Few debut albums have been so eagerly anticipated as One Moment Please, the first CD from Nashville singer-songwriter Mindy Smith, released last week. The buzz on Smith turned into white noise after she stole the show on last fall's Dolly Parton tribute CD, Just Because I'm a Woman. On a record with such veteran heavyweights as Melissa Ethridge, Alison Krauss, Sinead O'Connor, and Shania Twain, Smith made the music world prick up its ears with her torchy rendition of "Jolene," which Parton herself declared was the best cover of that 38-year-old song she'd ever heard. That led to a spot on The Tonight Show, a recording of Smith's composition "If I Didn't Know Any Better" by Krauss, and a sharing of the stage at the South-by-Southwest Music Conference with country chanteuse Lee Ann Womack.
The irony is, Smith doesn't consider herself a country singer. Maybe she's not. Her voice is soft and soothing, and rises only occasionally to keep the listener honest. Her melodies are intoxicating, and her lyrics are sophisticated beyond her years.
"I'm a singer-songwriter," she has told the press. Well, country music could use a lot less glitz and glitter, and a few more singer-songwriters along the lines of Mindy Smith.
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