10 Questions With Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith is a Newfoundlander living in Halifax, Nova Scotia who has lived and worked in Dublin, Ireland.  As someone with a similar background, I was immediately drawn to Smith before I even heard a note of her music.  Last month, I attended Smith’s Little Seeds CD release party and was struck by her voice, charm and the honesty of her lyrics.  

The folk-country singer-songwriter began her music journey in Dublin in 2004.  It was there where she learned to play guitar and she began busking around the city.  Recently, Smith has settled in Halifax and continued on with her musical journey.  Smith’s new album Little Seeds (released in September) was recorded at Echo Chamber with engineers Charles Austin and Dave Ewenson.

Smith’s next Halifax show is this Saturday, November 2nd, 9:30 at Rockbottom Brewpub on Spring Garden Road.  We were very pleased to get her to make time for “10 Questons with…”

1. When did you first decide you wanted to be a musician?

I think as long as I can remember!  I wrote music from a pretty early age but would never show anybody.  I hung around with the music crowd growing up.  I would watch them jam all the time and they were in bands.. and we would sneak into shows downtown.  I always wanted to join in but was too shy. The one band we ended up putting together in high school I used to turn my keyboard down so nobody could hear me I was that shy!  They kept turning my amp up and I would turn the piano volume down!

2. Who are your biggest musical influences?

My biggest influence would have to be Lucinda Williams.  The first time I heard her it was on my 21st birthday weekend and I just got fired from my job and I went on tour with my then-boyfriends band around Ireland.  When I heard “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” driving from Dingle it hit me like no other record did.  There are so many others but I really love ladies like Emy-Lou Harris, Dolly Parton…  PJ Harvey is one of my top favorites.. Neko Case’s new record is blowing my mind right now!

3. What is your all-time favourite song/album?

See above 🙂

 4. You began your musical journey in 2004 in Dublin (one of my favourite places in the world).  Tell me about that.

Dublin is a very special place to me.  I moved there when I was 20 years old.  I couldn’t get a job and was almost broke.  I hung around this cafe downtown and met musicians, street performers, pan handlers, actors, gamblers, prostitutes.  2 of my friends were buskers and convinced me to try it out.  They helped me pick out a 100 euro guitar and literally pushed me out on the street!  I ended up dong that for a year and a half.  It’s funny looking back now because I was so young and naive.  It took me a few years to find out my 2 friends were heroin addicts!

5. You just released your first record “Little Seeds” – a culmination of many years of hard work.  What does that mean to you?

It means I can now start on the next one!  Making a record can be such a long process but the hardest part was actually deciding to do it!

6. What has been your favourite moment of your musical career?

I just wrapped up a tour across Newfoundland and it was very special.  I’m a Newfoundlander and visited a few places for the first time this go around.. Met amazing new people and experienced the famous hospitality.  I almost didn’t come back!

7. What would your dream concert/festival line-up look like?

I think it just happened!! And I missed it! The Americanarama Festival.. Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket.. throw in Radiohead and I’m in heaven 🙂

8. If you could invite any two people to sit in with you on stage, who would they be and why?

I would want Niall Lawlor.  He played on my first EP in Dublin and he is the best dobro player ever… and I miss him! Can I have him twice?

9. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

I love history.  In high school I job shadowed in the Newfoundland archives.. yup I’m a history nerd.. still am..  musician or not!

10. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?

Hopefully alive! Alive and givin ‘er!

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