Very few positive emotions can give you chills and if you heard Justin Smithson sing the National Anthem at the Utica Comets season opener last night, then you know what I'm talking about. Facebook has been blowing up all morning with well-wishes for one of the Utica area's most established and real-article musicians, but that's not all that Justin had up his sleeve for us.



Likely born of his friendship with Utica Comets co-owner Rob Esche, the hockey franchise just released this inspiring music video of Justin's original song from a  few years ago 'If I Fall' set to scenes of Justin inspecting dilapidated sections of Utica that are gradually rising from the ashes. Also visible are your beloved Comets on ice and of course two friends genuinely having a good time for the camera. If your pride for our town has waned in recent years, let this video remind you that we are down but not out and Utica's rebirth is happening right now. 'If I Fall' will also deservingly be featured at every Comets opener as their theme song!


Keith James and Justin Smithson
Keith James and Justin Smithson

As a personal aside, I have only known Justin for a decade but am proud to call him my friend as well and truly look up to him as one of the best guitarists and vocalists that I have ever seen (professional, much less local) and remember our countless musical collaborations and long drives to and from gigs thus far with fondness. Oh and those chills that I mentioned earlier? Now you know why.

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