You're invited to take a scroll down memory lane. The images in this section of are quite literally from my scrapbook, organized in chronological sequence from early to late. I've tried to include images from all the major phases of my musical life, and to include the pictures and keepsakes that I most enjoy looking at. I'll be adding more items as time goes by, and I hope you'll come back periodically to see what's been added since your last visit.
North Gate in Berkeley, 1957
You're looking at a clipping from October 20, 1957, but the photo came from months earlier. (Neil Rosenberg and I left town in early September to start our freshman year at Oberlin College.) Barry Olivier's hootenannies at the North Gate operated in the standard round-robin manner, with singers taking turns. Group singing, led in the Pete Seeger manner, was common and I was one of its proponents. Despite what the writer suggested in his closing sentence, there weren't a lot of "folkniks" who emulated Richard Dyer-Bennet.
—" Return of the Troubadour," by Morton Cathro, Oakland Tribune, 10/20/57.
Photographer unknown
  The Pigeon Hill Boys at Purdue University, March 1963
Neil Rosenberg, banjo; Chuck Crawford, mandolin; Fred Schmidt, bass; Mayne, guitar. The band name was one Neil used for whatever bluegrassers he could pull together while he was a grad student at Indiana University in Bloomington. When this Purdue gig came up, we had no local mandolin player so we called Chuck Crawford, a good friend from our Oberlin days, to come down from Ann Arbor. Chuck is playing a very interesting instrument of Neil's. It was a "three-point" Florentine model by Gibson from the first decade of the century; it had recently received major repairs from John Duffey (of the Country Gentlemen band). The model was designated simply as "F" and the serial number was in the 4000s. Neil's banjo was a 1954 Gibson RB-250 Mastertone, with a "retro" neck that had just been made for it by Robbie Robinson. This was the same banjo Neil was playing on the 1960 poster for the Redwood Canyon Ramblers, reproduced in the REDWOOD CANYON RAMBLERS section of this website. My Gibson Jumbo guitar was soon to be replaced by the 1952 Martin D-18 that I have been playing ever since.
Photo by Ann Milovsoroff
Photo by Ann Milovsoroff
  Mayne and Janet at the Cabale,
Berkeley, August 1963

This was a rare occasion when my sister, Janet, and I were billed for the same evening at the Cabale, a folk music club organized by Debby Green (who brought along her experience at Boston's famous Club 47 when she moved out to California). At this time in Berkeley I was known to many as "Janet Smith's brother." Janet was big news on the local folk scene, with a gorgeous voice and excellent finger-picked guitar and autoharp work; I was old news, having moved to Bloomington, Indiana the previous June.
Photographs by Hugh Peterson
  Onstage at the Ash Grove, 1965
From the left: Richard Greene, Mark LeVine, Mayne, Dick Hargreaves, David Lindley. This short-lived group was called "The Bluegrass Band" because we couldn't agree on any other name. We played the Ash Grove once or twice and supported Richard at the Topanga Canyon Banjo and Fiddle Contest, and went our separate ways at summer's end.
Photograph by Mark Beatie
  Venice Pavilion,
August 1968
On the beach, near where I lived for four years in the L.A. area, there was a modest outdoor amphitheatre with a roofed stage. Somebody had organized a bluegrass jam scene there, and I came by to see what was going on. Don Parmley, an established banjoist in Southern California bluegrass, had brought his little boy David along, and he asked me to join them on a borrowed guitar and sing lead, with Bobby Slone playing fiddle. Here we are singing together in three parts, and as I recall the blend of voices was pretty good. This photo illustrates a number of the reasons why bluegrass was becoming a global movement in this era. Bill Monroe had given it stylistic conventions and a canonical repertoire, allowing relative strangers of different ages and backgrounds to play and sing together with satisfying results. In case you don't know it, David Parmley is a star in the bluegrass world now; I believe Don has retired from regular performing.
 Photographer unknown
  Sweet's Mill Folk Festival,
July 1969

Mayne Smith, Mark Spoelstra, Mitch Greenhill. With Mark at its center, this trio became the nucleus of the Frontier Constabulary within a few months. Our playing styles and the specific instruments blended and contrasted in interesting ways, and we could sing together pretty well, too. All of us had high hopes of making decent money in the evolving music business. That part didn't work out.
Photographer unknown
  The Frontier,
October 1972

f rom the
Russian River Stump weekly newspaper. L to R, Dave Holt (piano), Mitch Greenhill (guitar), Mayne (dobro, pedal steel, guitar), Lee Poundstone (bass), and Michael Woodward (drums). The photo was made at our instigation on Albany Hill, near Berkeley. The encircling religious text, from the New Testament book of Revelations, was put there without prior notice by one K. Flynn (as noted on a part of the page that wouldn't fit into the scan). This was the Frontier at its musical peak, and the graphic presentation represents a pinnacle of press exposure.
Photographer unknown
  The Frontier,
November 29, 1972

Onstage at Uncle Sam's Bar and Grill, (Sebastopol, California). L to R, Mayne at the pedal steel, Mitch on guitar, Lee Poundstone (the Sage of the Brush) with his left-handed Fender bass, Michael Woodward behind his cymbal, and Dave Holt at his Wurlitzer piano. This was my favorite venue for the Frontier, and the photo is dear to me. Note the egg-cartons on the ceiling. My hand-painted FRONTIER sign is on the wall behind Mitch and that's Frank Zappa's face on the wall behind Dave, who, I imagine, is singing his own composition, "Faraway Woman Blues" with me and Mitch adding vocal harmonies.

The photograph is credited only to Sunmoon Trading Co.
  Seattle, 1976
Backing up Molly Bee at the Riverside Inn near Seattle. I played pedal steel and a little Dobro and banjo with Ira Allen and the Renegades for only eight months, but I learned a lot. This was the only straight-up, uniformed commercial band I ever worked with, and it wasn’t always fun. The arrangements were set in stone, and we weren’t allowed to play anything that might attract attention away from the singer. It was the best steady money I ever got for playing music, but the job convinced me I needed to give up being a full-time musician.
 Photographer unknown
  Cambridge Folk Festival
(UK) 1982

I'm very pleased to announce the appearance on of two songs from the 1982 Cambridge Folk Festival (UK), performed by Mitch Greenhill and myself. One song is Mitch's "Time is Draggin' On" and the other is the country classic "Satisfied Mind" and the sound is pretty dang good
  Mitch & Mayne, 1983
By the time of this promotional photo, Mitch and I had been performing as a duo pretty steadily for seven years. We had played the huge Vancouver, Winnepeg, Toronto, and Cambridge (England) folk festivals. Our repertoire and our friendship were expanding steadily while we maintained day-jobs that we enjoyed in cities four-hundred miles apart (Santa Monica and Oakland). This is close to “having it all,” as far as I’m concerned.
Photograph by Harry Yaglijian
  Freight & Salvage,
May 1983
Mitch Greenhill sits in at the Freight & Salvage with a stripped-down version of the Alternate Roots band. Markie Sanders, bass; Ray Bierl, fiddle; Alan Senauke, mandolin; Mitch and Mayne, guitars.
Photograph by Harry Yaglijian
  Redwood Canyon Ramblers,
1988 (1
This photo was taken in my living room one time when Neil was in town on a short visit from his longtime home in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Scott and I always welcomed the opportunity to pick with Neil on such occasions, and Sandy Rothman, who had attended our 1960 pinnacle concert at the age of fourteen, often shared them with us.
Photograph by Sandy Rothman
  Redwood Canyon Ramblers,
1988 (2)
Here’s another shot from the same day in June of 1988, in my backyard.
Photograph by Sandy Rothman
  Detour gig in Napa, fall 1992
This was the first full incarnation of the Detour band, (L to R) Julie Smolin, Mayne, Harriet Rose, Bill Evans, and Artie Rose. Artie and Harriet had moved to Marin Country from NYC to work with David Grisman’s new record label a few years earlier, and we became fast friends. We were lucky to have Julie, a very talented fiddler and singer. We caught Bill Evans at a time when he was still a grad student in musicology and couldn’t travel to play in the fast lane. This band played regularly, but almost always in the Roses’ living room.
Photographer unknown

Redwood Canyon Ramblers gig, 1993
The RCR did play a reunion concert at the Freight & Salvage in June of 1993,with Julie Smolin on fiddle and Larry Cohea on bass. LeRoy MacNees appeared unexpectedly to play a whole set with us. LeRoy had made a big contribution to the band called The Country Boys that Clarence and Roland White started in Los Angeles back around 1958. Leroy played with them from 1960–1963, shortly after their name changed to the Kentucky Colonels.

Photographer unknown
  Moonlight Rodeo, 1996
The summer of 1996 was one of the busiest for Moonlight Rodeo, the electric country band lead by Kurt Huget, a strong singer and guitarist. Kristen Wells was the primary lead singer, Earl Hopping played bass, and Dave Getz (of Big Brother and the Holding Company) played the drums. I’ve always enjoyed playing for dancers, and this was a very congenial bunch of people — an excellent context for keeping my pedal steel chops in shape.
Photographer unknown
  Mitch, Mayne, and Matt
in Boston, 1996

This photo was taken outside Passim <>, the club that inherited the mantle of Boston’s famous Club 47, a major venue in the folk music world. Boston was Mitch’s home turf, and Greenhill & Smith were opening there for a Charles River Valley Boys reunion gig. Mitch’s son, Matt Greenhill, happened to be in town, too. In the last section of this website there’s a concise account of the history of Folklore International Artists, the enterprise that Manny, Mitch, and Matt have shepherded through fifty years of service to the folk music community.
Photograph by Janet O'Malley
  Gail and Me, August 1996
Gail was along on this trip to Boston, where her children and grandchildren live. There needs to be at least one photo of her in this scrapbook of my musical life, because she shares it and makes it meaningful. We have seldom been apart since 1982.
Photograph by Janet O'Malley
  Alternate Roots Reunion, 1998
Key members of Alternate Roots for a reunion gig, fifteen years after. Johnny Harper was still Lumsdaine back then. Markie Sanders couldn’t make the photo shoot. Rick Epping, the master concertina player who inspired me to start the band in 1982, had moved to Atlanta — but to our joy he was able to join the party.
Photograph by Earl Crabb
  The Detour band, 1999
A promotional piece I put together with Harriet Rose for the second major incarnation of this group. I still play music with these folks, although Marty Cutler has moved back to New York City.
Photograph by Tonee Norman
  Freight & Salvage
Groundbreaking, April 1, 2008


L to R, Eric Thompson, Bill Evans, Danny Carnahan (rear), Suzy Thompson (front), Laurie Lewis, Harry Yaglijian, moi, and Tom Rozum. This photo has been published in the press and you can get a full explanation at, but I can't resist posting it here as well. It was a great honor to lead the finale of the groundbreaking ceremony with an adapted version of the old gospel song, "Working on a Building." Alan Senauke would have been up there, too, but he had thrust his guitar into my hands and told me I needed to sing the verses. Everybody joined the choruses. These are all people I have known and loved for decades, and there were many more among the crowd. When we formed the nonprofit organization that bought the Freight in 1983, it was beyond my wildest dreams that such a day as this might ever arrive.
 Photograph by Kristen Loken
  Swinging Doors rehearsal, 2011

My basement workshop was in steady use once again as a rehearsal space for Swinging Doors, a new band that plays electric honky-tonk country music. I love playing the best of the bar-band repertoire from the third quarter of the 20th century, with its mix of moods, textures, and tempos. And, let's face it, it's fun to sit at my instrument supported by a killer rhythm section and watch dancers of all ages respond.
Photograph by Victor Landweber
  Mayne, 2008
Here I am as I appeared just yesterday. After looking back up this long trail, I see ever more clearly that my life has been blessed. I'm very lucky to be living in this time when there is so much promise and possibility, and I will try to deserve my good fortune by helping to make this a better world than the one I was born into. 

Photograph by Gail Wilson-Smith