Smith & Tegio is a contemporary country-folk duo featuring vocalists and acoustic guitarists Austin Smith and Mark Tegio. Although these two singer-songwriters and long time friends are both San Diego natives, they have been living in the San Francisco Bay Area for the past several years now, mostly passing those years sitting at a kitchen table littered with beer cans and a dirty ashtray, writing, learning, or playing songs together. It was at the table that Smith & Tegio’s unique blend of outlaw country and folk music was born. It’s the inevitable result of a bad case of wanderlust from a head full of Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings, and a heart full of Townes Van Zandt and Blaze Foley that doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Still, they do not fit neatly into either genre, but instead have created their own unique blend of the two: outlaw folk.
They formed the group in early 2017, shelving their solo acts in favor of a collaborative project that focuses on harmonized vocals, entwined acoustic guitars, and rootsy songwriting. From the very beginning, Smith & Tegio worked fast, releasing a self-titled album (Smith & Tegio) in January 2018 via the band’s website. The album includes moody folk textures and vividly engaging storytelling in a gritty resonant voice from a couple of guys who have been through the ringer a time or two. Throughout the album, there are subtle nods to the duo’s outlaw country and folk influences. When they’re not out playing shows, sharing their unique sound with as many people as they can, Smith & Tegio can probably be found puttin’ in work at the table.