Arty Hill - A Thousand Smoky Nights

Voted 2021 Album of the Year by Eddie White, Ameripolitan Award-Winning DJ, Cosmic Cowboy Cafe, 2RRR 88.5 FM, Sydney, Australia

"I am a long time fan and friend of Arty Hill. He never fails to deliver quality music with whatever project he is creating and A THOUSAND SMOKY NIGHTS nails it yet again. His vocals on this album are superb - one minute going way deep into the heart of country music and the next blowing out the truck doors full volume. This album is loaded with cool songs and excellent production. Arty Hill is a true American treasure. I count myself very fortunate to be a fan and friend." - Jason Ringenberg, Jason & The Scorchers

"Arty Hill delivers the goods: top drawer songwriting, singing, musicians and production. From the brash R’n’R of I Feel A Twang Coming On to the open-heart surgery of Are You Sleeping, there’s a wealth of real deal Honky-Tonk in here." - Bill Kirchen, Telecaster Master

"Life just got a lot better. Live music and Arty Hill are back! A Thousand Smoky Nights is a honky-tonkers dream. It delivers heartache and misery with "The Last Foolish Thing I'll Do" and " The Lonely Game In Town''. Then, there's the boot- scootin' gold of "Honky Tonk OCD", and the best song story of all, "Big Wheel"! The band is hot in all the right places and the production never lets you down. Arty's songwriting and vocals are as solid here as we've come to expect. I want to listen to it again, drop that needle and let's honky-tonk! - Ms. Pearl, Pearl's General Store, KOOP, Austin, TX

"A Thousand Smoky Nights brings me back to the alleyways winding around Baltimore’s waterfront dives, where the scent of cheap cologne and cigarettes collides with the aroma of Royal Farms fried chicken, Old Bay, and exhaust fumes. Some of my favorite memories are standing ten feet from Arty at some hole-in-the-wall there, the Cat’s Eye or 1919; ice cold Natty Boh in hand; shoulder to shoulder with some of the cities best musicians and writers; stomping and singing along to “I Left Highlandtown” or “Nashville Moon” or “Drive That Fast” or any one of the other dozens of one hundred proof country tunes he’s penned over the years. The strings of his telecaster would get burning around midnight, shooting out bended waves of syncretic twang that pierced thick tufts of raucous fiddle and pedal steel like beams of melted glass. This sometimes sad, sometimes joyful noise tumbled down the fuzzy cobblestone streets of Fells Point fueling every kinda sin imaginable. When it was all over, a couple of hours before the sun came up, me and whoever could still walk would hightail it to the closest diner for homemade moussaka and pastitsio.


His tenth release is further evidence that Arty can still hold his own with any big-headed Texan or Tennessee transplant you can name (and I will stand on the vintage coffee table of every overrated “Americana” star in Nashville in my Red Wings and say that). This new collection—as hot as one of those last-call shows—has it all, from trucker anthems to make Dave Dudley bust his airhorn (“Big Wheel”) to ballads that could lift Keith Whitley out of his early grave and begin to moan (“Are You Sleeping”). Proving again that he can write and sing in the style of every era of country music without resorting to laundry list sentimentalism or the “backroads” pseudo-regionalism that plagues popular radio, songs like “Truck Stop Preacher” and “A Girl Singing Jolene” illustrate why Music Row should have had him on speed dial a long time ago. Like the late patron saint of barroom singer-songwriters himself, Mr. Gary Stewart, Arty is not just a veteran performer and torchbearer, he is a true scholar (and now, master) of the craft. He’s been cranking out top shelf honky tonk records for going on twenty years now and has yet to miss the mark or stray off course. Here’s to twenty, or better yet, a thousand more." - Travis Kitchens


Arty Hill - Live: Church on Saturday Night

"Words like beer-stained and whiskey-drenched don't really do justice to the work of Arty Hill...He is one of country music's most underrated songwriters." - Country Music People

"'[With his new live album], Arty has done it again and gotten me once more." - Lars Threll, Country Club (4.5 out of 5 stars)

"Live: Church on Saturday Night" - # 18 on Americana Music Show's Best 40 Cds of 2016

"Arty Hill has created his own honky tonk utopia in Baltimore. But to get there he had to go back in time and observe that sacred moment in country music, shortly after the big bang, when the planets fell into orbit and the prodigal son assumed his position at the center of the universe: a Saturday night in Nashville, 1951, with “Old Bones” Hank Williams presiding over his hillbilly acolytes at the mother church of country music, The Grand Ol’ Opry. The experience must have left an impression on Hill, who works his own magic throughout this new live set.


At heart, Hill has always been an alchemist; carefully refining golden melodies while looking for that timeless element Hank held so simply. “Church on Saturday Night” is his finest all-around recording. A handful of his best songs and one new one (“Edinburgh Cowboy”) are joyfully hammered out by an exemplary band that understands the laws of country and how to work with them. The half dozen other songs would raise the roof of the Ryman if he were being introduced by Red Foley. As Hill explains on the title track: ‘They can take the Opry, they can make it slick and loud, they can slap it on a t-shirt and sell it to the crowd/ But that don’t make it country, and that don’t make it right, and it ain’t got nothing on Church on Saturday Night.' Amen." - Travis Kitchens


Arty Hill: Heart on My Dirty Sleeve

"No-bullshit honky-tonk hero carries the torch for the hard-livin', harder drinkin', troubled sweethearts of unaffected real-talk country." - Brandon Soderberg, Baltimore City Paper

"Arty Hill has the perfect voice for singing real country, and does full justice to all his high quality writing. All 27 songs here have a unique, special feel, and moments of greatness." - Paul Riley, Country Music People

"I knew ahead of time what Arty Hill was planning, to release a double CD with 27 original songs. Was he crazy? Turns out, no. He definitely had the material. So, half honky tonk and half acoustic/ bluegrass, you get everything you need and from players to production, no compromises. The unexpected 'Waiting For the Light To Change' as well as the clever and sweet 'Drive That Fast' are stand outs, sticking with you long after the first listen. The vocals and songwriting are top flight and the title is perfect. So it's me who's crazy, about 'Heart On My Dirty Sleeve'!" - Ms. Pearl, Pearl's General Store, KOOP 91.7, Austin, TX


Another Lost Highway:

Elmore Magazine: "Some call this music modern honky tonk. Heck, this is the way country music should sound, period." (complete review not available online)

San Antonio Express: "One of the best country singers going right now is not from Texas or from Tennessee — he’s from Baltimore and his name is Arty Hill. He’s also is a first-class songwriter..."

Baltimore City Paper: "This powerful collection of country songs shows us the expected thrills and cold-morning chills or the honky tonk life - from some unexpected angles."

Root Hog Radio: "Another Lost Highway' is the best record I've heard in a long time. We get review copies for free, but I would buy it with my own cash money."

Roctober Magazine: "If you don't like western swinging', top notch twanging', sweet singing' barn barn burners, then you need to get your American parts checked."


Montgomery on my Mind:

From Allmusic: "Perhaps because [Hank Williams's] music is so good and even somewhat difficult, many stay away out of respect, but that is not a problem for Arty Hill & his Long Gone Daddys....Long on pedal, lap steel, or dobro twang and sophistication, the clean and lean music played here cannot be mistaken for anything other than down-home Grand 'Ol Opry traditionalist music with an uptown flavor, and plenty of spirit, to boot. Where "I Can't Help It" and especially "Lovesick Blues" with stretched cowpoke vocals, are instantly recognizable, you'll find very few bands do this with such authenticity as Hill and the Daddys....Hill sings faithfully, and adds his own "Church on Saturday Night" in homage to the icons of Nashville back in 1951. Audiences should demand more from Arty Hill, for he's certainly capable, as presented on this brief but very satisfying effort." For complete review, go here:

From Sleazegrinder: "This laid-back and loving celebration from cow'n'tree maestro Hill and his hound-dog gang (already named in their subjects honour you'll have noticed) stands and will continue to do so like a whole desert of cactii for many a year, blue moon, midnight howl and cold-kissed dawn....To directly mis-quote Paul Westerberg set me up volume two of these." (complete review not available online)

From 3rd Coast Music Magazine: "[Montgomery on my Mind] is a short album, but with Arty Hill, anyone into Real Country should be happy with anything they can get- there are times when he reminds me of Don Walser, and you can't say any fairer than that...Hill is currently setting the bar for male country singers. (John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music Magazine, October 2009). (complete review not available online)

From Lonesome Highway: "This fine ep from Arty Hill is rooted in the 50s but very much about today....hardcore and heartfelt."

From Country Standard Time: "Making a tribute album to Hank Williams could be career suicide, but Arty Hill and His Long Gone Daddys pull off their eight song homage with solid vocals great picking and most of all, a ton of respect." Read the complete review here:


Back on the Rail (2009 reissue):

From "[The Long Gone Daddys are] one fabulous band, and Hill is a 'billy singer who delivers the narrative -- sad, bitter, wry, humorous or odd -- with absolute authority. He is, moreover, a country songwriter of the first order. As a traditionalist in an age when mainstream "country" has devolved into an instantly disposable substance, he may be out of time, but he's never out of rhyme."

From Sleazegrinder: "On this reissue of 2005's debut...Hill and his two-man assembly line plough out the sparsely-attended, softly-hewn but hard-bitten songs of heavy heft and sharp reckoning of the stripe usually associated with the Texan poets of parlous states like Guy Clark or Rodney Crowell and beyond into the deep canyons of classic country-honkin' tonic. A large feat it is, but Hill's lyrics and compositions are at a similar level as those rightly lauded eloquenteers....A classic from the far side of the basement bar drenched in wry, though not ironic, depictions of life's li'l ol' slinky intricacies, irritations and tribulations. - Sleazegrinder, October 24, 2009

From Country Standard Time: "Drenched in sawdust-on-the-floor feeling and smartly sequenced, [Back on the Rail] is what country music used to be all about."

From Vintage Guitar Magazine: "Vocally, Hill is perfect for these songs. "The 'everyman' quality of his voice is reminiscent of Johnny Cash, and has the integrity and skill to convey lyrics ranging from funny and silly ("I Ate Through the Jail") to an interracial romance love story that didn't sit well with locals ("Tammerlane")....This disc should catch a larger audience [.]" (Vintage Guitar Magazine, September 2009) (review not available online)

From Jumping from 6 to 6: "This is what country music should be: real music by real people for real folks."



"["Back on the Rail" is a] self-released jewel...much too good to be overlooked. In fact it's awesome and just what I needed after an endless pile of Rockabilly CDs that overall were too similar to produce any real standouts and contained somewhat marginal songwriting....Enough whining, there's nothing to complain about with this release. It's the real deal, Honky Tonk Country with intelligent, totally heartfelt lyrics, great production & sound, singing and picking....There are rockers and slower Country numbers filled with real life stories that are haunting....It's a great, mature release."
- Blue Suede News # 77

"Voted Austin's Best New Band of 2005, the Texas Sapphires have a secret weapon named Arty Hill in the unlikely city of Baltimore. While Sapphires orginals like 'Emerald Outlaw' and "Break this Fool' are potent enough, Hill's stone-cold 'Driftin' In' and the lowdown 'Bring out the Bible (We Ain't got a Prayer)'...mark the high point of the Sapphires' debut."
- Texas Music

The Houston Press just gave a great review to "Valley So Steep," the new CD from my good bud, Billy Brent Malkus and his band, the Texas Sapphires. The CD includes their really cool versions of my songs "Driftin In" and "Bring out the Bible (We Ain't Got A Prayer)."

William Michael Smith of the Houston Press said, among other things: "If honky-tonk has a future, hopefully it will sound a lot like "Driftin' In" or "Bring Out the Bible (We Ain't Got a Prayer)."

To read the full review, go to The Houston Press


"Arty Hill's songs are salted with tears and steeped in the rich brew of classic country and western that, in the right hands, never loses its power. Shaded from the glare of Nashville's bright lights, Hill draws inspiration from the streets of Baltimore, and his tunes should be in heavy rotation on every jukebox in every corner tavern in town..."
- John Lewis, Baltimore Magazine


"[Arty Hill and the Long Gone Daddys are] firmly rooted in the country traditions of Hank Williams and George Jones, yet find equal footing in the earth quakin' rattle of Sun-era rockabilly...[T]hese guys make classic Texas singer/songwriter country and honky-tonk much like Austin's super-group Heybale! It's good fun if youre looking to move your feet, and good for listening too as Hill's story tunes are as catchy as the ones that jump.
- Miles of Music


"Tompall Glaser and Harlan Howard's "The Streets of Baltimore" has reigned as the Official Baltimore Country Song for decades, but [in Arty Hill's "I Left Highlandtown"] there's a respectable rival... Like the rest of the Hill originals on the new "Back on the Rail," it slaps lyrics that'd impress at any guitar pull on top of the kind of basic Tele-twang-and-shuffle backing custom-built for red-lit barrooms."
-Lee Gardner, Baltimore City Paper


"Jackson Shake, Drifting In, and Back On The Rail perfectly deliver that jumping old country vibe so many try to nail and so many fail at. Great songs, great production, and great singing/picking - it's all here. And pay close attention to Tammerlane. It is a masterpiece."
- Jason Ringenberg / Farmer, Musician
(formerly of Jason & The Scorchers)


"[Arty Hill and the Long Gone Daddys] make music in the spirit of classic country - Hank Williams, Johnny Cash - but add a strong dose of '50s rockabilly to the mix. It's the kind of music that makes you alternatively want to get up and throw your sweetheart around the dance floor and drown your sorrows in another pint of beer."
- Style Magazine


"[Arty Hill's] music is grounded, genuine. When he sings alone...a vulnerable sweetness emerges and it is hard to resist."
- Nicole Schulteis / The Daily Record



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