Everybody makes such a big deal about guys like Jack Johnson. True, enough Jack is a pretty cool guy who makes some nice music. But when comes to too-cool-for-school Zen poetry, warm night grooves and in-the-pocket melodies, nobody comes close to Darden Smith. I first heard him on Ithaca New York’s alt-pop station WICB back in 1990 when he broke with “Frankie and Sue” (a dose of pop-swing that’s still and all time favorite. Find it in the cut-out bins if you can). Several years later I saw him do a solo set and got to chat with him at a little coffeehouse in north Jersey – a tremendous show and a lot fun, talking about music and greenery and walking meditation. As for this album, simply BUY IT, LISTEN TO IT and LOVE IT. “What Are We Gonna Do,” “Turning To You” and “Hands On The Wheel” are all excellent. “Shooting Star” is one most beautiful acoustic songs you’ll ever hear. It’s a joy to hear him sing.