“Chris Smith (a.k.a. Sunshone Still) has a sound that reflects the work of artists such as Tom Waits, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake. Dead Letters is his impressive debut, which he wrote, recorded and produced over the last three years; it's a musical landscape painted in the hushed tones of twilight. Acoustic guitars lead the way, occasionally joined by the lonesome and cutting sound of a harmonica or any number of acoustic instruments lazily meandering through the songs. The sparse instrumentation and subdued production emphasize Smith's plaintive baritone and the small-town pictures he paints. The summer-camp recollection “Fireflies” is a midtempo highlight, while the heartrending “Smoke Rings” is a picture of post-relationship depression.”
- No Depression, March/April 2006 Issue, Greg Yost
Sunshone Still* is the musical nom de plume for Chris Smith, a Nashville native now living in Columbia, SC. Since the 2005 release of Dead Letters, Chris has received an honorable mention at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival's Troubadour Competition and appeared on Shut Eye Records' compilation disc, The United State of Americana, Vol 3 with The Greencards and Jeff Black. Also, critics from The State and Free Times listed Dead Letters among the top '05 albums, and readers voted the album runner-up for Best CD by a Local Artist in the Free Times 2005 Best of Columbia poll. In 2006, he was featured in a Free Times cover story about “five buzz-worthy Columbia bands”.
Without a record contract, promoter, manager, booking agent, or publicist, the music continues to reach a national audience. The album was reviewed in No Depression (Mar/Apr 2006 issue) as an “...impressive debut...a musical landscape painted in the hushed tones of twilight.” He was featured on the NPR program, All Songs Considered: Open Mic in February 2006, and he has had two songs placed on the 2006 PBS series, Roadtrip Nation.
*"And I was green, greener than the hill
Where flowers grew and the sun shone still
Now I'm darker than the deepest sea
Just hand me down, give me a place to be"
-from Nick Drake's "Place to Be"