1 June 1972, Long Island, New York, USA. This Nashville-based singer-songwriter grew up in Long Island, learning to sing from her stepmother, who was choir leader and music director of the church where Smiths stepfather was minister. She performed with a band while attending Bible college in Cincinnati, later graduating to the solo acoustic circuit after moving with her father to Knoxville, Tennessee. Her love of folk and bluegrass intensified in her new home and in turn inspired her own songwriting. In 1998, Smith moved to Nashville and began performing on the local club circuit. A charismatic live performer she soon attracted the attention of several major labels but, despite signing a publishing deal, held off committing herself to a recording contract. Smith made a notable appearance on the 2003 Dolly Parton tribute album Just Because Im A Woman: The Songs Of Dolly Parton, covering Partons country standard Jolene. Shortly afterwards she signed a contract with the independent label Vanguard Records and began work on her debut album, sharing production duties with Nashville veteran Steve Buckingham. One Moment More, which was released in early 2004, more than lived up to the hype that had surrounded Smith following her appearance on the Parton album. Drawing from the rich tapestry of folk and country tradition, with a dash of Nashville slickness thrown in for good measure, startlingly mature and heartfelt odes such as Come To Jesus, One Moment More (about the death of her stepmother), and Hurricane helped elevate Smith above the ranks of other up-and-coming singer-songwriters.
Released at the end of 2006, the follow-up Long Island Shores was a well-crafted and solid collection of new material. While deviating little from the country and folk pop direction of the debut, the album did confirm Smith as one of the more talented new breed of rootsy singer-songwriters to emerge from America during the mid-00s. She released a pleasant seasonal collection the following year, featuring a mixture of original material and classic Christmas songs.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.