Small Town Heroes
Produced by Valerie Smith
Bell Buckle Records
Engineered by Tom Mindte
Valerie Smith (Producer, Lead Vocal, Guitar)
Tom Gray (Acoustic Bass, Harmony Vocal)
Wally Hughes (Fiddle, Dobro, Harmony & Lead Vocal)
Lisa Kay Howard-Hughes (Mandolin, Harmony Vocal)
Joe Zauner (Banjo and Guitar)
Concept of the CD:
"Small Town Heroes" reflects small town America and the people who make our lives colorful and better. It also has a lyrical undertone of challenges that everyday people have to face each day (economic, family, and personal). The current band are talented musicians and vocalists who reflect that very ideology - they work every day and yet have a passion to play music whenever, wherever they can; that is what helped build bluegrass, traditional country and old-time music in today’s world.
The project also features the only 2-time inductee to the IBMA Hall of Fame, Tom Gray, including a song that he wrote and sings in honor of his legendary bass, “Bessie”.
People who are playing on the CD:
Valerie was influenced by the East Coast band “The Seldom Scene”. She admired their raw, soulful sound, energy and style of bluegrass. More than two years before the making of this project, Valerie travelled from Bell Buckle, Tennessee to Maryland to join with her new band (Joe Zauner, Wally Hughes, Lisa Kay Howard Hughes and original member of the Seldom Scene, Tom Gray). Not only did she develop a special, energetic, and soulful show over the 3 year study, but she began to find songs that fit the concept of everyday people, doing everyday things, but always making time for the love of music. It was on this foundation that Valerie Smith produced the project so that her vision would be as close to the sound as her concept.
Where was it recorded?
Rockville, MD (a nice central place for Wally and Lisa Hughes, who live in Virginia; Joe Zauner and Tom Gray, who live in Maryland). With the collaboration of Tom Mindte as engineer and his large amount of experience and love for the historic aspects of music, the journey began at Patuxent Studios.