Interview with C.W. Smith
Country singer-songwriter C.W. Smith has released his latest track ''Get Her Off of Mine'' with Soda Mountain Records and it's a taste of what's to some from his forthcoming EP. We interviewed him ahead of his release and it went a little something like this...
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I had a passion for music at a young age. I was around 6 or 7 when my Mom bought me my first guitar. I told her I wanted to be a country music cowboy.
I spent some time learning the guitar, and I started writing songs around 10. I have just never gotten tired of making music. I started my first band around 16. I have been doing this my whole life. If I wasn't a full time musician I would still be a Fire Fighter.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I love to fish and hunt. I like to go alone especially. It helps me relax and clear my mind. When I'm alone I can find inspiration in almost anything to fuel my writing. I never know what will inspire a song, it could be anything, and that usually comes when I'm alone and just lost in thought.
How long have you been making music?
I am 33 years old, and I started writing songs around 10. I really got a good handle on the guitar around 15. I started my first band at 16, and produced my first demos in my late teens and early 20's. I released my first full album, an EP called Burnt Hickory, in 2020. We are working on a new album now expected to be released in full by the end of the summer. Our
next single is available everywhere, on May 2nd 2023.
Where are you based and how did that influence your music?
I'm out of a small town, Cartersville Georgia. I grew up in a traditional, southern, rural community. My upbringing and my family heavily influenced my writing through the years. My heritage, our culture, and just growing up poor has all been referenced in the songs I write.
Tell me about your most memorable shows, if you haven’t played live what is your vision for a live show?
I've had so many amazing shows! Crowds all over the country have responded to me in ways I never could have imagined. I have played all over the southeast, and it seems like everywhere I go, the reception is just overwhelming. A few of my shows come to mind when I think about my favorites. One of the venues I play in my home town has been to a capacity crowd in a smaller venue. The crowd is huge and in our face and it's so fun entertaining our home town fans. There is another venue that always comes to mind. It's a spot called The Shield in Alum Creek, WV. I have played a hand full of shows there and the crowds are amazing every time. The reception and the welcome, I will never grow tired of.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
I would say that The Shield is one of my favorites. It is a place I look forward to going to every time it comes up on the schedule. I have a few spots I really want to play. The Opry of course is the pinnacle of country music I would say. I really think it would be cool to play in Times Square too. Maybe even for New Years Eve. I think Renfro Valley in Kentucky would be a lot of fun too.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That may be the hardest question I've ever had. But if it was a headline tour deal where I could open for a few bands on one show, I would say I would like to open up for Merle Haggard and the Highwaymen on the same set. That would get me on stage with some of the greatest country musicians to ever live.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into making music and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
I would say, find some confidence in what you do, find your voice and share it with anyone that wants to listen. Just keep going, even when it gets hard, because it gets very hard sometimes.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I wrote a song called Burnt Hickory. It was the title track of my first album. It was about my grandparents, and the house I grew up in. I love that song and what it means to my family.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
I love playing Brooks and Dunn. We have a lot of fun playing them for the crowd and the reaction we get from the crowds when those first notes play out.
Obviously freebird, I say with a slight roll of my eyes. Also country roads, wagon wheel and Friends in Low Places. Those are the most frequently requested.
What is your creative process, and what inspires you to write your music?
My process is never really the same. I just seize the moment when inspiration hits. Sometimes I play something n the guitar and I just start singing words. A lot of the time that turns into nothing but sometimes I turn it into a song. And then sometimes, I come up with an idea for a song and I sit down with deliberate intentions to write. Some songs I write in a few minutes, and some songs take months or even years to perfect. I'm all over the place I reckon you could say.
Do you have messages that you like to get across in your music? if so please tell me about them.
I really like to write songs that are relatable. When you hear it, it could be something you have felt or had a similar thing happen to you. But also, I like to tell stories. A lot of my songs are stories that I never really had a direct experience in. But I still try to make them relatable to the listener.
Do you have any new singles, videos, or albums out that you would like to tell me and your fans about?
Yes! We have a new single releasing on May 2nd 2023, "Get HerOffOfMine." We also recently released a music video for that single as well, which you can find on Facebook and YouTube. This single is part of a bigger project which we plan to release in full by the end of the year.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We plan to finish this album, and to start work on another. We hope to release 12 new original songs in the coming year. We are excited as our shows are growing larger and more frequent. Chances are if you live anywhere between Florida and Ohio you will have an opportunity to come see us this summer.
How can your fans best keep up to date with you, any socials you want people to check out?