Smokey & The Mirror is husband+wife duo Bryan and Bernice Hembree (Fayetteville, Arkansas). The Hembrees spent 7 years touring nationally as members offolk/bluegrass trio 3 Penny Acre. Building on the critical success of 3 Penny Acre, Bryan and Bernice leaned back towards their early rock&roll, country, and R&B influences to create Smokey & The Mirror.
Smokey & The Mirror recorded a live albumwith long-time collaborator Daniel Walker (keys) in November of 2013. The live album, released by Goose Creek Records, was recorded over three nights in three venues (Mucky Duck-Houston, Cactus Cafe-Austin, and The Blue Door-Oklahoma City). In June 2014 they took the same spontaneous approachinto the studio. The Hembrees assembled a band(including Daniel Walker on keys, Terry Ware on guitar, Nooch Carnuccio on drums, and Travis Linville on lap steel) and entered Breathing Rhythm Studios in Norman, Oklahoma for a 3 day session. The result is the new album "Thin Black Line". The album was tracked live to 2" reel-to-reel tape.
Smokey & The Mirror tours constantly as a duo, and often as band including Ryan Pickop on drums, Terry Ware on guitar, Daniel Walker on keys.
The Hembrees are also co-founders of the Fayetteville Roots Festival in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
"Bryan and Bernice Hembree (Smokey & The Mirror) are making some of the best folk music today. The songs remind me of a time when Guy Clark was unknown and Ray Wylie Hubbard was still a folkie. Smart, cool and never pretentious."
- Greg Johnson, The Blue Door
"The thing I love most about this band and the evening with them is not only the powerfully beautiful voice of bass player, Bernice Hembree, or the well-written songs of Bryan Hembree, sung with his rustic, true American voice – it’s the energy they bring on stage and to the audience! You can tell when they are performing; they truly treasure what they do. They feed off each other to the point it’s sometimes hard to tell where the guitar stops and the bass starts!” - Chris Roberts, Red Arm Music
"This past Friday, I was lucky enough to see Elephant Revival with special guests, Smokey & The Mirror. And what a night it was! I’ve seen numerous husband and wife duos in my time, especially in the folk scene. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this duo. Bernice and Bryan Hembree have so much chemistry and musical talent it’s ridiculous. It’s the perfect complement of a female and male vocal. She has the soothing, higher pitched voice and his, is that of a weary traveler. His vocals really nail that Americana, folky, “I’ve been traveling this long road for a while” style voice. Their set was solid and just really, really good!" - Adam Robinson, Honest Music Review
"Duets were the order of the day in the early afternoon at Red Wing Roots Festival, beginning with Bernice and Bryan Hembree playing as Smokey & The Mirror. He writes great songs (St. Alban’s Day, Will and Woody) while she has a powerful and beautiful voice (showcased on a cover of Dylan’s Buckets of Rain). They were the first out of the chute today, and the Hembrees set a high bar."
- David J Brown (More to Come Blog)
Photograph: Meredith Mashburn Photography