With several cuts to his credit as a songwriter, and after a long hiatus, David G Smith is resuming his life as an artist with his new release “Non-Fiction”. Friends and mentors, Buddy Mondlock, Miles Wilkinson & Mary Gauthier, teamed up with Smith to make this record. The list of other artists who participated in this project reads like a who’s who in the music industry. As an artist Smith has been described as part groove-meister and balladeer resulting in a kind of swamp/folk style. His musical influences include all the usual suspects: jazz, blues, rock, and country, with a dose of Little Feat & Dr. John funk. Anchored to all of this is someone who seeks to write the truth and something real. He and his music have never been about “hey look at me” but rather, looking to share with, and maybe even help, his listener. Smith says his writing is a partnership with the listener and he paraphrases Pete Townsend, “I can start the song but it is the listener who completes it” via their personal life experience. By this process, the same song can mean different things to different people. These days Smith splits his time between Nashville, TN and his native Iowa when not touring. His path as a songwriter has been a straight shot; on the other hand, his path as an artist has been a circuitous one.
Born to a musical family in the hills of Eastern Iowa’s Mississippi Valley, Smith took obligatory piano lessons, picked up the guitar on his own, and began writing songs in high school. According to him writing is a “life sentence”. He dropped out of college, formed a band called Clay Mills with his brother, Ed and “kicked Eastern Iowa butt” for a short time; Smith’s original material peppered the set list. He returned to college to complete his education. But the writing continued.
Next stop on his path was Colorado. During a 10-year stint he was a co-founder of, and keyboard player for, “Robin Banks” an all-original rock band that released a self-titled record. The band was managed for a time by Ed Cassidy, drummer for the 60’s band, “Spirit”. Balancing a day job, family and new baby girl his zig-zag route led him to a trio called “Every Night Live” sprinkled with solo and duo gigs with his brother Ed throughout the remainder of his career in Colorado all the while writing.
Smith then loaded up his family and headed for Nashville, TN to learn more about the craft of writing where his path turned into a flat out roller coaster ride. After 5 years to the month as a “Nash-villain”, life circumstances brought him back to his home state to help raise his daughter.
Smith spent the 90’s in Iowa writing and writing and writing. Songs for a limited edition release of a 3 CD solo songwriter set titled, “Evolution” were written during this period. He also co-founded a Storm Lake based 4-piece group, “Pangaea” during this time that incorporated his material. In the late 90’s once his daughter graduated high school, he began making a routine of commuting to Nashville. That’s the path he’s been on since 1997. This journey has led to being mentored by songwriting greats like Hugh Prestwood, Angela Kaset, Rick Beresford, Darrell Scott, Beth Nielsen Chapman & Mary Gauthier, attending writer retreats, and participating in countless co-writes with some of Nashville’s best. His song catalog continues to grow.
Along the way Smith has garnered several cuts to include one (MR. OOH LA LA) in 2007 with major indie, Rissi Palmer, the first black female artist to chart in country music in over 20 years. In 2008 he picked up a first place win in the International Song Contest/Country Category for MADE FOR YOU. Three different artists have cut another of his songs, WALK AWAY CLEAN. His credits also include TV show song placements. Smith plays regularly at Nashville’s world famous Bluebird Café. His road has taken another recent turn as Smith let go of his day job to resume life as an artist full time.
Smith is a lifetime member of Nashville Songwriters Association, International (NSAI) a current NSAI Gap Board Member, and BMI affiliate with his Alrose Music publishing company.