No strangers to the Maritime music scene, Robbie Smith of Shelburne and Judi Cleveland of Liverpool pooled their songwriting, singing and instrumental talents to form the duo: “The Songcrafters” from 1996-2008.
The late Robbie Smith – known for his work with international balladeer, Roger Whittaker, and for appearances on CBC Television, ATV, MTV as well as widespread radio-play, produced a healthy number of recording projects including three independent albums, “I Think It’s Time” and “Moving Portraits” released in the late 1980s as well as “Retro Debut” in 2006. Robbie performed onstage with the likes of Pete Seeger, John Allan Cameron, Tom Chapin, Roger Whittaker and many regional artists.
Judi Cleveland has been writing songs for over 30 years – many of which have been recorded, released and played on radio stations across Canada. Click here to read Judi’s full biography. A considerable number of her songs have a distinct Maritime flavour but she loves pouring her emotions into her heartfelt love songs – and injects her good natured sense of humour into the odd novelty number.
Judi and Robbie, as “The Songcrafters” presented their original blend of songs and casual humour to Nova Scotian audiences and travellers from afar for many years. Venues included festivals, museums, night spots and tourist functions, as well as concerts in theatres such the Astor, the Osprey Arts Centre, the Y’Arc, and other venues along the south shore and in the Annapolis Valley, also in P.E.I. and New Brunswick.
They released two albums, “Separately Together” launched in 2001, and “Interwoven” in 2019 which was launched virtually via YouTube. Scroll below to watch, and listen to, the full Interwoven Virtual Launch video.
Separately Together (2001)
The debut album of The Songcrafters, “Separately Together”, was recorded and produced by Robbie Smith. It features songs written by both Judi and Robbie as well as one collaboration, “The Truth”.
Tracks 1, 5, 8 and 11 – music and lyrics written by Robbie Smith.
Tracks 2, 4, 6, 7, 9 and 10 – music and lyrics written by Judi Cleveland.
Track 3, “The Truth” – music written by Robbie Smith, lyrics written by Robbie Smith and Judi Cleveland.
All songs SOCAN. © 2001.
Produced and engineered by Robbie Smith.
Robbie Smith – lead and background vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, percussion, violin, bass and bouzouki
Judi Cleveland – lead and background vocals, guitar
Chris Churchill – double bass on “Chester Summer Morning”
Paul Elwood – banjo on “Somethin’ Nice”
Rosemary Wall – photography
Alex Buchanan and Judi Cleveland – graphic design
As the first Songcrafters’ album is named “Separately Together”, it seemed fitting the second be entitled “Interwoven”. The term Interwoven appears in the third selection, “The Songcrafters’ Theme”, in describing the way songwriters weave, from threads of life’s stories of joy, sorrow, harmony, laughter, love and loss, their musical fabric as our world daily spins the colourful tales of our lives. Interwoven expresses equally the art of both songwriters showcasing three Robbie songs, three Judi songs and six collaborations.
The listener is taken on a musical journey from the darkness of gossip in “The Truth” to the love and compassion nurtured by “The Farmers of Light”, from the turbulence of love in “Lover’s Mansion” to the celebration of dance in “Age Unknown” and from the scars of “Mother Earth” to man’s fascination with “Moontalkin’”. We hope you enjoy the ride!
Tracks 4, 8 and 10 – music and lyrics written by Robbie Smith.
Tracks 2, 5 and 9 – music and lyrics written by Judi Cleveland.
Tracks 1, 6, 7, and 11 – music written by Robbie Smith, lyrics written by Robbie Smith and Judi Cleveland.
Track 3 – “The Songcrafters’ Theme” – music written by Robbie Smith, lyrics written by Judi Cleveland.
Track 12 – “The Farmers of Light” – music and lyrics written by Judi Cleveland and Robbie Smith.
All songs SOCAN. © 2008. (Released in 2019)
Produced and engineered by Tim Feswick at Feswick Productions.
Production assistance by Robbie Smith.
Audio editing assistance by Alex Buchanan.
Robbie Smith – lead and background vocals, classical, 12-string and acoustic guitars, mandolin, violin, banjo, autoharp, percussion
Judi Cleveland – lead and background vocals
Donnie Crosby – keyboard
Stephanie MacLeod – flute
Geoff Arsenault – drums
Tim Feswick – electric guitar, bass
Thanks to friends who volunteered vocals on “The Farmers of Light”.
Alex Buchanan – graphic design
Judi Cleveland and Robbie Smith – design input
The Songcrafters – Interwoven – Virtual Launch (2020)
You are cordially invited to this virtual launch of the Songcrafters’ album “Interwoven” as we pay tribute to the life and musicianship of the late Robbie Smith and share original songs and the stories of how they came to be.