Formed in 2016, Smilo and the Ghost have been delivering hard-driving, old-time influenced folk-rock to crowds around the Northeast. Their debut album, Ghost Writers, was voted one of the “Top Three Albums of 2018” by the Erie Reader. Since then, Smilo and the Ghost have opened for national acts like Grammy Award Winning country duo Dan + Shay and alt-rock legends 10,000 Maniacs.
The band’s recording and performing personnel have included a “who’s who” of regional talent, currently condensed down to the core lineup:
- Adam McKillip – mandolin and harmonies,
- Tyler Smilo – songwriting, guitar, lead vocals
- Jassen Wilber – bass
- Dominick DeCecco- banjo
Smilo’s emotionally charged lyrics and vocals are backed up by the virtuosity of Wilber (who has toured the world with American blues guitarist Bernard Allison) and McKillip. Their setlist moves between gritty, hard-luck foot stompers like “Nothing’s Changed” and “Big Guns” to triumphant ballads like “Save Me” and “There’s Nothing Left.” All of which are highlights of Smilo & the Ghost live shows.
The band’s songs share Americana country/rock DNA with Trampled by Turtles, Dawes, and Ryan Bingham, while maintaining a voice all their own. The recent addition of DeCecco on banjo has allowed for a deeper exploration of the band’s bluegrass and country chops.
These old-timey roots are on full display in their highly-anticipated album, Fingers Crossed and Godspeed, which has been selected as one of Erie Reader’s “Top Three Albums of 2021.” The band isn’t sitting still, though, and have plans to record a live album in early 2022.
Smilo and the Ghost combine songs meant for singing and dancing with charismatic, high-energy performing on stage. They’re as comfortable on the main stage as they are in the corner of a local bar and shouldn’t be missed at either venue