Mindy Smith

Country

Singer/Songwriter,Country Soul,Americana

http://www.mindysmith.net/

Buy this artist on: iTunes, Amazon

With an angelic voice and songs full of faith, grace and vulnerability, Mindy Smith has been embraced by critics and fans alike with each recording she unveils. It took eight years for Mindy Smith to become an overnight sensation.

The world discovered Mindy Smith suddenly around '04; that's when she started winning awards, appearing on national TV, inspiring critics and artists to sing her praises (and her songs), and riding the momentum of One Moment More, her Vanguard debut.  That was followed by her critically acclaimed sophomore effort Long Island Shores and her 2009 release Stupid Love.

But when Mindy Smith wasn't accepting Best New Artist honors from the Americana Music Association for One Moment More, sharing stages with the likes of Mavis Staples, Patty Griffin, Dolly Parton, and Emmylou Harris, or winging across the ocean to recruit new fans in the U.K., she was often doing the same thing she'd done when she was new to Nashville.

Mindy Smith was, in other words, in a room with a guitar, closing a door and coaxing music up from somewhere down inside. The songs of  her sophomore release Long Island Shores came from that process, untainted by success and its distractions.

The energies of Long Island Shores are as contradictory as the tides that wash the coast near Smithtown, where she was raised, on the northern side of the island. Beautiful to the ear, these songs are turbulent beneath the surface.  "Out Loud," breathes cautious hope over a breezy beat. "Please stay," a playful love song, masks a deeper meditation on possessiveness and freedom. "You Know I Love You Baby" sets a hint of rage to a jazzy, toe-tap groove. Layers of meaning open to other layers, exposing these songs as complex in their simplicity.  But then Mindy Smith takes another turn on songs that bring one theme - the nestling comfort of "Tennessee," the lazy pace of untroubled love on "What If the World Stops Turning?" - to a single blossom.   "You Just Forgot," transforms into something emotionally elusive, an intricate interweave of anger, pain, and ethereal detachment.

You can feel the presence of co-writers on some of these tracks: SherrilBeth Nielsen Chapman, Maia Sharp, John Scott Sherill and the others, all of whom Mindy Smith meets on some common ground of emotion and idea. And you can sense the privacy of those songs she wrote on her own, in which her convictions and doubts, her passions and humor, speak universally, through the poetry of her lyric and the beckoning in her voice.

All of this colors her words too, as Mindy Smith remembers how she felt after One Moment More changed her life. "It tripped me up," she admits. "I felt like I needed to make a drastic musical change. I guess I wanted to be cooler, so I wound up wasting a lot of time until I realized I'm not cool after all."

A laugh punctuates Mindy Smith's speech; like her gestures, quick changes of expression, and sudden bursts of New York argot. Then we're back to the story: "But I also came to allow myself more room to grow than I did on the first record. This one sounds more like me; nobody who hears it will be confused when they hear me playing these songs live, because I know they want to hear me tell the truth and be honest."

Expectations were high for Long Island Shores, but none were higher than Mindy's. "I've always had this need to keep improving," she says. "I'm always under the gun to top my last song. I guess that comes from being a 'professional songwriter'" - and here she wiggles her fingers, signaling quotation marks that also betray a self-deprecation that traces back to her first experiences with music.

She still remembers, for example, being confused and embarrassed, as the young adopted daughter of a minister and his musically gifted wife, over the looks she would get for singing out loud wherever she was, whenever the spirit seized her. "I had to learn how to not be excited about singing as I was walking through a mall," she says. "My teachers hurt me a lot too, when I'd do it in class. That led to learning how to not love having music stuck in my head. I became very guarded. I wrestled with what to do with my life. I tried so many other avenues, but I kept having this desire to make music."

Her mother's death, her relocation to Knoxville with her father, and her move to Nashville in 1998, after giving college a whirl in Cincinnati, all hastened Mindy Smiths decision to pursue music without reservation. Recognition came locally first, beginning with first prize in the Tin Pan South writer's contest of 2000, which prompted an invitation to join the writing staff at Yellow Dog Music the following year. 2003 led toward her appearance with Lee Ann Womack at South by Southwest and her electrifying rendition of "Jolene" on the Mindy Smith tribute CD, Just Because I'm a Woman. Though she was the only unsigned performer on that collection, Parton herself as an artist of special promise singled out Mindy Smith.

Even now, though, you get this sense from Mindy Smith that she's running everything she's written through her head again - not just the new songs, but things she wrote years ago. Could she have done better on this one? Will she ever do better than she did on that one? Mindy Smith does know the answers, and she accepts that they point toward her continuing development in every aspect of music, from the writing and the singing to production as well.

That, of course, makes Long Island Shores a masterwork of intuitive artistry. The fact is, for all of Mindy Smith's insistence that she's still just tapping into her creative resources, the scary thing is that she may be right. And for all acclaim that's come her way, and all of her drive to keep pushing ahead, Long Island Shores captured an artist who is at peace with where she is and where she has yet to go.

With her fourth release, Stupid Love on Vanguard Records, Mindy takes another step forward both lyrically and musically.

Stupid Love finds Mindy Smith co-producing along with Ian Fitchuk and Justin Loucks.  The three explore and expand with different sounds making an impressive backdrop to the thirteen tracks on the record.  Written over a two year period, each song delves into the various stages of relationships; the highs, the lows, the emotional investments made, how they can change us and move forward.  For Mindy Smith , Stupid Love is a statement of where she is now from where she has been.

Stupid Love is Mindy Smith's first studio record since 2007's My Holiday. Long Island Shores, released in 2006,  prompted USA Today to hail, "Smith's best songs sound like little miracles,"   the Associated Press to state "Smith's CD is intoxicating" and Entertainment Weekly raved "Like Patty Griffin, Smith is a deft songwriter straddling folk, country and pop, with a lovely girl-woman soprano that feels like cotton sheeting after a bath."

The world first discovered Mindy Smith in 2004 with the release of her debut, One Moment More featuring the hit single "Come To Jesus" which inspired critics and artists to sing her praises.  She has been featured on NPR, performed on national TV shows such as The Tonight Show, Conan O'Brien, GAC/Edge of Country and CMT.  Her songs have been heard on shows such as "Grey's Anatomy," "Smallville," "Six Feet Under", and Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance."

Listen to Mindy Smith Here



Discography

Album Title Year Label
One Moment More2004Vanguard Records
Long Island Shores2006Vanguard Records
My Holiday2007Vanguard Records
Stupid Love2009Vanguard Records

Category:

Location:

Nashville

Tennessee

United States

Record Label:

Vanguard Records

Christian Label:

No

Years Active:

00's





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