Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase Jan Smith

After leaving her hometown near Louisville, Kentucky, Jan Smith traveled from San Francisco to Seattle to Maine's Mount Desert Island. Supporting herself through jobs at bagel shops, movie theaters, offices, and schools, she explored these coastal regions and her growing love for writing songs. In 1999, during her last summer in New England, she attended Jimmie Dale Gilmore's songwriting workshop in Rhinebeck, New York. After the workshop, Smith stopped by Gilmore's show at the Towne Crier Café in Pawling and was called to the stage by the Texas singer/songwriter to perform one of her roots originals – a slow, hard country tune called “Dime on the Floor.” On New Year's Eve of that year, Smith traveled to central Virginia to visit friends from the workshop. She discovered a rich community of songwriters and musicians in the Charlottesville area and decided to stay.

Since 2000, she has collaborated with the Jan Smith Band on arrangements of a growing body of original songs and instrumentals. The band includes: Jeff Vogelgesang (mandolin and resonator guitar); Tom Proutt (lead guitar); Gerald Soriano (upright bass). For select shows, drummer Ethan Bauley joins the group. In 2002, Smith released her debut album, Tin Heart .

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