D. Ian Smith


D. Ian Smith is a Vancouver-based musician who divides his time between these projects:

Kelly Cockroach - a bass and drums duet featuring Texas Tom on bass and lead vocals and Kelly Stodola (Kelly Cockroach) on drums.

The Hornet Drones - a project that focuses on both Roots music, as well as contemporary Pop music.

The Beer Belly Rock 'n' Roll Band - a songwriting and recording project featuring Producer Infinite Cloud.

Colubrid - a Rock band that does a mix of Blues, Funk, Reggae, and Top 40.

The Big Buddha Belly - a modern electric Jazz ensemble with Funk overtones. - New album "Orchards" out now on the Ulusulu Music label!

Osea - a jam band with elements of Funk, World Music, Jazz - Fusion, Electronica, and Classical Music.

As an original artist, Smith’s objective is to bridge the cultural gap between the mainstream and the avant-garde. Smith started playing electric bass at age fourteen; at age eighteen he took lessons on the double bass, and within three months he joined The Kamloops Symphony Orchestra for one season. Smith later traveled to Boston, MA, U.S.A. where he spent a semester at Berklee College of Music on a scholarship. After completing a semester where he received a 3.73 GPA (out of 4.0), Smith left music school to pursue a career in singing and songwriting.

Smith has a history of touring around British Columbia, as well as the Caribbean, playing in a variety of bands. He has also written dozens of songs in a variety of genres that include: pop/rock, dub-reggae, funk, rhythm and blues, world beat, and jazz-fusion. His label, Humble Bumble Records, features his original songs; songs that are topical, with witty and poignant lyrics that always tell a story.

As a bassist, Smith's influences include: Sting, Geddy Lee, Richard Cousins, Adam Clayton, Tracy Wormworth, Jaco Pastorius, Stanley Clarke, Doug Wimbish, Jonas Hellborg, Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, Aston "Family Man" Barrett, and Robbie Shakespeare.

As a songwriter/composer his influences include: The Police, Sting, Rush, U2, Sam Cooke, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Robert Cray, Elton John, Miles Davis, John Scofield, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Vinx, Bernie Worrell, Living Colour, Tackhead, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Alpha Blondy, Dennis Brown, Steel Pulse, J.S. Bach, Samuel Barber, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.

As a vocalist Smith's influences include: Sting, Eddie Vedder, Brad Roberts, Bernard Fowler, Gary "Mudbone" Cooper, and Buddy Miles.

D. Ian Smith has a sound that is both rootsy and modern. In fact, there are a number of songs that he does as a solo that people would be surprised by. His greatest accomplishment, however, is a solo piece on the bass that is quite the tour de force. The piece in question is titled “The Ballet That Killed My Band.” This particular work is an hour long, has several movements, and took over seventeen years to write. However, rather than being a virtuoso that dazzles the audience with lots of tricks, Smith instead focuses on making music that is enjoyable to listen to. “I started out playing solo gigs, but as soon as I found other musicians to work with, I sort of let that go. A friend suggested that I start doing solo gigs again, and judging by the response I’ve been getting, it’s been a lot of fun.”

Over the years, Smith has had the good fortune to perform with, or be on the same bill with the following: Tim Williams, Gaye Delorme, Joel Kroeker, Guy Davis, The Paper Boys, Mae Moore, Maria Muldaur, Jacksoul, The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir, Grimskunk, and 54-40. Smith has performed in three musicals, including "The Wizard of Oz", "Grease", and "Promises, Promises". He has produced, and is in the midst of producing several recordings of his various original bands, including Swackhammer, Beating Raoul, Osea, The Dick Nixons, Squeeky Leek, Big Buddha Belly, and Pura Vida. His band Swackhammer appeared on CBC radio, and their video “Smelly” was aired on CBC television's Inside Trax.