Meet Elisa Smith, from Beverly (originally from Mokena, IL)
When Elisa sings, the blues ooze right out of her soul. She can’t help it, it just happens. Blame it on the church, listening to classic country with her grandmother or classic rock with her dad. But, it’s likely all three. The aching in her voice, the joyous stomp, the sass and sadness… there’s a whole lot of honkytonk in this singer/songwriter’s heart. What lead her to music was simple. She said, “My dad is a musician. When I was little, I would take all my stuffed animals and climb into his guitar case with them while he practiced.”
The Berklee College of Music alumnus, who now works full time for the college, first started singing in church around 12 years old, when growing up outside of Chicago. When Smith was 14, she got her first guitar from her dad. She came to Boston, from Illinois, to attend Berklee College of Music, where she studied voice, the music business and music production. Then, it was on to Harvard for grad classes. It was here, in a packed lecture hall, that her life would be forever changed. Garth and his wife, Trisha Yearwood, were invited to speak that day. Brooks relayed his story of stage fright, and it resonated with Elisa, who hadn’t performed in a while, because of her fear. Garth invited Elisa up to the stage right there and then to sing! According to Smith, he said, “this is what we call being baptized by fire. Get on up here and play us a song!” After she performed, Brooks gave her his guitar, which she still plays today.
“The Hard Way”
“Lord Have Mercy”
Smith And Then Some
- The band:
Erin Bonnie – vocals and fiddleParker Goessling – electric guitarHenri Young -bassVictor Hernandez – drums
- How did you get your name: My fiddle player came up with the name Tiny Little Lies based on our song “A Little Lie.” We’ll be releasing this song on our next EP in the new year called “Verne’s Little Lie.”
- How would you describe your sound: When I play with a full band, my sound has been likened to Loretta Lynn meets 1970s classic rock. I grew up listening to vintage country with my grandmother and classic rock with my dad so those deeply influence my style
- Instruments played: Guitar and voice
- Who inspires you: Dolly Parton
- Accolades: Referred to as the “Honky-Tonk Queen of Boston” and “one of the best original country acts in Boston”
- All- time favorite country songs: Wow, this is a tough one. I’m going to say as far as vintage country goes, my favorite song would have to be “You’re Lookin’ At Country” by Loretta Lynn. As far as modern country goes, hands down “Seein’ Red” by Dustin Lynch
- Favorite country concert: I always LOVE going to the Opry because you get to see such a wide range of country music styles all in one night! I always go when I’m in Nashville!
- What songs do you like now on Country 1025: I was listening the other day and I LOVED the Shania throwback, That Don’t Impress Me Much (if I ever did karaoke, this would be the song I would sing),“Seein’ Red” Dustin Lynch (obviously), and “Beer Never Broke My Heart” Luke Combs
- If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing: I almost went to culinary school and I’ve had some recipes published in cooking magazines
- Day Job: I work for Berklee College of Music, developing free, online courses
- Most proud moment: When I mustered the courage to get on stage with Garth Brooks and perform a song for him
- Crazy thing that happened in your music career:Apart from playing for Garth Brooks and receiving his guitar, I was playing a gig in Somerville outside during the summer and after we finished, a very kind man came up to me and started asking me questions about my music and what not. I asked him his name and he said “oh my name is Steve Miller, you may have heard of me.” At the time I was hopped up on adrenaline from just playing a super energetic set and so I didn’t put 2 and 2 together. He asked me more about my guitar and I told him the Garth Brooks story. He asked if I would mind if he played it and I said sure! (Which I never ever let strangers play my guitar, but there was something about this guy). So we parted ways, and after he left it hit me…. I think I just met Steve Miller! So I looked up a picture of him and sure enough. It was him! So Steve, if by chance you ever read this – thank you for being such a kind human and thank you for all of your kind words!
- Other things you like to do: I love to hike, ski, cook, and do yoga
- Fun facts: I’ve hiked to a sacred lake in the Himalayas in Nepal. My favorite food is ice cream, and I have my masters in education
- Mantra: Just breathe
Elisa And The Tiny Little Lies LIVE
1/1/2020: Loretta’s Last Call, Landsdowne St. Boston
Smith On Social
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.
*Singer/songwriters with original music: Please submit for consideration on The Local Catch by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org