where all the songs work together to the betterment of the total experience — not just some isolated downloaded track on your playlist. This is a great disc…Give Big Daddy Love the chance and I’ll bet they’ll win you over.” (Gary Hill, Music Street Journal). From across the pond, a reviewer in Belgium wrote “…[if you are] a fan of The Allman Brothers Band or Drive-By Truckers, but you are open to bluegrass elements, then this CD really is a must.” Back home in the mountains, another writer said “From start to finish, To The Mountain is a captivating album that alludes to a dynamic live show. If the musicians dabble in a variety of styles it’s only because, well, they can. And certain elements — a tightly-coiled energy always threatening to explode within each song, a choice group of collaborators, flawless musicianship and Smith’s compelling vocals — provide a palpable thread throughout.” (Alli Marshall, Mountain Xpress). Picked up as a favorite spin by Americana and AAA radio stations throughout the region, including taste-maker WNCW in Spindale, NC, To The Mountain is a snapshot of a young band realizing the power of their vision, stretching the boundaries of their influences while celebrating their Appalachian roots.
Press is press and praise is praise, but what really makes the difference is that on stage Big Daddy Love delivers the goods. After the band’s 2010 Music City Roots performance in Nashville, Jim Lauderdale referred to Big Daddy Love as “Western NC sockin’ it to ya”. Live, with the lights on and the volume up, Big Daddy Love stretches the music out with top notch picking and ripping, delivering a stompin’ good time rich with authentic Carolina soul. The lyrics and the performances themselves are infused with a universally appealing sense of community and spirit– the essential element of Daniel Smith’s songwriting. This very vibe is the Love that gives name to the group. It is fundamental to the band’s roots in Sparta, NC, a small town in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Smith still works on a family farm in the area when not on the road.
The Love Bus, as the fans call themselves, embrace Big Daddy Love’s ‘Appalachian Rock’ as if their own musical heroes had converged in 2009 to create a new band. Fast and powerful as a freight train, Big Daddy Love brings the high energy of Southern rock into the down-home vibe of a mountain bluegrass folk festival. With heavy doses of jam, soul and an electric banjo replacing the second guitar of the traditional Southern rock genre, Big Daddy Love breathes new life into both traditions. Imagine J.D. Crow crossed with the Black Crowes…The Stanley Brothers and The Allman Brothers…what if Led Zeppelin grew up in the Appalachian Mountains on a dairy farm? Big Daddy Love falls into the middle of all these with an undeniably original sound of its own.
Experience the love.