Built For Slow
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Built For Slow

Idaho Falls, ID | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Idaho Falls, ID | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Solo Rock Blues Rock




"Meet Brian Smith"

Monday, 03 February 2014 22:18
Meet Brian Smith
Written by Wintana Taddese
Brian Smith a teacher by profession, is an amazing performer playing the most unlikely genre performed live here in Addis “ROCK”!
We met at a show he did at the German Restaurant & bar early June 2013 when performing in the band “The Germaricans”.
They performed cover tracks where Brian was playing the lead guitar singing favorites from famous Artists from the likes of Nirvana,
Red hot chili peppers etc…. they rocked the night indeed!
He’s been performing since the age of 15 in the Midwest and has managed to do so in three continents so far, “I plan to continue to
add to that if possible” he says.
With his one man band established early spring 2013, he recently released his first Album “Built for slow” on July 1st 2013.
What type of genre you ask …. “I call it punkabilly blues, it’s very Midwestern with different tempos and drive” is the
way Brian describes his music.
Built for slow - how the name was coined…
“I made a list of 300 names. I paired down from there and Built for Slow was the winner. I also wanted to have a band
name rather than my own name so that I could add or subtract personnel and the band would go forward rather than having
to come up with a new name if the band reformed”.
He’s been doing gigs here in Addis at the “Guys Bar”, “German Restaurant & Bar”, and “The Blue Diamond” and he’s
interested to expand to perform further in different venues here as well.
“I needed a way to perform my music in an honest way but at the same time deal with the limitations that living abroad puts
on personnel and also travel and shows. Being a one man band works really well with an international life style”.
Brian is currently working on his second Album. So far he’s performed 3 of the new songs that have not been recorded yet,
“they have met with good response” says Brian. “What's nice is that I now have an audience to try out songs on”.
I had asked Brian about how people were reacting to his music here in Addis, do people get it? Because it’s not the type of
genre listened-to much here, and I had not come across any previous performances either & I also asked what he thought of
the same anywhere in Africa.
“Rock in Ethiopia/Africa – doesn't really seem to exist much. I know South Africa has a big indie thing going on, but that's
about all I know of. But I noticed the folks here really seem to enjoy original music. The foot drums amaze them when I
Future aspirations of the band, what’s planned next aside from working on the next album….
“Hopefully this summer I will get the chance to tour Europe and play in a number of different countries. Hopefully I will also
get to play in different venues here in Addis”
Check-out his website at www.builtforslow.com
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Last modified on Monday, 03 February 2014 22:35
Wintana Taddese
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LLiikkee - Addis Happening

"Brian Smith: A Band of His Own"

Please read the pdf file.... - Addis Standard

"Bluesbunny Music Review - Review of Built For Slow's album - Kitfo"

There’s probably a thousand reasons why people make music but, being based in Addis Ababa, Built for Slow – the stage name for one Brian Smith – is, fortunately, doing more than finding something to pass the time in the sunshine.

Being so far from home almost implies self-sufficiency so it is perhaps no surprise that Built For Slow is a one man band with his multi-tasking encompassing the triumvirate of voice, guitar and percussion. Add in a respectful take on rock’s past glories and a sense of humour and you have something of a portable party sound. There’s enough edginess to the lyrics, however, to suggest a desire to subvert stadium pomposity and behave like Billy Bragg. Only in sunglasses, of course. Of the songs, “Let It Burn” is the song with the strongest message but “The Bloody Benders” isn’t far behind.

One man and his songs might not seem much these days but Built For Slow is in no danger of drowning in his own sensitivity and the message advertised in his lyrics should keep him afloat even in the rough seas surrounding the music business these days. - Bluesbunny


Built For Slow's second album, "Kitfo" was released on January 1, 2015.  It was recorded in Addis Ababa.  There are vocals, foot drums, and guitar on the cd, nothing else.  You can check it out at http://builtforslow.com/

Built For Slow's first album, "Daegu to Addis" was released in July. It is available on the website - http://builtforslow.com or on iTunes.



Brian Smith has been performing in various bands for over 25 years. He has appeared live on three different continents and is currently performing in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Due to his family's international lifestyle, the idea of rethinking the one man band was born. Using modern foot percussion, a little guitar, and a relentless drive to create - Built For Slow was born. Built For Slow performs an original, organic style of punkabilly blues that combines Smith's love of cornfed, midwestern rock with traditional blues and aggressive pop/punk into a fun, foot stomping, rowdy musical show. Did I mention fun?

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