Misner & Smith

Misner & Smith

Performing in the 2014 Green Show Thursday, August 7 and Saturday, August 9.

This is their third season in the OSF Green Show.

Original Folk-rock music with dazzling harmonies and story-filled lyrics.

Misner & Smith’s music is a search for meaning. The songs yearn for connection, ache for understanding, relish in mystery, and rejoice in creation. In a world that often feels to be crumbling down around us, they dig deep, and find hope in simple things, in the beauty that surrounds us all.

With their brand new release, Seven Hour Storm, Misner & Smith have created an album of vivid, poetic songwriting, filled with some of the finest harmony singing around. Working with producer Jeff Kazor (The Crooked Jades, Richard Buckner) and engineer Bruce Kaphan (David Byrne, REM, The Black Crowes) they have a penned an album with lush, yet subtle arrangements, filling out an already rich sound that the duo is known for producing live.

It was an entirely different art form that brought these two together in the first place. Having separately studied and worked for years as actors in theaters around the country, they met for the first time at a Shakespeare festival in California in 2002. Two years later they were cast in a play about legendary American folksinger and songwriter, Woody Guthrie. Through several weeks of rehearsals, and an extended run of the play Woody Guthrie’s American Song, Sam and Megan discovered a mutual love of roots music, and in particular, harmony singing. With intricate, often 5-part vocal arrangements of Guthrie’s songs as the backbone of the show, the special blend that Misner & Smith have become known for became evident right away. Since then, the two have acted in the play over a hundred times around the country, including runs at venues such as Marin Theatre Company, The Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among others.

Balancing their lives as musicians and actors is no easy task—and often more like a juggling act. Yet storytelling is at the heart of both, and may well be the common thread running through all art. Inspired by both music and theater, their list of influences contains equal parts playwrights, songwriters, actors, and musicians.

Crafting songs rich in meaning and texture, Misner & Smith’s sound is anchored by their unique vocal harmonies and evocative lyrics. They tour extensively, both at home and abroad, and in 2007, their song “Madeline (Paradise Cracked)” won the West Coast Songwriters Association’s Song of the Year.

Misner & Smith on Community: Northern California is our home and we both feel a deep connection to this area and community. However, since we began this adventure as musicians our community has widened and the more we tour, the more communities welcome us in as one of their own. We formed our musical partnership as actors, while in a production of a show called Woody Guthrie's American Song. Singing Woody Guthrie's music night after night, we learned so much about the power of great songwriting and how infusing vivid story-filled lyrics with magnetic harmonies can be a powerful tool in bringing people together. The power of theatre was what brought us together, we have both always felt that need to connect with a larger community through art. To gather complete strangers together and give them a shared experience, and, hopefully, through that experience foster understanding and possibly even a more tolerant society. We straddle two worlds as Musicians and Actors and we believe that if we do our job right, we can be a kind of glue or common ground to knit communities together.