“Do I like Jessie Smith? Oh, yes, I do and I will tell you why. She’s got the music in her. Deep. Embedded. She sings like she has demons but not about demons. The last person I heard squeeze the music out the way she does is Cydney Robinson who had music coming out of her pores....
”Jessie Smith. A voice I had never heard before but one I am glad I finally did....
”Smith is roots deep and shows it at every turn. There are hooks and grooves all over the album, most pointing to the past but not tied to it. I hear blues and gospel and a little modern country.... I hear love and venom and joy in the mere performance of the music. Like she could not imagine a world without music. Like if it did not exist life would not be life. At times, I swear I can hear the hurt because when emotions and music hit just the right notes, it does hurt.”
— No Depression (full article here: http://nodepression.com/album-review/jessie-smith-tongue-and-groove)

March 8, 2017 - Song "In The Morning" premiered on The Bluegrass Situation. See it here.

“...Jessie Smith uses her voice and the material in “Like The Sun” to lead us on a journey of the trials and tribulations of the human spirit. She also knows that, if you persevere and stay true to yourself, you’ll find the light of redemption at the end of the tunnel!”
— Don and Sheryl Blues Blog https://donandsherylsbluesblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/jessie-smith-review-february-19-2017/?utm_content=bufferc1c72&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
“...Climbing out of the darkness as a distant relative to Marie Laveau or some other swamp priestess, she reaches down to someplace to unleash an impassioned swamp howl that convincingly goes to some places that are so dark you might just want to stay in the cheap seats. The problem with that is you get so hypnotized and mesmerized, you’ll find yourself sneaking down to the front row. Betcha she knows what they threw off the Tallahatchie bridge as well. This is the kind of left field date that soars to the peak of underground hitdom. Killer stuff throughout.”
— Midwest Record http://www.midwestrecord.com/MWR1191.html
The first thing Nashville Offbeat noticed was Jessie’s passion and power onstage. The proverbial electricity was running right through her entire body as she clapped and stomped along to the beat (the whole room could hear it even without a mic!). She had passing tourists stopping to stand in the doorway to watch her vibrant performance.
— Nashville Offbeat https://www.nashvilleoffbeat.com/new-blog/2017/7/15/jessie-smith-at-tin-roof-on-demonbreun

Interview with Mother Church Pew - find it here.

Five Star review from Belgium.

Interview with Tomme Saub - find it here. 



Jessie Smith—a self-described “swampy, soulful” vocalist whose work has won accolades ranging from national press and radio praise to hometown Nashville acclaim-- has no fear of darkness in her music. Instead, she professes instead an actual desire to wrap herself in it.  “What I want in my own music is the sound of crying,” she explains. “When I sing, I want my voice to sound like weeping.” 

This emotional approach is no less in evidence in Smith’s album, Like the Sun, which marks her debut full-length collection of songs. The set was entirely written or co-written by Smith herself, and presents a cohesive snapshot of her taste for and unique take on old soul and blues music. Fans of Al Green, Gladys Knight, Billie Holiday, the Mavis Staple singers, Sam Cook, and Otis Redding will recognize Smith’s call to feel the pain, get messy with emotion, and emerge finally with a different take on life in general. 

Indeed, it’s this appreciation for transformation that informs Like the Sun overall, from its title to its rich, poignant lyrical and melodic content. “There’s a line in my song ‘In the Morning,’ that says, ‘like the sun I rise,’ and that sums up this album well,” Smith notes. “It’s about coming out of dark pain and coming out the other side. It’s a lot about self-love, marriage, and authenticity.” Smith’s vocals evoke this range admirably; earning critical raving commentary such as “powerful,” “amazing,” and “can’t keep that down.” 

Smith’s confident strides in the music world began at an early age—she bade farewell to high school by singing at her graduation ceremonies, then set off to study opera on scholarship for Mercer University. She finished college at Belmont University in Nashville, specializing in commercial music. From there, she immersed herself in the local buzzing pop and country music community, working in various capacities ranging from performance to composition. 

In 2014, she met producer Neilson Hubbard (Matthew Perryman Jones, The Apache Relay, The Orphan Brigade), a connection that sparked Smith’s forward march into her chosen genre of music—the history-soaked rich soul she was seeking to pursue.

Soon after, she inked a sync licensing deal with Indie Orange, won attention for a viral YouTube cover of Little Big Town’s “Girl Crush,” and began working with Hubbard on what would become Like the Sun. Since its release, her album has received 5-star accolades, been played on many radio stations, and she is now actively touring the U.S.

Aside from her creative work in music, the singer has a passion for advocacy in the arena of body acceptance and mental health. “I was diagnosed with an eating disorder, depression and anxiety disorder as a teenager, and I was on a healing journey from that for many years,” she explains. “I would love to help others dealing with similar things.” 

-Written by Wendy Geller