Its Advance Single “I Found” Debuted At #5 On The Roots Music Report Chart,
#7 On The Bluegrass Today Grassicana Chart, And #8 On The FAI Folk DJ Chart In June
Smith To Perform Songs From The Album At The Coveted International Bluegrass Music Association Official Showcase
With Her Band Liberty Pike Sept. 28 – 30
Critically-Acclaimed, Grammy-Nominated, American Roots Artist Valerie Smith has released her much-anticipated 18th album Renaissance on all DSPs. (Released September 3).
Five years in the making, Renaissance explores Smith’s personal growth and her journey through learning, forgiving and finding love within herself and others. The songs cover subject areas including love, regret, finding love, acceptance, and redemption. She’s also included some upbeat, happy songs that encourage the listener to “move to the groove,” as she says, and some lush ballads with meaningful lyrics and melodies that touch the soul.
“This album is very close to my heart,” said Smith. “During the last few years, my own personal theme has been about growing, learning, and forgiving. During the Pandemic, I realized that my next album had to be called Renaissance, an Italian word for ‘rebirth.’ The songs on the record reflect all of the themes that affect us and hopefully make us stronger.”
Crossing multiple musical genres, Renaissance still stays true to Smith’s signature sound by encompassing an acoustic flair with a touch of bluegrass – all performed with exceptional musicianship. Produced by Smith and Tim Carter, it features two original tracks “I’m Fine Bein’ Me” and “A Dollar Looked Mighty Good” (co-written with Ashley Lewis) as well as 12 carefully-chosen cover songs by seasoned songwriters including Claire Lynch, Irene Kelley, Jude Johnstone and Daniel Crabtree.
The album was meticulously-crafted and features an all-star lineup of musicians including Smith’s long-time band Liberty Pike (Lisa Kay Howard Hughes, Wally Hughes, Tom Gray and Joe Zauner) and special guests Stephen Burrell, Tim Carter, Tanya Dennis, Rob Ickes, Cody Kilby, Andy Leftwich,Tim Lorsch, Kevin McKendree, Bob Minner, Dave Roe, Jerry Salley, Sammy Shelor, Donna Ulisse, and Evan Winsor. A stirring number featuring Gospel greats The McCrary Sisters (Ann, Alfreda and Regina) rounds out the record’s sound.
“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,” said Steve Martin, Unreal Bluegrass, Syndicated Radio.
The advance single “I Found” debuted at #5 on the Roots Music Report chart, #7 on the Bluegrass Today Grassicana Chart, and #8 on the FAI Folk DJ Chart in June 2021, and Renaissance was the most downloaded album on Airplay Direct on August 28 and 29, 2021.
Additionally, Smith and Liberty Pike have been selected for a prestigious official showcase at the IMBA conference being held in Raleigh, NC September 28 – 30 and will perform songs from the new album during several appearances.
The video for “I Found” can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-HatXUnhVl4
Additional videos will be released in the future.
The official tracklisting for Renaissance is as follows:
“I’m Fine Bein’ Me” (Valerie Smith)
“Heartbreak Hill” (Gary Scruggs & Tony Arata)
“On That Train” (Jude Johnstone)
“Dancin’ With the Stars” (David Lauver, Bobby Johnston, Jerry Salley)
“Heart of Sorrow” (Claire Lynch & Frank Serio)
“The River Whispers” (Claire Ulanoff and Marissa DiBlassio)
“I Found” (Joshua Keogh)
“Big Red” (Daniel Crabtree)
“Do You Know Where Your Heart is Tonight?” (Jeff Walter)
“The Great I Am” (Feat. The McCrary Sisters) (Mike Lane)
“Heaven is Holding You” (Ann Miller)
“A Dollar Looked Mighty Good” (Valerie Smith/Ashley Lewis)
“Enter In” (Claire Lynch and Irene Kelley)
“Unchained” (Jude Johnstone)
In addition to finishing Renaissance during the Pandemic, Smith has also written and recorded Maggie’s Journal, a bluegrass-folk opera based on her great-grandmother’s diary (release to be announced). She also tours regularly and continues to create music released by her company Bell Buckle Records. Bell Buckle Records, Media, and Radio houses a variety of talented artists, radio shows, and creates video productions.
About Valerie Smith
Originally from Missouri and now based in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, Valerie Smith is an American roots artist and songwriter with a unique style and sound, who has rocked the bluegrass world for almost two decades with a string of national and international tours, critically-acclaimed recordings, Grammy, IBMA, and Dove Award nominations. When you listen to Smith’s unique and expressive voice, you can hear influences from bluegrass, blues, gospel music, and even Broadway show tunes. Her range is expansive and she conveys a fantastic array of emotions. Smith has been touring and recording with her band Liberty Pike for 22 years (seven with the current configuration) and she has 18 albums to her credit. She has appeared on various television shows, including Ronnie Reno’s, the Bluegrass Underground, Song of the Mountains, PBS, and more.
Smith’s hit single, “Red Clay Halo,” (Gillian Welch and David Rawlings), climbed the Bluegrass Unlimited, Country Music, and Americana reporting charts, receiving heavy radio airplay for five years. BU included the song in their list of the top 60 songs of the decade. Renaissance is the follow-up to her successful 2020 hit single “From A Distance” (Julie Gold), featuring Claire Lynch and Irene Kelly, which hit #1 in July of 2020 and spent an entire year on the Bluegrass Today Grassicana Chart as well as hitting # 2 for two months on the Folk Alliance International Folk DJ Chart.