Almost all the songs on the album were inspired by the wild and isolated Keweenaw Peninsula of Michigan on Lake Superior. With its average snowfall of 200 inches, it is a place to be reckoned with both physically and mentally during the long, dark winter. It is also a place that rewards us with stunning beauty every day. When I sing these songs, I always imagine the particular places that they reference--Pine Street in Calumet, the beach at Misery Bay, the metal roof of a friend's house during a hard summer rain. It was my good fortune to be joined by several talented musicians who share my passion for the place, including Bill Payne of the critically acclaimed band Little Feat.
Bill Payne has this to say about Erin Smith and Around This Place:
"Erin combines a poet’s gift for words with mesmerizing music. The crowning touch is her voice, which is the perfect match to the expressiveness of the stories she tells. Her depiction of the Upper Peninsula is brilliant. She knows the terrain better than anyone I’ve ever heard tell about it. The intimacy of her work is really what touches you."