Patti Smith & Her Band
Before she was the living legend who gave poetry to American punk, Patti Smith arrived in New York in 1967, where she busked, hung out at Max’s Kansas City and CBGB, and lived in the Chelsea Hotel with the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. With Lenny Kaye, she formed the Patti Smith Group, welding raw rock to the spoken word with historic reverberations. Her 1975 debut, Horses, is widely regarded as the first punk album and one of the greatest records of all time.
After challenging her newly huge audience with an almost heavy-metal turn on Radio Ethiopia, Smith scaled new commercial heights with Easter in 1978, which featured the hit “Because the Night,” co-written with Bruce Springsteen. She then spent most of the eighties raising a family in Michigan with her husband, Fred “Sonic” Smith of MC5. After he passed away in 1994, Patti Smith was drawn back to the city, where she has released six more acclaimed albums and reaped her just rewards for changing the course of rock music forever: working with both modern artists like R.E.M. and downtown legends like Tom Verlaine, gathering Grammy nominations and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the 2010s, while adding worldwide renown as a memoirist to her cherished bibliography as a poet, Smith has continued to perform music with her characteristic elemental gravitas, often in support of human rights and environmental causes. With Kaye, Tony Shanahan, Jay Dee Daugherty, and her son, Jackson Smith, the musician who embodies both the rock musician and the poet in American mythology brings her unabated thunder to Big Ears.