Smith & Straughn



A light went on for Rob Straughn when he first heard The Beatles in 1964. He wanted to do what they did. Rob learned to play guitar, got in a band, and started writing songs. Over 40 years, his songwriting has made a large circle of stylistic and experimental forms. “In the end,” Rob says, “I’ve come back to just writing songs.”

Rob and CW met at Iowa State University in 1987 and immediately struck up a musical friendship. They’ve written together ever since, for CW’s rock projects, Rob’s acoustic projects, and for their collaborative projects as well.

CW and Rob recorded three albums as the audubon society between 1989 and 1991. In 1992 they rebranded themselves as misunderstanding, and released Ackworth later that summer.

In 1996 they rebranded again: this time as Smith & Straughn. They released Au Naturel in 2002, and have been working on Who We Are for the last few years.

In August 2009 they made I Think There’s Something Here, a collection of “living room demos” recorded over a two-day visit. They had a lot of fun recording it, and hope you’ll have just as much fun listening.

Smith & Straughn have performed at the following venues:

  1. Barnes & Noble Café, West Des Moines

  2. Coda Lounge

  3. Des Moines Social Club

  4. The GrapeVine, LLC

  5. Java Joe’s Theatre

  6. Ritual Café


Rob Straughn: vocal, guitar,

    alto guitar, bass guitar, percussion

CW Smith: vocal, guitar, bass guitar,

    baritone guitar, drums, percussion

    Verona, Wisconsin

    Des Moines, Iowa

The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Crowded House, Fleetwood Mac


Let Me Try EP                 READBUY

Guitar in Green              READBUY

    (Rob Straughn)

Alien Tongue                  READBUY

    (Rob Straughn)

The Songwriter’s Dream  READBUY

    (Rob Straughn)

ill at ease EP                   READ • BUY

    (Rob Straughn)

I Think There’s Something Here


Au Naturel: raw, naked tracks


the audubon society: complete works


    the audubon society

    Ancient Blue

    The Princess

    Ackworth (as misunderstanding)


What’s in a name?