Welcome to valerie's newest album "renaissance"

Valerie Smith, Renaissance

Renaissance

Renaissance

Valerie Smith

In cart Not available Out of stock

Americana / Folk/ Bluegrass Album:  Renaissance Release: September 3, 2021   UPC: 859748526163   Producing:  Valerie Smith, Tim Carter   Label: Bell Buckle Records   Engineering:  Tim Carter   Studio: Tree House Studio Ridgetop   Ridgetop, TN   Mastering:  Dave Harris   Studio B Mastering, Charlotte, NC  Photography, Art and Design: Gabrielle Minikiewicz

Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:47
  2. 2
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:49
  3. 3
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:44
  4. 4
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:40
  5. 5
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:19
  6. 6
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:00
  7. 7
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:06
  8. 8
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:20
  9. 9
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:20
  10. 10
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:05
  11. 11
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:59
  12. 12
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:47
  13. 13
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/2:23
  14. 14
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:18

IOAlbum:  Renaissance   

UPC: 859748526163   

Producing:  Valerie Smith, Tim Carter   

Label:  Bell Buckle Records   

Engineering:  Tim Carter   

Studio:  Tree House Studio Ridgetop   

Ridgetop, TN   

Mastering:  Dave Harris   

Studio B Mastering, Charlotte, NC  

Photography, Art and Design:  Gabrielle Minikiewicz 

Make-up Artist and Painter:  Stephanie Henry 

   

Song Bio's  

Track 1:  I'm Fine Bein' Me   
Uptempo / Bluegrass and Folk  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109586   

Written by Valerie Smith  

Published by Buckle Down Publishing, BMI  

Mandolin:  Andy Leftwich   

Mandolin:  Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes   

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Bass:  Tom Gray   

Banjo:  Joe Zauner   

Fiddle:  Wally Hughes   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

This song represents reaching a place in your life where recognition of self-worth and acceptance of life around you finally come to pass. The music industry can be challenging, and it is easy to lose yourself and your grasp on what is essential in life. As a mother, I have always felt that it is important for my daughter to see demonstrations of self-love and confidence.   

   

Track 2:  Heartbreak Hill   
Uptempo / Rockabilly  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109590  

Written by Gary Scruggs and Tony Arata  
Dan and Adam Songs (ASCAP)   
Blue Key Music (BMI)  

Mandolin:  Andy Leftwich   

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Bass:  Dave Roe   

Fiddle:  Stephen Burrell   

Resonator Guitar:  Wally Hughes   

Mandolin:  Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

I love singing and moving to "Heartbreak Hill"; it has the nostalgic feel of Johnny Cash's rockabilly days. Dave Roe played bass for Johnny Cash and he does on this cut for me as well.  This one is just fun to sing and to move with - it's a toe-tapper for sure.   

   

Track 3:  On That Train   
Slow, Smooth Ballad / Folk  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109597   

Written by Jude Johnstone  

BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC  

Strings:  Tim Lorsch   

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Synth Strings:  Kevin McKendree   

Fiddle:  Stephen Burwell   

Bass:  Dave Roe   

Harmony Vocals:  Tanya Dennis  

 "On That Train" was written by one of Johnny Cash's favorite songwriters, Jude Johnstone.  The lyrics cleverly approach the subject of regret, the wish we would have dared to take a chance for love and life.   

   

Track 4:  Dancing With the Stars   
Swing  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109600   

Written by DAVID LAUVER, BOBBY JOHNSTON, JERRY SALLY  

Very Jerry Music (SESAC)/ David Haley Lauver Music (ASCAP) / Stay Close To Your Heart Music (ASCAP)  

PERFORMING RIGHTS AGENCY:  SESAC)/ ASCAP 

Fiddle:  Stephen Burwell   

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Bass: Tom Gray   

Mandolin:  Andy Leftwich   

Harmony Vocals:  Donna Ulisse and Jerry Salley  

You can never beat a laid-back swing tune like "Dancing with the Stars" which is all about happiness, contentment, and love. Jerry Sally (composer) and Donna Ulisse add their clever harmonies as icing on the cake! This song also allowed me to work with one of my old bandmates, Andy Leftwich (mandolin). It puts a smile on my face!   

   

Track 5:  Heart of Sorrow   
Drivin’ beat / Bluegrass  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109602   

Written by Claire Lynch and Frank Serio  

Published by Shiloh Rising Music, ASCAP, Thrill Hill Music, BMI

Acoustic Guitar: Bob Minner   

Fiddle:  Stephen Burwell   

Banjo:  Sammy Shelor   

Bass:  Tom Gray   

Mandolin:  Andy Leftwich   

Harmonies:  Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes, Wally Hughes  

 "Heart of Sorrow" offers up a swampy, soulful bluegrass tempo number for this album. In life we lose and our hearts get broken, which brings us to the blues. It's all just part of the rocky process of being human.   

   

Track 6:  The River Whispers   
Mid-tempo / Folk / Bluegrass  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109613  

Written by Claire Ulanoff and Marissa DiBlassio   
Carolina Basketball Music,  ASCAP  

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Strings:  Kevin McKendree   

Mandolin: Andy Leftwich   

Bass:  Dave Roe   

Acoustic Guitar: Wally Hughes   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

I love walks in nature because when we can't find the answers to our complicated lives nature will often bring us comfort. Rivers have always been a symbol of peace, hope, and love, for many years. While traveling and playing music with the legendary Tom Gray he encouraged me to go river kayaking with him, and it turned out to be a spiritual experience for me during a time of healing.   

   

Track 7:  I Found   
Mid-tempo / Folk / Contemporary Bluegrass  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109618   

Written by Joshua Keogh   
Publisher: Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd  

Mandolin:  Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes   

Strings:  Wally Hughes   

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Upright Bass:  Tom Gray   

Mandolin:  Lisa Kay Howard Hughes   

Banjo:  Joe Zauner   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

"I Found" is my cover of a popular song by the indie rock group Amber Run. I fell in love with its clever melody and lyrics which come through strongly in our recorded version. Radio DJ of "Unreal Bluegrass", Steve Martin, says it best: "Valerie Smith possesses one of the more interpretive and sensitive voices in all of music. She feels lyrics deeply and wants the listener to feel with her. 'I Found' is the perfect opportunity for Valerie, with strong backing by Liberty Pike, to reach deeply down and then stretch back out to the audience. Ultimately the song describes life, gliding over unexpected obstacles and finding love where it wasn't supposed to be. The serendipity of joy. Valerie Smith takes you with her, breathing with you as you find smiles and happiness."  - Steve Martin (Unreal Bluegrass)  

   

Track 8:  Big Red   
Driving Bluegrass   

ISRC: TCAFQ2109619   

Written by Daniel Crabtree  

Three Girls I Work For, ASCAP  

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Mandolin:  Andy Leftwich   

Fiddle:  Stephen Burwell   

Banjo:  Joe Zauner   

Upright Bass:  Tom Gray   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

"Big Red" was written by one of my favorite songwriters, Daniel Crabtree. The song describes a historically famous horserace that involved a horse nicknamed "Big Red" (Triple Crown winner Secretariat).  The song also represents what sheer focus and determination can do for one facing challenges to achieve goals. There is a lot to be said for starting out slow but coming in strong at the finish line.   

   

Track 9:  Do You Know Where Your Heart is Tonight?   
Acoustic Country Mid-Tempo  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109628   

Written by Jeff Walter  
Published by Jack and Jenny Music (BMI) / Kentucky Plowboy Music (ASCAP)  

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Resonator Guitar: Wally Hughes   

Mandolin:  Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes   

Fiddle:  Stephen Burwell   

Banjo:  Joe Zauner   

Upright Bass:  Tom Gray   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

"Do You Know Where Your Heart is Tonight?" explores how complicated interpersonal and family relationships can be when people travel a lot for their jobs. I have traveled all of my life, and my heart has not always been in the right place, and it is easy to develop a bubble around yourself and lose communication with your loved ones. Plus, it is a good soulful country two-step song.   

   

Track 10:  The Great I Am   
Upbeat Gospel   

ISRC: TCAFQ2109632   

Written by Mike Lane  

Published by Jewels of Jane Adelle Publishing, BMI  

Harmonies: The McCrary Sisters (Ann, Alfreda, Regina)   

Banjo:  Tim Carter   

Tamborine:  Ann McCrary   

Electric Bass: Dave Roe   

Mandolin:  Andy Leftwich   

Fiddle: Andy Leftwich  

This rousing number was written by Pastor Mike Lane when he was about to give a sermon.  I love the soulful sounds and lyrics which celebrate a power more significant than ourselves, the power of faith. The McCrary Sisters sang the background on this track, and they really brought it home for me.   

   

Track 11:  Heaven is Holding You   
Smooth Ballad / Folk  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109633   

Written by Ann Miller  

Published by Jewels of Jane Adelle Publishing, BMI  

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Upright Bass: Dave Roe   

Strings:  Tim Lorsch  

My daughter, Josie Smith, graduated from high school this year, and the idea of her moving out of the house to college was a tough pill for me to swallow. I indeed suffer from separation anxiety; she is the result of the best thing I ever did in my life ... being a mother. I think we all wish safety, hope, and love, for all of our children.   

   

Track 12:  A Dollar Looked Mighty Good   
Mid-tempo / Contemporary Bluegrass / Folk  

ISRC: TCAFQ2109635   

Written by Valerie Smith, Ashely Lewis   
Published by Buckle Down Publishing, BMI, ASHCACHE MUSIC PUBLISHING—BMI   

Acoustic Guitar:  Cody Kilby   

Upright Bass:  Evan Winsor   

Fiddle:  Steven Burwell   

Mandolin:  Andy Leftwich   

Banjo:  Tim Carter   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

Ashely Lewis and I wrote this song based on an excerpt from my great grandmother Maggie Brooks' journal which I found in an old trunk about 7 years ago. She had finally escaped from a violent marriage and learned how to earn her own money by doing various jobs. Maggie ended up being a very successful businesswoman in Plattsburg, MO., owning and operating a general store and a hotel. She was pretty proud to earn her own dollars and rise above her many early life challenges.   

   

Track 13:  Enter In   
Upbeat Bluegrass Gospel   

ISRC: TCAFQ2109637   

Written by Claire Lynch, Irene Kelley  

Published by Shiloh Rising Music, BMI, Secret Garden Music, Butter and Egg Music  

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Fiddle:  Wally Hughes   

Banjo:  Joe Zauner   

Upright Bass:  Tom Gray   

Dobro:  Wally Hughes   

Mandolin:  Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes   

Harmony Vocals: Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes  

I love the simplicity and traditional feel of the lyrics and melody of "Enter In." The song was written by bluegrass recording artists Claire Lynch and Irene Kelley. The song is a true sing-along, and being a former music teacher I love to encourage people to join in the fun! I am a fan of the music these two fine women make and was tickled to pull this one out of their music vault.   

   

Track 13:  Unchained   
Slow Tempo Acoustic Blues   

ISRC: TCAFQ2109640  

Written by Jude Johnstone  

Acoustic Guitar:  Bob Minner   

Upright Bass:   Dave Roe   

Dobro: Rob Ickes   

Synth Strings:  Kevin McKendree   

Harmony Vocals:  Tanya Dennis   

Fiddle:  Stephen Burwell  

"Unchained" is another powerfully written song written by Jude Johnstone. It was actually one of the final songs that Johnny Cash released and I'm proud to cover it on my latest album. During the pandemic, emotions were high and turbulent, and I reflected upon many things. This song is about being truthful with yourself and trying to become a better, stronger person.  Once we can see ourselves clearly, we can become unchained from the perceptions that hold us back from loving relationships with ourselves and others.  

  

Liner Notes:  Steve Martin "Unreal Bluegrass" Radio Programmer

Valerie Smith seeks music in life. "Renaissance"  rises from this search with stories of love, separation, celebration, overcoming, and devotion. 

"I'm Fine Being Me" sets the tone. Valerie's playful composition features Andy Leftwich's mandolin and fiddle by Wally Hughes. She doesn’t "need more" or to “possess the world”. Just love. 

"Heartbreak  Hill" is a funky toe-tapping rockabilly song about somewhere we find dreams which didn’t come true and "many that never will".  A truly fun song although Heartbreak Hill is no place to visit. 

  There could be no more loving interpretation of Jude Johnstone's absolutely gorgeous ballad "On That Train" as Valerie’s sings of missed opportunity, regret, and realization that the missed opportunity may perhaps have been chosen. Valerie reaches both conclusions. 

  "Dancing With The Stars " is a sweet swing tune about the dancing under the stars of the night sky. Together or apart the dancer inhabits her own Heaven. Valerie has a special touch for swing and jazzy singing. Surely when she sings this live she’ll be swaying and dancing, smiling with eyes closed.   

Claire Lynch and Frank Serio contribute "Heart of Sorrow".  Sammy Shelor's banjo pops throughout this hard-driven bluegrass number. Valerie kicks with bluegrass vocals and heart breakers. In "Heart of Sorrow"  the relationship is over but it’s all good.  

Veteran musician/IBMA Hall of Fame member Tom Gray is often part of Valerie's current sound.   "The River" is a peaceful journey down an idyllic river which Gray navigates with an ephemeral bass line. Valerie sings of the river and wisdom gained by experiencing and listening.  It’s beautiful walk by the water. 

"I Found" is the perfect opportunity for Valerie to reach deeply down and then stretch back out to her audience. The song describes gliding over unexpected obstacles and finding love where it wasn't supposed to be. Valerie Smith takes you along, breathing with you as you find smiles and happiness. 

  Daniel Crabtree is fine songwriter soon to be one of the best . "Big Red" tells of the legendary racehorse Secretariat. With its upbeat bluegrass tempo it’s about a thoroughbred; or about facing challenges and showing resiliance. Valerie sings and you can choose.  

  Valerie excels in those comfortable country songs which break your heart. "Do You Know Where Your Heart is Tonight?" is for everyone who suffers separation from beloved ones.  A lovely tempo and beautiful tune match the stirring words. 

"The Great I Am " is funky gospel foot-stomper. Bluegrass gospel is a natural combination for Valerie. The McCrary Sisters add a potent Amen choir while Tim Carter's banjo steams and churns with Andy Leftwich's fiddle. Make room to dance, clap your hands and turn this one up loud enough to feel the heat. 

Valerie prizes a journal kept by her great-grandmother Maggie Brooks.  It inspired Valerie with both music and lyrics. Maggie was a fiercely independent when such women were hard to uncover. "A Dollar Looked Mighty Good" is inspired by her escape from suffering to success and independence. We hope for more Maggie stories in the future. For now this “dollar” looks mighty good.  Congratulations to Maggie and great grand-daughter Valerie and the commonality of their successes.  

"Heaven is Holding You" is Valerie Smith at her most touching. If you have children, or were someone’s child, this one will hit you hard with that immutable connection.   Gripping strings andValerie at her most vulnerable. 

Clare Lynch and Irene Kelley co-wrote "Enter In". Add Valerie's vocal and the praise cannot get higher.  As you get up and move catch your breath and sing along, too. Solid harmony by Lisa Kay Howard and Wally Hughes. 

"Unchained" is another song by Jude Johnson, a cover of a Johnny Cash recording and more bluesy than the other tracks. Rob Ickes providing a dripping dobro blues accompaniment. We've all suffered through solitude in the pandemic seeing parts of "us" that we didn't like. Valerie reminds us that we all have traits we now have to recognize and remove. "Unchained" is Valerie Smith urging us to love one another again, and to re-engage our humanity. 

"Renaissance" is humanity in songs. A rebirth touching those feelings which bring us back to our common beliefs.  Hope and sorrow, pure joy of music, love both individually and for all.  These songs and the great musicianship make "Renaissance" a true album of renewal.  Thanks Valerie Smith for this gift in these times.

 Steve Martin "Unreal Bluegrass" Radio Programmer and DJ