Mindy Smith has been enjoying a luxury that is rarely afforded to artists in today’s music business – time. Her self-titled CD, released in June, is the singer-songwriter’s follow-up to 2009′s Stupid Love. Since first making a splash in 2003 with a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene,” the Nashville resident by way of New York as been a key figure on the Americana and Adult-Alternative scenes. On Thursday, July 12, Smith returns to Birmingham for a performance at Workplay. Rosi Golan will open the 8 p.m. show. Weld caught up with Smith by phone on the eve of her CD release date.
BT: Mindy, thanks for your time. If you will, please talk about your new album. Were these newer songs, older songs, or a combination of the two?
MS: Both of those things, actually. Some of these songs were written back in 1999. The one song at the end, “If I,” goes back to 1999 or 2000. It’s similar to how I was able to do my first album in terms of finding a collection of songs written over many years. It’s a different story when you’re making an album that’s a collection of your life over the past 10 to 15 years. I was able to do that with (debut album) One Moment More and I was able to do that with this album, too. There was no hustling or hurrying to write a song that was going to be radio-ready – it didn’t have that stress attached to it in any way.
BT: How do songs written over a decade ago become relevant again and find their way onto an album years later?
MS: Many times I’ve tried to put them on my other records. One song called “Cure For Love” – I’ve attempted to put that on a record three times. But, all in all, I think it’s just a matter of the stars lining up in a way with the right players and the right energy in the studio.
BT: How do you reconcile the impact of technology in music and the give-and-take it presents to artists?
MS: I have people come up to me and ask me sign burned CDs and I sign them. If you get caught up in it, you’ll make yourself sick – you really will. You have to look at the positives and try to work with the negatives. Somebody who might have burned my CD will also spend $30 to come to my live performance, so I can’t alienate people for it. There’s something about music that heals people and you have to find the balance within yourself. Even when times are tough, I always manage because I’m sticking with it in the truest form that I can. With the way the industry is now, there’s no going back to the way it was. How do you move with it and how do you change it? That’s the job we have and that’s the task and it’s a beautiful thing. There are so many new templates and it’s exciting and you have to seize it.
Tickets to the 18+ show are $12 and can be purchased at www.workplay.com