April 7, 2010 Edition

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Curry Smith (right) and band members Kyle Fagala (from left), Kevin Lipe and Justin Jamerson met while attending Harding University and formed the band "Sheriffs of Nottingham" in 2008.
Submitted Photos ~ Brandon Dahlberg

Curry Smith's band
successful in Memphis

Curry Smith plays bass and sings vocals for the widely known Memphis band "Sheriffs of Nottingham."
Shantelle Prater
Staff Writer

"Original and yet unmistakably Memphis," is how audience members describe the Sheriffs of Nottingham, a four-member band featuring former Hoxie resident Curry Smith.

Smith, 28, serves as vocalist and bass player for the band, which officially formed on June 21, 2008.

The band's music is classified as a new type of Memphis blues with an emphasis on rock.

"Our music is very friendly and danceable," said Smith. "It has changed over the years and we are moving more towards a raw sound that you could classify as rock. We have a very distinct sound that is gritty and sounds like music straight from the heart of Memphis."

Since its formation in 2008, the band has enjoyed much success. In August 2009, the band received first place in Memphis' battle of the bands and in October 2009, the Memphis Flyer named Sheriffs of Nottingham as the second best local band. Sheriffs of Nottingham received higher praise than nationally-known Lucero.

"We have played at nearly every venue in the city and have been welcomed back with open arms," Smith said. "Everyone has a great time, and they seem to really enjoy our music and the high energy that comes with it."

The band has played several gigs within the city including performances at The Blue Monkey, Neil's Music Room and The Hard Rock Cafˇ. They also have played in the River City Jam Musical Festival and at a Grizzlies game at the FedEx Forum.

"When I am on stage, I just play and let the music do the talking for me," said Smith when asked what he enjoys most about performing. "We dance around and have a blast when we play because it's something we all love."

In addition to the band's performances, they regularly receive airtime on the WEVL, a local Memphis radio station, and are being played on radio stations in Alabama and Mississippi.

They are also on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and Youtube and have more than 6,000 fans on Myspace.

Sheriffs of Nottingham debuted their first CD, "Hard Places: The EP," on Nov. 14, 2009, at the Young Avenue Deli in Midtown Memphis. The CD features seven original songs recorded at The Noise Factory and mastered at Ardent Studios, both in Memphis.

In addition to launching a new website, the band's music will also be on itunes for purchase soon.

"I have learned a lot since starting this project. For one it gave me a new found respect for musicians because it is really hard to make it in the music industry and you have to sacrifice a lot in order to achieve your goals," said Smith.

"It takes a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance. We have met many great people and have gained some new friends along the way. We have played nearly all the venues in Memphis for thousands of people, and the crowds keep getting bigger and bigger."

Currently in the process of writing new material for a second album, Smith and the band plan to record the album this summer.

"The hardest part about being in a band is the time and effort it takes," said Smith. "I work 50 hours a week or more for a local industrial company and have a wife and child that I want to spend time with."

Ardent Studios in Memphis will record Sheriffs of Nottingham's second album.

"They came to our CD release show in November and loved what they heard," Smith said about studio representatives.

Arden Studios has recorded the likes of Led Zepplin, ZZ Top, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs and many others.

Smith is a 2000 graduate of Crowley's Ridge Academy in Paragould and a 2005 graduate of Harding University. He is a general manager for the industrial company Fastenal in Olive Branch, Miss and is the son of Greg and Mary Smith of Hoxie. He and his wife, Tammy, live in Marion and have a son, Titus, two.

"I can gladly say that my son has been the best part of my life," said Smith. "He has fueled me to succeed and become a better person in all aspects of my life."

Smith said music is his main passion in life, aside from God and family.

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