Learn More about Valerie Smith

Valerie Smith

Valerie Smith:  Recording Artist, Producer, Songwriter, and Record Label Owner

Valerie Smith is a musical powerhouse who has been rocking the bluegrass world for almost two decades with her unique sound and style. As a singer and songwriter, Valerie has amassed a loyal following of fans and friends across the United States and Europe, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Her impressive vocals, which NPR radio host Dave Higgs describes as "sassy, sultry, siren-like, sweet, smooth, soothing, and smoldering," have earned her multiple Grammy, IBMA, and Dove Award nominations. 

Valerie's band, Liberty Pike, featuring the legendary Hall of Famer ,Tom Gray on bass, is a consistent audience pleaser and a skilled group of musicians. When they take the stage, audiences can expect to be entertained, amused, and inspired. Valerie's music is a blend of blues, gospel, and show tunes, and her performances showcase her incredible range and ability to portray a fantastic array of emotions. In addition to her musical accomplishments, Valerie has also made a name for herself as a songwriter and performer. She has collaborated with legends like Tom T. Hall and Ralph Stanley. 

She has been invited to perform on several television shows, including Ronnie Reno's Old Time Country Music on RFD, Bluegrass Underground, and Song of the Mountains on PBS. Valerie's recent releases, "Small Town Heroes" and "From a Distance," have been chart-toppers in the bluegrass world, earning critical acclaim and praise from fans and critics alike. With her passion for music and her dedication to her craft, Valerie Smith continues to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.

Career Highlights  

"Year- 1997"  
Valerie Smith and J. Gregory Heinike begin to build an independent record label, BELL BUCKLE RECORDS, located in Bell Buckle, TN. The label was used to record shows in the area and Valerie produced the, "Live at the Bell Buckle Cafe Series."  The record label released several projects, Grammy Award-nominated artist and songwriter, Tom Roznowski, "A Well Traveled Porch", Becky Buller's, "Little Bird", John Hartford and Jim Wood's, "The Bullies Have Come to Town" and many other talented artists to date.  

Valerie collaborated with award-winning producer, singer, songwriter, member of Nashville Bluegrass Band, Alan O'Bryant to record her first CD, "Patchwork Heart." She included a song that she penned with Alan O'Bryant, Kraig Smith called, "Hand Me Down". Track 1, RED CLAY HALO,  charted for at least 4 years on the Bluegrass Unlimited Survey as well as Americana Country Radio.  The project included legendary, Charlie Louvin to record the classic song, "My Baby's Gone" as a timeless duet. Many legendary and award-winning musicians added their talent to the project (Jerry Douglas, Roland White, Bryan Sutton, and Stuart Duncan)  

The GRAND OLE OPRY invited Valerie to sing the Louvin Brother’s classic,  My Baby’s Gone with Charlie Louvin. Later Valerie’s concerts would be seen on Public Television specials throughout the world.  

Her band, "Liberty Pike" was created with most members being located in Alabama. The name seemed fitting for the band because they would travel countless hours to meet for rehearsals and shows. The members of the first collaboration are Sheila Wingate, Alan Watkins, Andy Leftwich, and Jimmy Wingate. Since then she has had many different configurations ranging from, Matt Leadbetter, Megan McCormick, Lizzy Long, Rebekah Long, Chad Graves, Stephen Mougin, Brandon Bostic, Bobby Davis, Travis Altop, Richard Baily, Becky Buller, and more fine instrumentalists.  

"Year- 1998"  
International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) introduces Valerie Smith by inviting her to perform at the conference.  

This performance produced a large debate among the bluegrass community of “Is it bluegrass if you are not holding an instrument”?  

Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike” would begin to tour across the United States and was recognized by the International Bluegrass Association and nominated for ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR and EMERGING ARTIST.  

Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America would nominate Valerie Smith for “Traditional Female Vocalist” for 12 years. Valerie Smith and Travis Altop go to Europe as a duet and perform at several theaters, festivals, and radio stations. She would later be invited with her band, Liberty Pike,  to perform for several tours (15 to date).  

"Red Clay Halo" is recognized as one of the top 60 bluegrass recordings of the decade by the Bluegrass Unlimited Survey.  

The International Bluegrass Music Museum uses Valerie Smith as an introductory program for “Bluegrass in the Schools”, since she has performed 3 of those programs in Owensboro, TN. Louisville, KY Public Television would release her show from "Festival of Bluegrass".  

"Year- 2000"  

“Turtle Wings” was released by Bell Buckle Records and Rebel Records to Americana and Bluegrass radio. The CD was produced by Alan O’Bryant and included her band, Liberty Pike (Richard Baily, Andy Leftwich, Travis Altop, and Sheila Wingate) among guests artists Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, Claire Lynch, Bryan Sutton, Tim O’Bryant, and many more. She would begin to tour in the UK, Germany, and Austria.  

"Year- 2001"  
Ralph Stanley and Rebel Records invite Valerie to collaborate on the song, I’ll Remember You Love in my Prayer’s, on the Grammy-nominated, “Clinch Mountain Sweethearts”.  

Rebel Record’s, Mark Newton would also invite Valerie to collaborate on IBMA award-winning, “Follow Me Back to the Fold.”  

New faces to “Liberty Pike” are introduced; Eddie Miller, Becky Buller, Randall Conn, and Johnny Miller. The untimely death of mandolin player, Eddie Miller, led to another band shakeup. The new members that would finish the live recordings and tour were Becky Buller, Randall Conn, John Wesley Lee, Jessica Lee, and Steven Mougin.  

Legendary engineer and producer, Richard Adler produces Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike’s, “No Summer Storm” that features her band members. The project is released in October of 2001, track 9, Lord, I’m Ready Now, would remain on the  
Bluegrass Unlimited Survey Charts for 2 years.  

"Year- 2003"  
Valerie finds herself off the road to release her next CD “That’s What Love Can Do", engineered and produced by Richard Adler. Valerie and Kraig Smith wrote the title cut of the project, That’s What Love Can Do. the project and In Those Mines would chart on the Bluegrass Unlimited Survey, Americana, and Roots genres.  

Performs a duet, In Those Mines, with multi-Grammy and award-winning male vocalist, Russell Moore. The song (written by Becky Buller) has since been noticed in many genres and released on compilations.  

Valerie Smith becomes one of the “Daughters of Bluegrass”  a series released by Blue Circle Records and receives a group nomination for 2006 “Recorded Event of the Year” among many talented female artists on Blue Circle Records.  

Although she continued to make appearances, she became a mother slowed down to enjoy family. During that time Valerie wrote songs, recorded, and began to take an interest in filmography.  

"Year - 2007"  

Valerie Smith, Kraig Smith, and Becky Buller write, “Ole John Bell”  and record “Wade in the Water” for the soundtrack of “Bell Witch, the Movie”.  

"Year -2008"  
Alan O’Bryant and Becky Buller produce and engineer a duet CD, “Here’s A Little Song” to be released by Bell Buckle Records.  

"Year - 2009"  
Alan O’Bryant in collaboration with Becky Buller to produce Valerie’s first gospel CD, “Wash Away Your Troubles.”  

It was included in 12 categories in consideration for being amongst the top Dove Award nominees.  

The project later receives, Best Gospel Album of 2009, “JP.F Music Awards” (Just Plain Folks) USA Rural Roots Music Commission National 2009 recognizes “Here’s A Little Song” for Contemporary CD of the Year for 2009.  

Valerie Smith receives the “Rising Legend” award on September 5, 2009, from the National Tradition Country Music Association at the 34th Annual National Old Time Country Music Festival.  

"Year - 2011"  
Bell Buckle Records release, “Blame it on the Bluegrass,” to honor the International Music Museum in Owensboro, KY. The project was unique in that it was recorded in the museum during the late hours of the night. The song, “Blame it on the Bluegrass” remains a favorite for bluegrass radio and was in the top 5 singles charted on the Bluegrass Unlimited Survey.  

Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike performed on television shows, The Ronnie Reno Show, Bluegrass Underground, and Music City Roots.  

"Year - 2012"  
Bell Buckle Records releases a compilation CD, Valerie Smith’s, “Some of My Favorites!”.  

Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike perform for the television show “Songs of the Mountain.”  

"Year - 2015"  
Multi-Award-winning musician, vocalist, Mike Scott produces Valerie Smith’s “The Human Condition”  that includes timeless songs of our generation. The project collaborates with several artists in an array of genres (blues, country, folk, rock, and bluegrass) to tell a story about the world around us.  

"Year - 2016"   

Valerie teams up with a fresh new look for "Liberty Pike" on the East coast with Tom Gray, Joe Zauner, Lisa Kay Howard Hughes and Wally Hughes.   

"Small Town Heroes" was recorded at Patuxent Studio with Tom Mendte. The CD charts on the Roots Music Report and several other outlets.   

Patchwork Heart is a mix of bluegrass, Americana, gospel, and country music.   

"Year - 2017"   

Bell Buckle Radio (Valerie Smith Music and More) begins presenting several shows and artists on a 24 hour online radio station.   

"Year - 2018"   

Valerie continues to travel, record, and teach. "It's a Dry Town" will be the next single released on Americana and Country radio. She is currently working on a new CD for a 2018 release.  

"Year - 2019"  

Valerie Smith records "From a Distance" with Claire Lynch and Irene Kelley. The song reached #1 on Grassicana Bluegrass Today Charts as well as charting on Folk, Bluegrass Unlimited, and Roots.  

"Year - 2020"  

Valerie Smith took time off during Covid to write and produce her upcoming album, "Revival" and also a Folk Oprah based on her Great Grandmother's journal and life. 

Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike Logo

Valerie Smith Logo

Valerie Smith Discography

Bell Buckle Recording Artist, Valerie Smith 

Valerie has owned and operated her on Bell Buckle for 19 years 

Patchwork Heart (1998) Rebel 

Turtle Wings (2000) Rebel 

Follow Me Back to the Fold (2001) Rebel 

Clinch Mountain Sweethearts (2001) Rebel 

For The Long Haul (2002) iBest Music 

 No Summer Storm (2002) Rebel [15] 

That's What Love Can Do (2005) Bell Buckle Records 

Follow Me Back To The Well (2006) Rebel 

Here's a Little Song Bell Buckle Records (2006) 

Wash Away Your Troubles (2006) Bell Buckle Records 

"Bell Witch, The Movie" sound recording (2007) Cinimarr Studios Festivalink Presents Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike (2007) 


Some of My Favorites (2010) Bell Buckle Records 

Human Condition (2013) Bell Buckle Records 

Small Town Heroes (2016) Bell Buckle Records


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