Mark you calendars! We have just booked Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike for a house concert at Canaan Road Thursday June 18. Concert 7:00 to 9:00 pm followed by a bluegrass jam. Valerie and her band are world class bluegrass musicians. We expect this one to sell out. Concert $15- She will be traveling with award winning fiddler Becky Buller http://www.beckybuller.com/ there is an option of private lessons or an intimate workshop late afternoon before the concert: any interest in that? Let us know! Lesson or workshop fee will be additional … DETAILS forthcoming! FORUM THREAD HERE http://canaaninstitute.org/mikesmusic/viewtopic.php?p=2607#2607
RSVP’s expected email Mike for directions and to reserve a seat firstname.lastname@example.org?subject=rsvp_house_concert_June18
Becky Buller http://www.beckybuller.com/
Mike and Raylene
About Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike
As the twig is bent, so grows the tree. And when that tree is anchored in the fertile hills and dales of west Missouri, you can bet it will be strong enough to withstand a sudden prairie storm, yet beautiful enough to take away your breath when silhouetted by a vivid sunset.
This metaphor aptly describes the music of Valerie Smith as it has seasoned, firmly rooted in the musical soil of her Missouri childhood. One listen to the conviction of Valerie’s voice as she delivers a tune lets you know that she is no hot-house flower, but was raised in a real world of both hardships and joys. Valerie’s delivery can range from the force of a prairie twister to the gentle softness of a spring rain.
Music has always been there for Valerie. It’s the lifeblood that flows through her veins and is part of her earliest memories. No stranger to hard work, her family raised tobacco, potatoes and corn, while her father worked in an auto assembly plant. The child of musical parents, Valerie showed talent at an early age, and soon began singing rousing Baptist hymns in church, and later began to accompany her parents to play her fiddle and sing with local country and bluegrass musicians in her hometown of Holt and the surrounding area. Not only did Valerie learn to sing in front of an audience, but she learned to be an entertainer as well, a skill which has endeared her to thousands of fans across the world.
Missouri is the musical crossroads of the nation, and Valerie heard western music drifting in from the high plains, jazz wafting along the Big Muddy from Kansas City, and the clarion call of bluegrass from the east. A strong desire to learn more and to teach others prompted Valerie to attend the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music in Kansas City, where she received her B.A. in vocal music education and further broadened her musical horizons. While attending school, Valerie was to meet her future husband, Kraig Smith; and as fate would have it, a chance opportunity led Kraig to a job in Nashville shortly after they were married. By then, Valerie had been teaching school in her hometown for two years, and even though she knew she would miss teaching, she felt fate was pulling her toward Tennessee. In 1992 they arrived and settled into their new life.
It didn’t take Valerie long to get into the Nashville music scene, even while holding down a job with an advertising agency, and then teaching middle school music. She formed the acoustic country group “Fresh Cactus” and played extensively in Nashville while honing her songwriting and performance skills. Valerie’s love for bluegrass music never waned, and while attending a festival in Franklin, she met old time musicians Junior and Betty Parker. The Parkers quickly adopted Valerie, and invited her to play with them in the tiny Tennessee hamlet of Bell Buckle. It was here that Valerie met local entrepreneur J. Gregory Heinike, owner of the Bell Buckle Café. Valerie, J. Gregory, and Kraig Smith founded Bell Buckle Records and Valerie recorded her first highly acclaimed CD, “Patchwork Heart” and formed her band, Liberty Pike.
Since then, Valerie’s music has taken her from coast to coast and around the world. She has become an ambassador of bluegrass music and has entertained music lovers in New York, London, Berlin, Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and hundreds of other venues throughout the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe. She has been the recipient of IBMA (International Bluegrass Music Association) awards and has been nominated for a Grammy Award as part of the Ralph Stanley “Clinch Mountain Sweethearts” project, and she has appeared on the famous Grand Ol’ Opry as guest of hall of famer Charlie Louvin.
Valerie, her husband Kraig and daughter, Josie now reside in their adopted hometown of Bell Buckle, Tennessee.