Photo by Fairlight Hubbard

Photo by Fairlight Hubbard

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Mindy Smith started life a little differently from the typical child. When Mindy’s birthmother was physically unable to raise her, she was adopted as an infant by a Christian minister and his wife, whose love of music greatly influenced her life. Smith’s mother, a choir director at the church, lost a long fought battle with breast cancer while Mindy was still a teenager. She eventually followed her father to Knoxville, Tennessee after trying her hand at the conventional route of schooling. However, Mindy was never meant for the common path, and it was in Tennessee where she began listening to Americana and bluegrass music from artists such as Alison Krauss, The Cox Family, John Prine and Patty Griffin. These new found inspirations added to her early love of pop, jazz, alt-rock and classical music. It was this eclectic and diverse recipe of influences that eventually contributed to her own unique sound and songwriting. Never one to take the traditional route, Smith penned her first song a cappella and then taught herself how to play guitar. This led Mindy to first start performing her original songs at open mic nights in Knoxville. At the age of 26, and as a newly self-taught guitarist, she often opted to leave her instrument stage side to sing her sets a cappella. Always an intrepid soul, Mindy set out for Nashville in 1998 with only three hundred dollars in her pocket but a wealth of musical dreams to pursue.

After arriving in Nashville, Mindy immediately started putting her name on the various waiting lists of writers’ rounds and open mic nights. When her name was finally called, she seized the opportunity to hone her craft, gained much needed performance experience and welcomed constructive input from other more seasoned singer songwriters. In 1999, Smith signed her first publishing deal and soon learned how to juggle her writing responsibilities and day job while continuing to play the nightly writers’ round circuit. 

Armed with a clear and honest passion for Americana, jazz, pop, rock, blues, and folk, Mindy Smith first created buzz in the the broader music world in 2003. She was invited to come up with a new arrangement of one of Dolly Parton’s most beloved songs, “Jolene” for the star studded tribute album, Just Because I Am A Woman.

Smith charmed music fans with her elegantly pleading rendition of the song and went on to perform the cover with Parton on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Soon after, Smith signed her first record deal with Vanguard Records, who released her award-winning, critically acclaimed debut album, One Moment More produced by Steve Buckingham.

"Come to Jesus" was her biggest commercial hit, receiving airplay on country, adult album alternative and adult contemporary radio. The song charted at No. 32 on the Adult Top 40 chart of Billboard Magazine. In 2004, Smith appeared at the Cambridge Folk Festival in the U.K., which was broadcast nationally on BBC Radio. That same year, Smith was nominated for and won The Americana Music Association’s prestigious, Best Emerging Artist of the Year award.

In 2006, Smith released "Out Loud," the first single from her second album, Long Island Shores co- produced by Smith,  Lex Price, Steve Buckingham, and Roger Moutenot. The song was well received by AAA rock radio and Country Music Television.  In January 2007, she performed "Please Stay" on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Later that year, Smith released her first full length Christmas album, My Holiday that featured the elegant harmonies of Alison Krauss, on the lesser known melodic arrangement of “Away In A Manger”. Smith wrote five original songs for the critically acclaimed album,  including the title track, “My Holiday”,  a dreamy duet with Thad Cockrell, ”I Know the Reason" and “Santa Will Find You’ with country songstress, Chely Wright.   

In August 2009, Smith released her alt country, pop leaning fourth studio album, Stupid Love co-produced by Ian Fitchuk, and Justin Loucks. She appeared on The Early Show to perform the first single, "Highs and Lows".  Vince Gill and Amy Grant, appeared as featured vocalists.

After recording four albums for Vanguard, Mindy Smith struck out on her own for her self-titled 2012 release through her own Giant Leap label in conjunction with TVX Records. The album debuted at #2 on the iTunes Singer Songwriter Chart. Smith subsequently released her second, critically acclaimed Christmas collection, Snowed In EP in 2013 to rave reviews.

In addition to releasing five, full-length studio albums, a Christmas EP, and numerous singles, Smith has also performed alongside the likes of Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, John Prine and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Smith’s original songs such as, “If I Didn’t Know Any Better, “All His Saints”, and “Come To Jesus”, have been recorded and released by Alison Krauss, Lee Ann Womack, Faith Hill, Gaither Vocal Band and many more.

TV/Film/Ad Placements

Smith’s songs and recordings have been featured in numerous TV shows and international ad campaigns such as

  • Grey’s Anatomy

  • Smallville

  • Vampire Diaries

  • The Fosters

  • Californication

  • Army Wives

  • and many more

Special Projects/Philanthropy

In 2014, Smith offered her songwriting and vocal talents to the award winning PBS series, “Shelter Me”, writing the shows theme song of the same name, and gathering a consortium of her artist friends to be a part of a special compilation benefiting the cause. 

In 2018, Smith collaborated with country superstar Kenny Chesney on his soon to be released album, Songs for the Saints record for hurricane relief. Chesney has announced that all proceeds from his album will be donated to his own Love for Love City Fund dedicated to Virgin Island relief.

TV Appearances

  • The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

  • Conan O’Brien

  • Lifetime Women Who Rock Special with Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Anne Wilson, Alison Krauss and more

Guest Artist Performances and Live Tours

  • Nickel Creek

  • Mary Chapin Carpenter

  • John Prine

  • Johnny Lang

  • Pic’s and Paws -w/ Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, Paula Cole

  • Mavis Staples

  • and more

Shows and Festivals

  • The Grand Ole Opry

  • Bonnaroo

  • Austin City Limits

  • Newport Folk Festival

  • Merlefest

  • SXSW

  • Tin Pan South

  • Americana Fest

  • Celtic Connections Transatlantic Sessions

  • Prairie Home Companion

  • and more

Guest Appearances and Duets  by Mindy Smith on other Artist Albums

  • John Prine - vocal appearance, Fair and Square album: “Long Monday”, “Taking A Walk”, and “Morning Train

  • Dolly Parton - The Cruel War”

  • Amy Grant- “Find What You’re Looking For” “Hard Times”

  • Olivia Newton John - “Phenomenal Woman”

  • Gabe Dixon - “Further The Sky”

  • Dustin Christiansen - “Off and On”

  • Daniel Tashian - “Taking You With Me”

  • Kenny Chesney - “Better Boat”

  • Hands Across America - Various Artist “Reasonland” with Solas

Duets and Guest Vocalist appearing on Mindy Smith recordings include

  • Dolly Parton - “Jolene”

  • Amy Grant - “Couldn’t Stand The Rain”

  • Vince Gill - “Telescope”

  • Alison Krauss - “Away In A Manger”

  • Buddy Miller - “What If The World Stops Turning”

  • Leigh Nash - “What Went Wrong”

  • Susan Ashton - “Surface

  • Thad Cockrell - “Your Love Chases After Me” “I know The Reason”

  • Daniel Tashian - “Come to Jesus” “True Love Of Mine” “Pretending The Stars” “Closer”

  • Kate York- “Bad Guy” “Sober”

  • Chely Wright - “Follow The Shepard Home”

  • Sarah Siskand - “When You Are Walking On My Grave”

  • Madi Diaz - “If I Didn’t Know Any Better"