Known for hosting at Nashville’s Bluebird Café, award-winning singer/songwriter David G. Smith will perform in Northern Michigan this May. Based out of Iowa and Nashville, his current tour makes stops in Benzie and Traverse City. MyNorth Media entertainment writer Ross Boissoneau tells us more about David Smith’s background and fame before his country music concerts.


David G. Smith

How He Got His Start

Raised in a musical family in the hills of northeastern Iowa’s Mississippi Valley, David G. Smith dropped out of college to form a band with his brother Ed. The group mixed covers with his original material. He quit the band and returned to college, then after graduating headed to Denver, Colorado. For 10 years, he toured the Rockies with several groups.

His passion for songwriting combined with a leap of faith led him to move his young family to Nashville. Five years of day jobs and songwriting in Nashville created a network of friends and musicians still influencing him today.

He’s since relocated back to his home state but still travels to Nashville frequently, where he hosts at the famed Nashville songwriter showcase venue, the Bluebird Café, a gig he’s had since the mid-90s.

Influences and Inspirations

James Taylor, Darrell Scott, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mary Gauthier

Additional Background

Smith has worked with or shared the stage with the likes of Justin Townes Earle, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Keb’ Mo’. His songs have been featured on TV: “Walk Away Clean,” was used in the Lifetime cable TV documentary series Chasing Nashville some ten years after he wrote it, which he drily called “a good example of a little lag time.” His song “Doesn’t Take Much Light” was featured on, and he later sang it to 5,000 Eagle Scouts in an arena event at Michigan State University. 

Smith won first place in the country category in the International Song Competition with “Made For You,” while “Sunday Morning Drive” with Anne E. DeChant reached #1 on the Music Roots Folk Singles Chart. Smith has appeared on numerous NBC, PBS and NPR affiliates. His album One House landed on No Depression/Lee Zimmerman’s list of “10 Terrific Albums To Listen To Right Now.” Zimmerman said of it, “He comes across with the same sort of weathered resolve that best exemplifies fellow travelers like Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt.”

His follow-up effort was The Family Smith: LIVE @ The Redstone Room, a box CD/DVD set featuring eight songs, two of which had never before been released. Earlier this year, he released his sixth album in as many years, First Love.


“There’s nothing here that sounds like someone mining for a country hit, just songs that stick with you.” – Manchester Union Leader on Smith’s First Love

“It was five years of writing songs for others in Nashville and a few more years working as a medical investigator examining complaints against physicians that gave Smith his eye for detail.” –

Venues, Dates, & Times

Grow Benzie in Benzonia May 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Sleder’s Family Tavern in Traverse City May 22 at 7 p.m.

Ticket Information

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.

For the Benzie show, they are available at Grow Benzie, East Shore Market in Beulah, in Frankfort at Storm Cloud, Corner Drug or Frankfort Bookstore, or call Grow Benzie at 882-9510.

For Sleder’s, tickets are available at Sleder’s Family Tavern, Oryana Food Cooperative, Brilliant Books or the Silver Swan. Call Sleder’s at 947-9213.

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