Crucial Smith


  • From Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Original name of the band was “Sam Hill,” but they discovered that the name was already in use. Michael McLain was playing banjo with this group.
  • The name Crucial Smith has a connection to bluegrass … Smith is Bill Monroe’s middle name.
  • 1997, recorded first album, produced by former New Grass Revival guitarist Pat Flynn.
  • Mandolinist Kyle Wood is a graphic artist and a former member of Eddie Rabbitt’s Hare Trigger Band. Also edits “Lost in Space,” a science fiction magazine. Since the breakup of Crucial Smith, he has recorded a solo project “The Kyle Wood Project.”
  • Bass player Dave Holladay has worked as band leader with Geraldo Rivera. He is also an optometrist.
  • Guitarist Tim May also worked with Eddie Rabbit and The Jim Buchanan System.
  • Banjo player Chris Joslin formerly performed with the Rutherford County Square Dancers, Free Wheelin’, and The Neverly Brothers.
  • 2001, added fiddle player Gretchen Priest, who is married to Tim May. They released a project together called Plaidgrass, a mix of bluegrass and celtic music.
  • 2003, disbanded after recording a third album that was never released.
  • 2010, guitarist Tim May teamed with fiddle player Fred Carpenter (formerly of the Tony Rice Unit) to form a duo called “Carpenter and May.”
  • 2016, Kyle Wood joined Ray Cardwell and Tennessee Moon.