& Liberty Pike
“Valerie Smith can be sassy, sultry, siren-like, sweet, smooth, soothing and smoldering—sometimes in the same song!” according to Nashville public radio show host, Dave Higgs. A popular national and international touring artist for the past 20 years, Valerie Smith is based in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. The co-owner of her own label, Bell Buckle Records, Val has performed with Charlie Louvin, Tom T. Hall, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Tim O’Brien, The Whites and Becky Buller, plus many more great instrumentalists and artists over the years. She and her band, Liberty Pike have graced the state of the Grand Ole Opry, ROMP, IBMA’s Bluegrass Fan Fest and Wide Open Bluegrass, Music City Roots, Bluegrass Underground (PBS), Ronnie Reno’s Old Time Jamboree (RFD), Song of the Mountains (PBS), and festivals scattered literally around the world. In the tradition of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and Doyle Lawson’s band, Quicksilver, many of Valerie’s former band members have gone on to work with high profile artists like Ricky Skaggs and Sam Bush, as well as leading their own bands.
Smith’s break-out hit, “Red Clay Halo,” written by Gillian Welch, charted in the bluegrass, folk and country music worlds and was voted one of the Top 60 Songs of the Decade in the 1990s.
Her critically acclaimed Americana album released in 2014, The Human Condition, has been widely played on Roots Music radio stations. Val’s current line-up of Liberty Pike has been together for two years and includes two-time Bluegrass Hall of Famer Tom Gray on the bass along with Lisa Kay (mandolin) and Wally Hughes (fiddle & Dobro), and Joe Zauner on banjo and guitar. The band is currently in Tom Mindte’s Patuxent Music Studio in the DC area, working on a new bluegrass album for the Bell Buckle Records label which will be titled Hometown Heroes.