I picked up my mom's guitar at about nine years of age and taught myself to play from records, the Joan Baez songbook and Alan Lomax's classic folk song book.I kept this up for a good long while and started writing songs in high school.
On New Year's Eve 1979 my brother was murdered and for many years I devoted myself to martial arts, teaching self-defense and other anti-violence activism.
Twenty years later I picked up my guitar again and found I could still play and people wanted to listen.
I like a song that goes from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. My lyrics are mostly nonfiction because reality is so much stranger and more beautiful.
My first full-length studio album, People, Places and Sings is out now. It's available for download on iTunes, Amazon.com. You can order the CD from CDBaby and buy the album or download card from me at any live show.
Thanks to my wonderful Kickstarter backers, I recorded People, Places and Sings in my hometown of Ojai, California with Martin Young producing. Martin's guitar and production work along with Alan Thornhill on acoustic guitar and vocals have lifted my songs to heights I never imagined. These are two master musicians who play with tremendous heart to match their great skills.
Here's a what you might see from me at a live show See you in the music!
Nina Jo Smith has written and recorded a seminal folk classic in 'Hey Songwriter'.
This is what every songwriter feels when the song comes out of nowhere. Sure, we’re none of us 'Dylan, Taylor & Prine', but we’re fishing in the same stream, just downstream a bit. Produced by Martin Young, with Alan Thornhill on backup vocals, you’ll get goose pimples if you’ve ever wondered where some songs come from."
-–Stephen Foster, “Stephen’s Indie Picks”