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Matt Smith of Club Passim is about to hit the airwaves and grew up hitting the road

We caught up with the Marshfield native, who lives in Somerville, to talk about all things travel

Matt Smith and Abby Altman on Three Mile Island on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Matt Smith and Abby Altman on Three Mile Island on Lake Winnipesaukee.Handout

Anyone who’s anyone in the New England music scene knows Matt Smith, longtime managing director of Club Passim. When he’s not at the iconic Cambridge music venue, he can be found at other establishments catching live music. “I’ve been around music my whole life, and one of my passions is developing new talent and finding stage time for new talent,” Smith said. “There’s nothing like putting together an artist and an audience and seeing that magic happen.” Smith, 51, said he “cannot wait” for live music to return to his and other venues, but in the meantime, he’s making sure that Club Passim offers nightly live music. He has also picked up a new part-time gig: host of MVYRadio’s “The Local Music Café,” which airs at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays (and rebroadcasts at 8 p.m. on Sundays). Smith, who is on the board of Folk Alliance International and teaches at Berklee College of Music (online), is taking over at the Martha’s Vineyard-based radio station for longtime host Alison Hammond. “There is so much about the New England music scene — and the different pockets of it — that I love,” Smith said. “So when [the folks at MVYRadio] reached out to me, I was very excited about the prospect of it and having another way of getting the word about these great artists out into the world.” We caught up with the Marshfield native, who lives in Somerville, to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination?


I love going to Three Mile Island on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire. During most years I work there for a week in the spring at the Miles of Music Camp — but then my partner and I like to go in the fall and just unplug and relax.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing?


Wherever I go I do like to get a bit of the local flavor. Not the touristy spots, but the places where the locals go.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?

So many places. Top three in my mind — today — are Sweden, Scotland, and Australia. There’s so much great music from those places and I would love to check out the local venues.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?

Like so many of us, the iPhone is key. It is my external brain that keeps travel plans in documents in one place so I don’t have to worry about it. Also, podcasts. But tethered to that iPhone is an external charging battery in case I’m without power for a while.

Aisle or window?

Aisle. Makes it easier to get up and around and stretch when I need to.

Favorite childhood travel memory?

So many. We’d go on little day or weekend trips. All drivable [and] all over the Northeast — some nature, some just fun. We used to have a yearly summer trip to Lincoln Park in Dartmouth, and that was always something I looked forward to.

Guilty pleasure when traveling?

I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I’ll take pride in any of the pleasures of traveling. Whether it is podcast binging while en route or missing the “must see” things to just have some relaxing time. No guilt!

Best travel tip?

Pack the day before. That way you’ve got 24 hours to remember all of the things you inevitably forget.