Singer-Songwriter Adam Smith was born a creative. Raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Southeast Kentucky and discovered on the streets of Nashville, Adam is a self-taught musician who took to the piano at a very early age. “It was surreal to me, when I touched the piano keys, all this sound, and vibration and magic came out. The feeling went right through me like an electrical current, and I became addicted to making sound magic. It still feels that way when I play music to this day.”
By the time he was seven, Adam began seeing “sound shapes” in the black and white keys of the old upright piano in the Baptist church his family attended. Once a week, while his mother worked cleaning for the church, Adam would climb up on the piano bench and make up songs. “I figured out the basics of harmonics very quickly and the more I played the more complex the shapes became,” says Smith.
In his mid-teens, Adam discovered Joni Mitchell’s Blue album, which became the catalyst for his beginning to put lyrics to his compositions. Adam explains, “I thought her play on words was genius, and I loved how her songs had the ability to transport me to another place and time and I decided that I wanted to do the same thing.”
Adam picked up the guitar and taught himself to play. While working 9 – 5 jobs, he eventually began performing regularly at open mics in Knoxville, TN. After a few years of moving from small town to small town and working wherever he could, Adam’s desire to follow his dream of a career in music took over. At the age of 25 his hunger led him to the music capital, Nashville, where he lived in his car and sang for tips on the sidewalks. “I left Kentucky at around 11:00pm and arrived in Nashville just as the sun was coming up; I parked my car and looked out at the city and said to myself ‘this is it, here I am, there’s no turning back now’.”
It wasn’t long before Phoenix businessman Jim Colletti heard Adam’s singing. Sensing something special in his music, Colletti put Adam on his first plane ride to Arizona and introduced him to the musical community of Sedona. Soon, Adam recorded his first full-length album with a lineup of world-class musicians including the late rock guitarist Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed) and Emmy award winning new age artist Chris Spheeris. In just three weeks Another Way to Get to Heaven was completed. Upon its release in the spring of 2010, “Heaven” was well received. It evoked the philosophy of a paradise within, something that resonated with fans across the country. On hearing tracks from “Another Way to Get to Heaven”, country legend Brad Paisley said about Adam, “He’s the real deal.”
In January of 2013, Adam released his sophomore album Around the Bend, showing significant growth both as a producer and songwriter. Combining down-to-earth Americana with an ethereal, almost new age sound, “Bend” created a whole new brand of neo-contemporary-folk that is uniquely its own. Autoharp, electric guitar, Native American flute, tribal drums and lush harmonies are just a few of the sounds heard on this record. And on Saint Valentine’s Day 2013, Smith released his EP titled Cupid. The title track of the same name made him a finalist in the International John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Its sparse arrangements and story driven lyrics led to the inspiration for his most recent and most personal album So Simple Now.
Recorded in his home studio in Central Phoenix, So Simple Now captures Smith in his element. With little more than his voice and the guitar and seldom the piano, he manages to create a lush emotional soundscape that is all encompassing. Sprinkled here-and-there with a few full production tracks, like the commercial Water and Wine and the toe tapping opener You Would Do the Same, So Simple Now tells a story that is both raw and ambitious. “I wanted to make something for the world that was just from me,” Adam says about the record.
Adam’s passion for helping others is evident in his involvement with numerous charities and community organizations, most notably Teen Lifeline, Arizona’s peer-to-peer suicide prevention hotline. Growing up an outcast in a small provincial town, the topic of bullying and abuse is close to home for Adam. “I am lucky to be alive,” states Smith referring to his own story of a struggle to embrace and love himself. “I, without a doubt, would have benefited from a resource like Teen Lifeline.” Adam donates all proceeds from his single A Friend is a Stranger to Teen Lifeline and continues to appear at events and fundraisers to support the group.
Since his journey to the southwest in early 2010, Smith has traveled much of the United States bringing his music to new audiences grass roots style. Touring solo, and sometimes with other musicians, Adam strives to connect with music lovers and inspire those who listen. His live performances conjure up the golden age of music, when singer songwriters were revered and love was free. Adam is prolific and continues to produce new material with the support of his manager/partner Jim Colletti. He resides in Phoenix, AZ and his music is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, CDBaby.com, and other online retailers, and wherever he is seen playing live.