Making a Scene Presents an interview with David G Smith!
“I’m a songwriter first and foremost. I like to think I write with intention tempered with abandon. Let the song say what it wants to say. It’s that simple. It’s that hard.”
Raised in a musical family in northeastern Iowa, David G Smith began writing songs and playing music as a teenager – and it’s become a life sentence, having written over 1,000 songs. Early on Smith toured with bands in Iowa and Colorado (Clay Mills, Robin Banks, Pangaea) until his passion for songwriting compelled him to move his young family to Nashville.
“I didn’t choose writing, it chose me…”
In Nashville, he was a student determined to “learn to write the best song I can write,” studying technique from mentors (Hugh Prestwood, James Dean Hicks) and working with co-writers (Barry Dean, Angela Kaset, John Schweers.). His song catalog began to explode, until…
“I started losing my soul writing material that didn’t speak to me in the name of writing songs for others to sing.”
In 2009, Smith reluctantly ventured on yet another songwriting retreat – which unexpectedly changed his life when Darrell Scott and Mary Gauthier looked him straight in the eye and challenged him to stop writing songs for others, to stop chasing Nashville, and to write and perform his songs. Their real challenge to Smith – to write the truth!
In a few months, Smith finished his first full-length album, Non-Fiction, with a special guest appearance by Gauthier. Non-Fiction presented 13 compelling songs clearly demonstrating Smith’s ability to write the truth. Debuted to sold-out crowds (The Redstone Room/Davenport, The Bluebird Café/Nashville), Non-Fiction drew raves.
“[Non-Fiction] a much-needed release from the commercial candy that clogs our radios and record stores,” – Mike Willis, artist
“David G Smith is a major find,” wrote Robert K Oermann, Music Row/Nashville, and awarding Non-Fiction his DisCovery Award.
Since then Smith has released: Live From the Ellen Kennedy Fine Arts Center; Live From Nashville; One House; The Family Smith: LIVE @ The Redstone Room; First Love; Who Cares. His most enduring collaboration was with the late Blue Miller (Bob Seger, Albert King, Isaac Hayes, India Arie) who produced Smith’s last 3 studio albums.
Smith’s albums have reached #1 Roots Music Report’s Alternative Folk and Top 50 Iowa Album Charts and No Depression/Lee Zimmerman’s “10 Terrific Albums To Listen To Right Now”:
“[Smith] comes across with the same sort of weathered resolve that best exemplifies fellow travelers like Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt.” – Zimmerman
Smith’s songs have been featured on TNT Network, Travel Channel, and Lifetime. “Made for You” won 1st Place in the International Song Competition/country category. “Doesn’t Take Much Light” went viral in the Boy Scout community and Smith performed it to 5000 Eagle Scouts.“Angels Flew” is included in the 9/11 Memorial Museum’s Artist Registry.
“Like John Prine and Guy Clark, David G Smith draws inspiration from his life and those around him. His songs capture the drama and good times, the laughter and loss that are the components of the modern world” – Tom Wilks/ICON Magazine/icon.com
A major component of Smith’s career is “give-back” which includes raising and donating time and/or money to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Boys Town, and others in need