Personnel: Corey Smith (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); Mike Hines (electric guitar, resonator guitar, mandolin); Dan Dugmore (steel guitar, Hawaiian steel guitar); John Willis (banjo, mandolin); Stuart Duncan (fiddle); Sam Levine (clarinet); Lee Davis (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Kris Dale (upright bass); Antwane McMullin (drums, percussion); Eric Darken (percussion); John Wesley Ryles, Tania Hancheroff (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: John Kelton.
Recording information: Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN; Ronnie's Place, Nashville, TN; The Sound Station, Nashville, TN; Wedgewood Sound, Nashville, TN.
Photographer: Hodges Usry.
A longtime D.I.Y. country traditionalist, it only makes sense that Georgia-bred singer/songwriter Corey Smith would ink a deal with longtime D.I.Y.-supporting roots label Sugar Hill for his seventh studio long player, the immensely likeable While the Gettin' Is Good. Smith is an affable narrator with a strong voice and a good-natured hedonistic streak, and his songs tend to walk the line between folk, Southern rock, and Zac Brown Band-style country-pop. While the Gettin' Is Good works best when Smith finds the sweet spot between all three predilections, which he does on the sunny, vaudeville-laced opener "Don't Mind," the cinematic, roadtrip-ready "Dahlonega," and the galloping, hook-laden single "Ain't Going Out Tonight," the latter of which serves as the magnanimous flipside to the aptly sodden "Drinkin' on My Mind." The album gets a tad bogged down in midtempo place holders like "Flip Flop" and "Feet Wet," but Smith manages to treat the 12-track set's weaker moments with the same big-hearted enthusiasm that he brings to its more immediate offerings. ~ James Christopher Monger