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Carolyn Kruse

Weekdays 9:00am - 2:00pm

Meet Elisa Smith from Beverly, MA!

Take the blues to the country in an airbus and you’re listening to Elisa Smith. This talented singer/songwriter fuses torch with twang, country with rock, and blues with boots. Growing up in a suburban town about an hour outside of Chicago, Elisa learned to love music early on, thanks to her father, her grandmother and church. Her father plays guitar, so she would sit and  listen to him play, and sang with him in church. Her grandmother loved Nashville and would tell Elisa stories about going to the Opry, when she was just a little girl.

Elisa came to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, studying Voice, Music Business, and Music Production. From there, she attended Harvard for grad classes, which is where she had a fateful meeting with Garth Brooks. That meeting would change her life. You’ll have to watch the video below for the entire story, but their encounter ended with him encouraging her to pursue her dreams and giving her the guitar off his back… right there at Harvard.

Elisa Live

Elisa shared a brand new song, from a forthcoming project inspired by her meeting with Garth Brooks. Listen to the whole Garth encounter story and Elisa’s latest composition called, “Tractor Candy”


Here’s another Elisa original, “Made to Break”


Check out the official studio recording of Elisa Smith’s “Hitch A Ride”


The Smith Story

  • Instruments played: guitar and voice
  • How would you describe your sound: I describe my sound as rock n roll country. Others have likened my EP Hitch A Ride as Loretta Lynn meets Led Zeppelin
  • Who inspires you: My grandmother, Loretta Lynn, The Rolling Stones, Def Leppard
  • If you are a band, how did you get your name: My grandmother had a saying, “It’s good to be honest, but sometimes mostly is good enough.” When she passed, my sisters and I were remembering stories about her and we joked about that saying. I thought that’d make a great song so I wrote the song “A Little Lie.” When I played it through with my band, Erin (my fiddle player), came up with the idea of calling the band The Tiny Little Lies and it stuck
  • Awards/accolades: A local promoter referred to me as Boston’s Honky Tonk Country Queen and another based on the North Shore referred to me as the best original country act in Boston. Also, my story with Garth Brooks (below) has been featured on WBUR and HarvardEd Magazine
  • All- time favorite country song: Alt Country: If I Am A Stranger – Ryan Adams, Pop Country: Seein’ Red – Dustin Lynch
  • Favorite country concert: Ryan Adams
  • Current Country 1025 favorites: “Girl Like You” – Jason Aldean,, “Take It From Me” – Jordan Davis,”I Could Use a Love Song” – Marren Morris
  • If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing: Baking cakes
  • Day Job: I develop free online courses for Berklee College of Music
  • Most proud moment: As a musician: sitting in the studio in Nashville listening to the rough mixes of the EP we just tracked. It was my first time recording in a professional studio and I had raised the money through a crowd-funding campaign. I remember sitting on the couch in the control room listening to my songs thinking about how proud my grandmother would have been. Non-music related: Seeing my 6-month old son crawl all over a guitar that was brought in by a musician at his day care last week
  • Craziest thing that ever happened in your music career: I had lost that fire of wanting to pursue music until I was at Harvard attending a talk with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood a couple years ago. During the talk, he mentioned that he still gets stage fright, which really resonated with me. At the end, during the Q and A portion, I raised my hand, told him I loved to performed but that I got so nervous I could barely get on stage. He asked me my name and what I played. When I told him I play country and that I sing and play guitar, he invited me on stage to play in front of everyone (about 400 people). When Garth Brooks invites you on stage to play a song, you play a song! I went up and played A Good Man Is Hard To Find – the first track on Hitch A Ride – and he told me to go for it and sing my heart out. Afterwards, he gave me his guitar and it’s the one I play today. I recorded my EP with it and I’ll have it in the studio with me
  • Other things you like to do: Hike, fish, cook, travel
  • Fun facts: My husband and I completely gutted and remodeled our bathroom from scratch by ourselves. I love to ski but I’m terrible at it. I love riding horses but didn’t start riding until a few years ago. One of my first times on a horse was a 28 mile ride into the Montana wilderness a couple summers ago

Elisa Smith On Stage

  • February 21 – Thunder Road with Brad Parsons and Starbird, Ashley Jordan, and Back Rhodes
  • February 23 – Encore Apparel (Launching a limited run T Shirt and the 3-song concept AP “Verne’s Little Lie” (Abbreviated Play – like an EP but shorter) recording project

Engage With Elisa


Every week, Kruser’s Local Catch highlights New England’s homegrown country music talent, and tells you where to catch them locally and in Nashville. Click here to view previous catches.

The Local Catch is powered by Shiner Bock, independently brewed in Texas, for Boston’s independent spirit. Boston is Shiner country! 

*Singer/songwriters with original music: Please submit for consideration on The Local Catch by emailing Kruser at



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