Caitlyn Smith is making her dreams come true

Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:24:36
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 24:36
  • Caitlyn Smith - St. Paul (Live on The Current) 03:44
  • Caitlyn Smith - Starfire (Live on The Current) 04:33
  • Caitlyn Smith - Contact High (Live on The Current) 04:43

"It is my story," Caitlyn Smith says about "St. Paul," one of the songs on her new album, Starfire. "As I was writing it, I pictured driving over the [Highway] 52 bridge, heading into St. Paul and that skyline and just being a teenager and coming into the city and feeling like, 'All right! I'm going to play some gigs and make my dreams come true!'"

Smith, who grew up in Cannon Falls, Minn., and is now based in Nashville, was back in St. Paul making a few more dreams come true with an appearance on Live From Here with Chris Thile — and by stopping at The Current (Smith is a founding member!) for an in-studio session hosted by Bill DeVille.

Looking back on her childhood in Cannon Falls, Smith recalls chasing her dream of music performance from the young age of seven. As she grew older, she entered the talent contest at the Minnesota State Fair every year, eventually winning the teen division at age 15 for performing one of her original songs. That victory led to Smith using her college fund to cut her first record, and ultimately moving to Nashville where she has enjoyed a successful career as a songwriter, penning songs that have been recorded by artists including Jason Aldean, Garth Brooks, and Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

But something starting pulling Smith back to performing her own songs.

"I spent probably three years taking a break from the stage and just writing," Smith says. "And I kind of started noticing … it got a little harder to let these songs go. And so through a kind of long and winding road, I was like, 'All right, I'm just going to make a record for myself, something that I love,' and that's what we got with Starfire."

During the in-studio session, which aired live on Saturday, March 3, Smith and her band — Paul Moak and Steve Bosmans, electric guitars; Rollie Gaalswyk, acoustic guitar; Kara Laudon, keyboards; Phil Hicks, bass; and Levi Stugelmeyer, drums — performed three songs from the new album. With an album tour (including dates at SXSW) out in front of her, Smith looks set to continue bringing her dreams to life.

Use the audio player above to hear the complete in-studio session.

Songs Performed


"St. Paul"
"Starfire"
"Contact High"
All songs from Caitlyn Smith's 2018 album, Starfire, available on Monument Records.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

Resources

Caitlyn Smith - official site

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12 Photos

  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith and her band hanging out in The Current studio ahead of their in-studio session. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith tunes her guitar in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith's guitar section -- Steve Bosmans, Paul Moak and Rollie Gaalswyk -- performing in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith and drummer Levi Stugelmeyer performing in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Guitarist Steve Bosmans performing with Caitlyn Smith in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Phil Hicks playing bass with Caitlyn Smith in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Kara Laudon on keyboards with Caitlyn Smith in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Paul Moak on electric guitar with Caitlyn Smith in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio
    Caitlyn Smith performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)

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