Meet Elisa Smith from Beverly, MA
Her energy is infectious. Her music is relatable, and impassioned. The small town Midwest girl turned New Englander can draw you in with her vivacity, and keep you there with her blues-tinged vocals, and storytelling capabilities.
Elisa Smith is on a mission to move you with her music, and her latest single will have you dancing in the summer sun. This singer/songwriter’s ability to move through song likely started in church, where her father was a worship leader. Music was prevalent in Elisa’s home growing up, where her grandmother instilled a love of country music, her father- a love of rock n roll, and her mother- folk music. All of those genres are clearly on display in the music of Elisa Smith.
Smith moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, where she now works. But it was at Harvard, of all places, that Elisa had the opportunity to meet Garth Brooks. She was there attending classes for her Masters program in Arts Education. Garth was there to speak to her class, and shared that he still sometimes gets nervous performing live. This hit a chord with Elisa, who also suffered from stage fright. During Q&A, she raised her hand and asked how he gets over his nervousness. It was then, that one of music’s biggest stars invited Elisa to the front of the class to perform. He handed her his guitar, after her performance, and told her to keep it, and keep singing. She hasn’t stopped, and still plays his guitar.
When speaking of her new single, “Country High,” Elisa relayed, “I wrote this song in response to Jason Aldean’s “Laid Back” (one of my favorite tunes). He has a lyric that goes “out here way back, you can feel that country high” and he’s absolutely right. There’s something about being out in the country while the sun is going down, fishing, swimming, playing good tunes with friends. I recorded the song in Nashville with an amazing band at Pentavarit Studio. The track was produced by Caleb Gilbreath (former drummer and music director for Brett Eldredge) and Eddie Bayers (official drummer for the Grand Ole Opry, and drummer for everyone you could imagine including Garth Brooks).
Check out Elisa’s music video for “Country High”
- Grew up in: Mokena, IL
- Now lives in: Beverly, MA
- Current single: “Country High,” part of my upcoming record “Baptized By Fire”
- What lead you to music: I’ve always been drawn to music. My dad was a worship leader in church and bought me my first guitar. My parents took me to music festivals ever since I was an infant and some of my earliest memories are going to concerts.
- How old when you started: I started playing on my family church’s worship team when I was 12 and the rest is history.
- First country song you learned: Don’t Come Home A’Drinkin’ by Loretta Lynn
- Instruments played: Voice and Guitar
- How would you describe your sound: Loretta Lynn meets the Rolling Stones
- Who inspires you: I love Miranda Lambert – she is so incredibility talented and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. I’m also inspired by my husband. He is the most supportive, loving, patient, and kind person I know. He makes me better.
- Dream duet partner: Dustin Lynch
- All- time favorite country songs: wow this is tough…. But here it goes: Wildwood Flower – June Carter, Laid Back – Jason Aldean, Angel From Montgomery – John Prine
- First country concert: I don’t remember! I went to a lot of bluegrass gatherings when I was a kid so probably one of those.
- What songs do you like now on Country 1025: It Ain’t My Fault – Brothers Osborne, Settling Down – Miranda Lambert, Runnin’ Outa Moonlight – Randy Houser
- If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing: A chef!
- Day Job: I’m the Associate Director for Online Curriculum at Berklee College of Music – I oversee all of the curriculum development for the online school.
- Most proud moment: When I was able to pay for my upcoming release entirely with revenue from my music. It’s a huge milestone for a lot of artists and it feels so good when you get there.
- Crazy thing that happened in your music career: When Garth Brooks invited me on stage to play a song and gave me his guitar!
- Other things you like to do: Hike, fish, puzzles, cook, shop
- Fun facts: I hate socks and will only wear slippers. My favorite food is ice cream. And I’m the youngest of 4 daughters
- Mantra: One day at a time
Gig: July 29-Loretta’s Last Call in Boston
Releases: “Nashville Angel” on July 26 and “The Hunter” on August 16
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.
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