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Influenced by hymns, and several 1990’s genres including; country, Christian rock, and Top 40, Gordon Smoker began his musical career in New York’s Finger Lakes Region at the age of 17. Within two weeks of learning to play on his mother’s old guitar he began writing songs. He performed them in his family’s church, and soon became the front man and writer for a Christian rock group that played at churches and small festivals, before disbanding within their first year. Smoker continued to write music and expand his skills as a songwriter. After spending two months in India and four months in Haiti, Smoker’s folk-rock song-writing began to represent his international experiences and new world-view. The lyrics became less overtly-Christian and began to reflect the difficulties of faith and contained questions about the disparities in the world. After moving to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Smoker performed in the churches that he was involved in, where his songs became points of discussion. Smoker also began playing out at open-mics around Lancaster and began writing country music, which he submitted to mainstream country artists, through Taxi A & R. Smoker’s popularity increased as he began to play monthly for Lancaster’s Music Friday at the The Red Rose Restaurant, other venues included; Prince St. Café, Lancaster Dispensing Company as part of Launch Music Conference, and house concerts at Live From the Cellar. In 2012 Smoker assumed the title of The HickoryTown Ruckus, and has recorded a full length album titled “Who Stole the Banjo?” This is a folk album with songs about life, love, and days gone by. It is driven by rhythm guitar and hand percussion, with simple guitar leads and flavorings of harmonica, cello and piano. The album was released in August of 2012 and Smoker remains active in the Lancaster music scene. [+]