Stuart Smith the much talented guitarist who for the past four years has been a part of Steve Priest’s version of The Sweet here in the States, has decided to call time on that.
They put on a great performance last Friday night here in Detroit, as those who read my last posting on here will know and even spending time with Stuart and the band, I never got the slightest hint that he was about to do this…
That said, I am fully aware of how frustrated Stuart is feeling about trying to get the latest Heaven and Earth album finished off.
No word from Stuart – No, he won’t even spill it to me! – on the album’s title, but I understand that all the basic tracks, are recorded, but it does need all the other stuff that goes with it.
Additional guitar parts, percussion, any vocal fixes, level adjustments, etc, etc, so he wants it done right and there’s some serious money going on here and as much as Stuart has told me, I don’t think he wants it known, exactly how much that is … It is a bloody lot though!
Artwork alone from Glen Wexler who has worked with so many big names from Van Halen to ZZ Top, Black Sabbath to Slaughter, Michael Jackson to Rush, so you know it’s serious stuff! That alone is a five figure amount, on the larger end …
The email Stuart sent to me on Sunday night, read like this:
“Hi Alun, It was good to see you this weekend. Look forward to seeing you when I come through with Heaven & Earth in the near future. Thought I’d let you be one of the first to hear it but as of today I’ve officially quit Sweet. The new Heaven & Earth album is a huge undertaking and I feel I need to give it 100% of my attention. I wish the guys all the luck in the future.”
So I had to call him and see what I could find out, if there was more and there’s really not.
Heaven and Earth after all is his baby, along with drummer Richie Onori who’s played alongside him in Heaven and Earth on the first self titled release, the follow up E.P. that was released and last album Windows to the World, that was produced by Howard Leese (Heart, Bad Company, Paul Rodgers).
This really means so much to him and from all he’s told me, I cannot express that on his behalf, enough.
The album new album will feature alongside Stuart, his Sweet bandmates vocalist Joe Retta and Richie Onori, as well as bassist Chuck Wright (House of Lords, Quiet Riot, Mr. Big, Ted Nugent) and keyboard player Arlan Schierbaum, who in fact has also featured on all previous Heaven and Earth releases, same as Richie Onori.
Stuart, you know you have my support mate, can’t wait to hear the new Heaven and Earth album. Rock on!