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Music Monday Featured Artist: Jo Smith

Fulfilling a lifelong dream, songstress and captivating artist Jo Smith released her debut full-length album Wyoming on October 21. 

“I grew up listening to my dad’s vinyl record collection and moved to Nashville with the dream of making a record with a narrative and songs that last, I think I’ve done that with Wyoming.” 

With a Rocky Mountain backdrop, the nine-song album, produced by Brandon Hood, features songs written with legendary Nashville songsmiths Mark Nesler, Tony Martin, Dean Dillon, and more.

From the title track’s haunting fiddle introduction to the Bobby Gentry-meets-Miranda Lambert “Broken Dishes” murder mystery story, to the intimate perfection of “No More Cowboys,” Wyoming is a rarity of range and artistry in today’s Tik Tok society. Featuring a particularly special harmony from the one and only Vince Gill, the title track sets a tone of timelessness that the album meets again and again. In “I Like This Ring,” the current focus track, Smith tells a universal story of a past relationship in a unique and personal way. It is followed by perhaps the most unexpected artistic offering on the record: an arrangement of Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” featuring a chorus-third-verse adaptation that only a true songwriter artist could create. The album achieves Smith’s musical hopes and more: it embodies the traditional ideals of country music in a never-heard-before way.

Moving from southern Georgia to Nashville at 17, Smith has seen all the ups and downs a career in music can throw at an artist. Named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 New Artists You Need To Know in and CMT’s Next Women of Country, her music has impacted and continues to impact many. She has worked with RCA Records and SMACKSongs, before changing routes to release music as an independent. Throughout her journey, she remains inspired by those countless hours she spent spinning vinyl records of her dad’s. “Making Wyoming has been a lifelong quest,” says Smith. “My hope is that it takes listeners to somewhere out west, where they want to stay a while.”

Jo Smith is a country artist, Navy Intelligence Officer, mother, and wife. Connect with her on socials at @josmithmusic.

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