Your quick and dirty introduction to one of the best things to come out of Austin, Texas.
Shane Smith & The Saints.
If you’re already a fan, good… you’re doin’ it right. If you’re not, you’re going to be after this.
Let’s dive in…
10. “Dance the Night Away”
One of their most well-known songs, featured on their debut album Coast in 2013, the song is easily one of the highlights of their repertoire. With a barn room, dance hall feel, there is very prominent fiddle from phenomenal fiddle player Bennett Brown to go along with a little bit of banjo, tambourine, and guitar.
The song also features fantastic imagery, featuring lines like “Cajuns playing the Zydeco” and “Got a Buddy out towards Monroe said he caught some hogs he’ll trade for Moonshine today.”
9. “The Mountain”
“The Mountain” is a unique song which comes off of their most popular album Geronimo released in 2015. Featuring an interesting Gospel/Celtic production style, you’ll get vibes of an old Medieval Drinking Hall in 1300 Britain, but with the signature Shane Smith twist. The song opens up with this beautiful rendition of them singing harmony in a church which is where they actually recorded the song.
The song tells a story of a man from The Mountain whose father was killed by a dragon and ultimately his quest to slay the dragon. A metaphor no doubt, as there could be many things which can represent the dragon, but the Celtic country production, combined with the colorful storytelling, makes one of the more unique offerings from the band.
8. “We Were Something”
“We Were Something” is from their latest album in 2019, Hail Mary, and it is a slow piano-driven song that reflects of a failed relationship. You can feel the pain in Shane Smith’s voice as he sings, especially in lines like: “To hell with the old oak tree where the carving used to be,” and “Even the blindest fool could see, we were something.”
I definitely recommend this deep cut. It is painfully beautiful.
7. “Feather in the Wind”
“Feather in the Wind” is another song from their first album and has a very similar sound to “Dance the Night Away” but it gives you a softer production style, especially with the harmonies and the guitar. With East Texas road trip vibes, it has that signature Shane Smith style with the guitar, fiddle, light drums, and lyrics which are flat out fun to sing along to.
“Whirlwind” is another song from their 2019 album and it is personally one of my favorites. This song is in a evolved version of their song “All I See is You.” The lyrics of this song basically talks about this woman who hit Smith like a whirlwind, and as I’m writing this, if you like the song “Hurricane” by Luke Combs it has a similar premise, but in a more traditional independent country feel.
5. “Cocaine Habit”
“Cocaine Habit” comes from their debut album Coast and if you like the nitty-gritty feel of Outlaw Country, or Red Dirt stylings similar to that of the Turnpike Troubadours, that’s what you’ll get with this song. It starts off with this grimy dark country production and as it reaches its chorus where it gets more into a more grunge country feel. In a way, covers all the different themes in Texas Country today, with shades of Koe Wetzel, Kolby Cooper, and a little of Whiskey Myers on their first album Firewater.
4. “Whiskey & Water”
“Whiskey & Water” is a more acoustic-driven song coming from their Geronimo album. If you like the slower, more hard-hitting country styles of say a Tyler Childers’ “Shake the Frost,” or Whiskey Myers’ “Stone,” this one is for you.
I still have a tough time deciphering this song, but I believe the overall idea is the journey of Shane Smith. Having a band which they built up from scratch, having struggles with relationships, and the vices of touring, while at same time, recognizing the comfort of that lifestyle. It’s heavy, it’s real, and it’s one of their best.
“Coast” is the title track of this debut album and features a certain South Carolina/Gulf of Mexico mood. It’s Texas country infused with the kind of beach vibe that a handful of artists have made a career on. It’s the perfect representation of the kind of versatility you can get with Shane Smith & the Saints.
2. “All I See Is You”
“All I See Is You” is the band’s most well-known song and it comes from their second album Geronimo. An absolute Austin, Texas, country masterpiece, you get a little bit of everything that defines Shane Smith & the Saints. I could talk about this song forever, but it’s better if you just watch this live performance to begin your journey of discovering Shane Smith & the Saints.
1. “Mountain Girl”
“Mountain Girl” is the last song and is my most recommended song to listen to by Shane Smith & the Saints. It’s one of the tunes that clearly defines what makes Shane Smith, Shane Smith.
It reminds me of the Adirondack Mountains from my home state , which is probably what draws me to this single, but like I said, I think this is one of their best songs. If I’m gonna introduce anybody to The Saints, this is where I’m gonna start.