'Best of' nods from afar ...

We're thrilled to share that our music has been included on two "best of" lists in 2017. First off, the east coast music blog Cover Lay Down has listed our new album, headwaters, as one of the year's best 'coverfolk' albums! 

"Headwaters, the fifth album from California duo Misner & Smith, and their first covers compilation; a homespun collection that finds Sam and Megan, a pair of actors-turned-folk rock/Americana band, yawing wide as they bring diverse songs and influences from The Talking Heads and Dr. Dog to Gram Parsons and The Lovin’ Spoonful into their own sharp and distinctive harmonic register."

Second, the Chicago-based online magazine Consequence of Sound, has singled out our album, Live at the Freight & Salvage in a short list of "Five Great Albums Recorded in Coffeehouses".

"This folk duo is the least-known act on this list, which makes their live set at Freight & Salvage Coffee House the perfect introduction to their work. Over 11 tracks, they treat an appreciative audience to the evocative lyricism of their first two albums—rife with narratives that blend history, fictional characters, and of course, Misner & Smith’s immaculately braided vocal harmonies."
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Photo: Jesse Baldwin

Photo: Jesse Baldwin

NEW ALBUM "headwaters" OUT OCTOBER 3rd!

Here's a little peek at our new album, "headwaters" which will be officially released on October 3rd, 2017. It is our first 'cover album' and it is full of music by bands and songwriters that have and continue to influence us as we create and shape our own songwriting and sound. Get your hands on a physical copy at one of our shows or wait for Oct.3 when it will be available online through CDbaby.

Graphics and design by Kyle Monhollen at  2407 Graphics

Graphics and design by Kyle Monhollen at 2407 Graphics

With their fifth album, Headwaters (Release date: Oct. 3rd, 2017), Sam & Megan have compiled a collection of songs from some of the songwriters and bands who have and continue to influence and inspire their musical journey. Stripping their sound back down to where it began, this selection of songs was recorded live in the studio and features the duo doing what they do best: creating an incredibly textured and rich sound, full of tight arrangements that cut to the quick of each song's heart, and the lush vocal harmonies that have become their trademark.

As Megan and Sam relate, “At the heart of every actors job is to interpret someone else's words, trying to get to the heart of what it is the playwright is expressing, whatever that particular truth may be. Similarly, a great role, like a great song, has built into it stepping stones to get to the core of the character, or the emotion of the tune.  For us, approaching covers is about capturing the essence of the song in our own way. We didn't feel any need or desire to drastically change the songs, or do any sort of radical departure from the original versions. If anything "our stamp" was performing the songs in the most emotionally truthful way we could. We wanted to stay true to the originals because it was the originals that first inspired us, after all.”

Throughout the album, the central focus is the duos stunning harmonies and vocal blend, emphasizing the emotional underpinnings, lyrical songwriting, and poetic language that lie within each song. “America,” and “Return of the Grievous Angel,” two timeless duets made famous by Simon and Garfunkel, and Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris respectively, stay true to their roots, while also receiving a fresh infusion of musical alchemy. Megan takes the lead on Patty Griffith’s painterly portrait of a woman’s thoughts and reflections on her own life on “Making Pies,” while Sam ushers in “City of Dreams,” a brilliant acoustic rendition of one of the rock band Talking Heads slower tempo songs. The ease, warmth, and comfort in Megan and Sam’s delivery is palpable, on “It Make No Difference” by The Band, a well honed staple in Megan and Sam’s set since the duo’s inception.

 By focusing on the work of other songwriters, and revisiting some of their influences, Megan & Sam found that it filled their wells back up, reinvigorating their songwriting with a cache of new originals that will find them in the studio before too long. As Megan & Sam write in the liner notes, “Every river has it’s source, fed by countless streams along its way. These songs are just a few of the streams that have inspired our music, and continue to shape us as we roll down the canyon…”

Misner & Smith on Good Day Sacramento!

We have to thank the great people at Good Day Sacramento for having us on the show to play live and talk about our roles in Sacramento Theatre Company's production of The Grapes of Wrath. Check out our spots on the show, we played "Wayfaring Stranger" and later our own "Tamalpais". 

Misner & Smith performing "Wayfaring Stranger"

Misner & Smith performing "Wayfaring Stranger"

Misner & Smith perform their song, "Tamalpais" from their recent release  Seven Hour Storm.

Misner & Smith perform their song, "Tamalpais" from their recent release Seven Hour Storm.

Marcus Crowder interviews M&S for The Sacramento Bee

"It’s not easy to find professional actors as well-versed in William Shakespeare and Tom Stoppard as they are in Woody Guthrie, but Misner and Smith are."

Read all about Sacramento Theatre Company's upcoming production of Steinbeck's epic America tale The Grapes of Wrath in Marcus Crowder's in-depth article in The Sacramento Bee. Included in the article is our interview with Marcus about our roles in the show as actors and musicians playing live music throughout the play.

"Guthrie’s style inspired the original music written specifically for this show. 'It was telling stories, but not as pop music or music that’s gonna make a bunch of money but to communicate a story, in a catchy way,' Misner said."

Kirk Blackinton as 'Tom Joad' and Laura Kaya as 'Ma'. Barry Wisdom Photography

Kirk Blackinton as 'Tom Joad' and Laura Kaya as 'Ma'. Barry Wisdom Photography

“ 'There’s something really grounding about having live instruments played onstage by live people during the play,' Smith said."

Read entire article and more about this show at Sacbee.com


We're bringing it back! WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG official cast recording - live at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse - will be released this July!

Help our producers raise the last bit of funds they need to get this double album off the ground! Visit their Indiegogo campaign to donate and become a part of this amazing project!

Every little bit helps! Give if you can and share this video with your fellow music lovers.

We will all be reuniting at the Freight this July 17-20 for a limited run of the production - four nights only!

Get your tickets here: Freight & Salvage July Calendar

©&℗ 2013 Misner & Smith/Scribble On The Wall Music. All Rights Reserved.

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