Songwriter Mindy Smith has announced her first tour dates in several years - a run of shows in May and June that will celebrate the release of her debut album on vinyl and ease her back into a relationship with her adoring, and patient, fans. An announcement says the tour will visit acoustic listening rooms such as Atlanta’s Eddie’s Attic and The Open Chord in Knoxville “so I could be as up close and personal as possible,” according to the artist.
Smith blew on to the folk and roots scene in 2004 like a swift summer storm, winning the first-ever Americana Emerging Artist of the Year award and wrapping audiences around her finger with empathic, moving shows. But the Nashville artist has been an inconsistent presence on the road, laying low for long stretches, due in part to anxiety about the trappings of touring.
“I was thrown into the fire and I wasn’t necessarily prepared for it,” Smith says in a new episode of WMOT’s The String. “I tried my best to adapt. I was swept up in it and I’m thankful for that but I wish I had more experience touring or being outside of my little bubble.”
Smith says most of her colleagues – she cites Mary Gauthier as an example – seem to fully embrace the road life and being gone more than half the year. She says it’s not her. “I love playing. I love gigging. But the stuff that comes with going to those places I struggle with, for a number of reasons. I have something called Sensory Processing Disorder, so everything around me is overwhelming. I find that to be part of my struggle. But I didn’t learn that until later. Now I know how to deal better.”
Audiences will no doubt welcome Smith back to the stage with love and understanding. That debut album One Moment More was heralded with a duet with Dolly Parton on the latter’s timeless song “Jolene.” Then songs like “Come To Jesus” and the title track conveyed a deep emotional connection wrapped in a gossamer voice capable of almost painfully beautiful melodies. She became an in-demand artist very fast.
Smith has released four albums since then, the last one in 2012. She’s written songs steadily she says, many for TV and film. And she was a prominently named duet voice on Kenny Chesney’s single “Better Boat” in 2018. Smith says she’s at work on a new album with plans to record this year and a wider effort to ease back into the touring life.
Announced dates follow. WMOT is seeking information about any possible Nashville shows and will update accordingly.
MINDY SMITH TOUR DATES
May 5 – Eddie’s Attic – Decatur, GA
May 8 – Seven Steps Live Music and Event Center – Spring Lake, MI
May 9 – Hey Nonny – Arlington Heights, IL
May 31 – Jammin Java – Vienna, VA
June 1 – The Loft at City Winery – New York, NY
June 2 – The Locks at Sona – Philadelphia, PA
June 22 – The Open Chord – Knoxville, TN*