Debi Smith / The Smith Sisters

The Smith Sisters: "Blue Mockingbird"

Now available on CDBaby only - for download:  The Smith Sisters earliest recordings featuring Doc and Merle Watson, Mark O'Connor, Sam Bush, T. Michael Coleman and others.

Blue Mockingbird

"If I Were an Angel"

- BRAND NEW Christmas CD 2014!!

 

Available at CDBaby and ITunes

 

DEBI'S NEW HOLIDAY CD "IF I WERE AN ANGEL" SELECTED AS 2014 "PICK" BY THE WASHINGTON TIMES

 

"The good news for holiday lovers is that there are some artists who release holiday albums that bring a joyous, modern sound to the season.... Here is (one of ) our new favorites:  Smith has turned her lush, three-octave vocals and songwriting prowess toward making our holiday season bright. Ms. Smith's latest 14-track offering, her first composing and performing with an orchestra, includes only one traditional carol, the magnificently presented 'O Holy Night.'
But her original songs are crafted with just the right mix of fresh perspective, from 'Snow, Snow, Snow,' a midtempo romp of caroling, cocoa and snow, to a soulful rendering of 'A Baby Cries.' A true delight of modern holiday music."

This silver-throated member of the Four Bitchin' Babes sings new Christmas songs and classics with orchestra a la Karen Carpenter with a diva twist (arrangements by James Kessler - National/Chicago/London Symphonies, Boston Pops, Lionel Ritchie, Renee Fleming).  If I Were an Angel marks Debi's seventh solo album, and her first in an orchestral setting.  It features her three octave vocal range on self-penned holiday tunes as well as some seasonal favorites.  Listeners may not be able to tell which is which!

Debi‘s original songs cover a wide range of holiday fare: her lush alto on “Under the Mistletoe” and “Snow, Snow, Snow” recall Sinatra-esque yuletide cheer, followed by “If Wishes Could Come True” for loved ones far away. “From the Hills of Bethlehem” has a Celtic Christmas flavor (harkening back to Debi’s days in the all-woman Irish group The Hags). “Light a Candle” celebrates not only the Christmas spirit but also the lights of Hannukah and the New Year.  Finally, on songs such as "If I Were an Angel," "A Baby Cries," and "O Holy Night," Debi lets loose the soaring soprano that has moved her audiences to tears.

As one reviewer put it:

"Just when you think there couldn't possibly be a Christmas/holiday CD with something new to say, Debi Smith's aptly titled "If I Were an Angel" appears. Even though I was listening on a sunny California day, the music transported me to a little church on a snowy night for the most beautiful Christmas Eve service. The feeling of peace is palpable, as Smith's golden soprano floats effortlessly atop the lush arrangements. What I think is especially remarkable is that she's penned nearly all of these new tracks, and yet they have that instant warmth associated with established holiday standards. The opening cut, "Under the Mistletoe," has a Carpenters magic to it. And the title track soars to the rafters and lifts your spirits like - well - really good church. This CD is the antidote for the hustle and bustle of holiday madness. It makes you want to slow down and appreciate what the season is actually all about."  (Larry Dean Harris, Ovation-Award winning Playwright)

 

 

"Hits and Holidays"

- Songs for every holiday of the year!

 

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Debi's newest release is a collection of re-mixed, re-sung and/or re-mastered audience favorites in a variety of musical stylings. Each of the songs is paired with various holidays throughout the year... a holiday for every hit! The CD features a duet with Tom Paxton on a song they wrote together (Marry Me Again); and includes guest appearances by Doc Watson (Pie, Keep on the Sunny Side), Mike Auldridge (Pampa Texas, Cupid), Al Petteway (Pampa Texas, Mother's Hands, Haunted, Angel in My Arms), Mark O'Connor (The Traveler, Sunny Side), three of the Four Bitchin' Babes (Pass it On) and The Smith Sisters (The Traveler, Sunny Side).

Reviews 

"On Debi Smith’s latest album Hits & Holidays the vocalist with the three-octave range–– a member of the much loved U.S. folk group the Four Bitchin’ Babes and The Smith Sisters––turns her gorgeous vocals to an array of songs celebrating everything from Christmas to Collector Car Appreciation Day (That’s July 9th, by the way!). 

The delight is that the diverse collection works beautifully. Although Smith has a voice that challenges the mastery of household-name divas, she never allows her styling to get overly stuffy or maudlin. Instead, she balances sentimentality with just the right amount of wit to make most of the album a play-all-year spin. 

Doc Watson, Mike Auldridge, Tom Paxton and Marcy Marxer are among the artists who make appearances on this recent release. But despite the A-list guests, Smith’s vocals steal the show. 

The classic ‘O Holy Night,’ ‘Pie,’ a cover of a Watson song, and ‘Keep on the Sunny Side,’ (upon which she duets with Watson) are among the stand-out tracks. Perhaps the most stunningly beautiful track, though, is ‘Mother’s Hands.’ Smith, a parent herself, sings with the heartfelt wisdom of someone who has experienced the joys and sorrow of life and love. But, again, the songs on this album don’t take listeners on a sentimental journey. For pure fun, take a listen to ‘Chevy Impala,’ which Smith wrote with her husband Michael Jaworek. 

The bottom line: Whether it’s a holiday or not, Smith’s latest album is a hit. "  

- Nancy Dunham (Folking.com, No Depression Magazine)  

"I’m on record as supporting unilateral drone strikes on performers who make holiday records. (Dylan’s Christmas album, anyone?) I am, however, willing to give the stand-down order for Debi Smith’s foray into seasonal merriment. First of all, she has a seriously great voice; it has depth, power, clarity, and chutzpah. No wonder she’s both a beloved solo performer and a mainstay of Four Bitchin’ Babes and The Smith Sisters. If you’ve any doubt about how good she really is, listen to her out-muscle a string orchestra on “O Holy Night.” We’re talking diva territory on that one. The other thing in her favor is that she has an expansive view of holidays—not just the mauling mall litany of Christmas irritants, but a calendar’s worth of offerings. I did not know that January 23 was National Pie Day, but I’m feeling festive about that one, and I’m as giddy about Smith’s cover of Doc Watson’s “Pie” as I am of her duet with Watson on “Keep on the Sunny Side.” They’re calling that a New Year’s song and that’s good enough for me. Nor did I know that March 20 was National Proposal Day or that May 4 was Renewal Day, but I’m glad she collaborated with Tom Paxton on the tender “Marry Me Again.” Canada Day coming up? Check out Smith’s “Niagara Falls.” Need a little something extra for Mother’s Day? Smith’s “Mother’s Hands” is rightly a beloved standard. Want to go a little over the top? How about “Chevy Impala” for Collector Car Appreciation Day? Mark your calendars; it’s coming up on July 9. "

-Rob Weir of the The Valley Advocate, Off Center Views

 

 

"The Soprano"

- Debi's 5th Solo CD/2 CD set

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Debi Smith's fifth solo CD, a 2-CD set called "The Soprano," features Debi's "pristine and soaring soprano" voice (The Washington Post). The songs on CD One range from a stunning take on Bizet's saucy "Habenera" to Celtic classics "Wild Mountain Thyme" to traditional favorite "Shenandoah," and the National Anthem to original compositions such as "Dylan's Poetry, " "In My Dreams" (featuring Debi on Irish bodhran) and "Italy and France" (a moving ballad about Debi's experience of having a child with Autism).  CD Two features Christmas music and carols such as "Silent Night," "Greensleeves (What Child is This)," "O Holy Night," and Debi's original Christmas songs.   Both feature the stellar musicianship of Grammy winners Al Petteway, Marcy Marxer, and Mark O'Connor. Debi produced and arranged "The Soprano," engineered by Grammy winner Jim Robeson at Bias Studio in Springfield, Virginia. 

"Cupid"

- Debi's 4th solo CD

Debi Smith | Cupid

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Debi's fourth solo CD, Cupid, released in January 2005, has been called "an incredible CD...truly memorable...nothing short of amazing" by Music Monthly Magazine, and "colorful...lovely...clever... not to be missed" by The Washington Post. Christine Lavin says, "There are a few folk performers who are not only great writers and performers, but also born with the gift of a naturally beautiful singing voice...now with her her album "Cupid", Debi's vocal range is that much more impressive. Her fans will be thrilled." Co-produced by Debi with Billy Kemp, Cupid includes appearances by Doc Watson, Kemp, pianist Jon Carroll, and dobroist Mike Auldridge. 


Two of the songs, "Cupid" and "Drivin'", are co-written with Billy Kemp, who greatly influenced Debi in the creation of this album. "We just hit it off, musically and personally, right away", says Debi. "Creating this album with Billy was pure magic". Her most requested song, "Pass it On", about watching a child grow up, makes its recording debut. The song, "Pie", is co-written with Debi's paternal grandmother, Ruth Morgan Smith. Debi took an excerpt from her Nebraskan grandmother's dustbowl diary and wrote the song; Doc Watson adds a warm note to its production. "My Kinda Man", co-written with Tom Paxton, swings light-heartedly with the guitar and piano work of Billy Kemp and Jon Carroll. The traditional "Water is Wide", and the live version of "Rainbow" soar under Smith and Kemp's musical kinship. Debi brings her ever-expanding versatile stylings and voice to this project, and explores new vocal and songwriting arenas. 

"Red Bird Red"

- Debi's 3rd solo CD

Debi Smith | Red Bird Red

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"Red Bird Red", Debi Smith's third solo CD on Shanachie, was selected as one of the years best by the Washington Post. It is a thoughtful, powerful record, stylishly produced by Ronn Price and wonderfully performed by an impressive ensemble of Nashville regulars, including guitarist Pat Buchanan and mandolin/fiddle player Tammy Rogers. Smith's writing is often deeply moving. Emotionally and musically rich songs like "Red Bird Red," "God Help Us," "Niagara Falls," and "Slipping Away," written with Tom Paxton, focus on topics that really matter, whether Smith is invoking her father's favorite saying, recalling a first love, or breathing life into a faded picture of her grandparents. Her well-crafted songs celebrate personal renewal, family and community, and the sanctity of love from generation to generation, but also consider the fleetness of youth, the ravages of time, and the finality of loss. As expected, Smith's three-octave voice is joy to listen to, both on her folk-pop ballads and rock & rollers, such as the Cajun-flavored "Chevy Impala." The operatic closer, Puccini's O Mio Babino Caro, in tribute to her son, reveals the depth of her powers. 

"More Than Once"

- Debi's 2nd solo CD

Debi Smith | More Than Once

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Debi Smith's second album, "More Than Once," marked her debut on the Shanachie label, and won the Wammie (Washington Area Music Award) for "Best Contemporary Folk Album." Her version of Shenandoah is a favorite among fans and reviewers alike. Her song, Virginia, was chosen as a finalist for the Virginia state song. Mother's Hands, a song about discovering our parents in ourselves is one of her most requested songs. Al Petteway plays on this album, once again adding shimmering guitar work to many of the cuts, including "Snowbound", "Hang the Moon", and "Intertwined". 

"In My Dreams"

- Debi's 1st solo CD

Debi Smith | In My Dreams

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"In My Dreams" is Debi Smith's first solo CD. It is co-produced with John Jennings (grammy-award winning Mary Chapin Carpenter producer), who plays on 3 cuts, and Dan Green. Guitarist extraordinaire Al Petteway plays on many of the cuts, and has a large influence on the album, as well as stellar dobro player, Mike Auldridge. Stand out songs include one about her Nebraskan father ("My Father Was a Quiet Man"), "Pampa Texas" about a couple struggling in a small town, "Canary's Song", written by Buddy Mondlock and Garth Brooks (before he was 'Garth'), and "In My Dreams", one of Debi's most requested songs, which she plays on the Irish bodhran. 

The Smith Sisters - "Canary's Song"

- (click CD to buy)

Debi Smith/The Smith Sisters | Canary's Song

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This is the Smith Sisters fourth album. Debi (lead vocals, guitar, bodhran) and Megan (vocals, electric bass) are the Smith Sisters. With Al Petteway suporting them on vocals and guitar, they recorded this album live at the Birchmere in the Washington DC area. This album has been touted as their best, due to the beauty of their live show, and th stellar guitar work of Petteway. 

The Smith Sisters attracted attention when their debut album, Bluebird, released in 1983, was produced by the late Merle Watson and featured guest appearances by top-ranked bluegrass pickers including Sam Bush, Mark O'Connor, Doc Watson and T. Michael Coleman. But, it was their octave-spanning vocal harmonies that truly showcased their musical strengths. 

Although they've followed their own paths, Philadelphia-born Debi Smith and her younger sister Megan continue to reflect country warmth and harmonious texture as The Smith Sisters, and still occasionally perform together. 

Debi Smith, who also performs and records with the Four Bitchin' Babes, remains at the core of The Smith Sisters' sound. Equally skilled at acoustic guitar, bodhran and piano and possessor of a three-octave vocal range, Smith writes most of the duo's songs and sings lead. Megan keeps arrangements anchored on electric bass and sings harmonies that blend naturally with her sister.

 

The Smith Sisters - "Roadrunner"

- (click CD to buy)

Debi Smith/The Smith Sisters | Roadrunner

 

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Roadrunner is The Smith Sisters third CD, and features the playing of luminaries Doc Watson, Mark O'Connor, and dobro player Mike Auldridge. Their harmonies are never tighter and lovlier than when they sing on this album, which has a acoustic country-folk sound. 

The Smith Sisters attracted attention when their debut album, Bluebird, released in 1983, was produced by the late Merle Watson and featured guest appearances by top-ranked bluegrass pickers including Sam Bush, Mark O'Connor, Doc Watson and T. Michael Coleman. But, it was their octave-spanning vocal harmonies that truly showcased their musical strengths. 

Although they've followed their own paths, Philadelphia-born Debi Smith and her younger sister Megan continue to reflect country warmth and harmonious texture as The Smith Sisters, and still occasionally perform together. 

Debi Smith, who also performs and records with the Four Bitchin' Babes, remains at the core of The Smith Sisters' sound. Equally skilled at acoustic guitar, bodhran and piano and possessor of a three-octave vocal range, Smith writes most of the duo's songs and sings lead. Megan keeps arrangements anchored on electric bass and sings harmonies that blend naturally with her sister.

Look Up at the Hawks

- A three generation collaboration

 

 

 

As featured on NPR's "All Things Considered," PBS Television in a half hour special, and live at the Smithsonian Institution, Look Up at the Hawks - And The Universe Overhead is a new book published by Degan Books.  It is a collaboration of three generations -- Ruth Morgan Smith (1894-1978), daughter-in-law Vivian Douglas Smith, and granddaughter Debi Smith. There is also a CD that accompanies the book, containing the songs included in the live performance of the show (see below).   

LOOK UP AT THE HAWKS - THE BOOK 

 

 

Look Up at the Hawks CD

- CD that accompanies the book

  

LOOK UP AT THE HAWKS - THE CD  

 

 

The Four Bitchin' Babes CD's (Click CD to see all Babes albums)

Debi has been a member of The Four Bitchin' Babes since 1993.  Click to view and buy all fabulous Babes' CDs!  Visit their website at: www.fourbitchinbabes.com