Grant is an American Roots singer/songwriter. He produces and co-produces his original songs in Nashville. He also co-writes with other songwriters, and produces songs for other artists out of his own studio.
Grant Maloy Smith is a Billboard Top 10 recording artist and MusicRow CountryBreakout charting songwriter of AMERICAN ROOTS music. His latest album, Dust Bowl - American Stories spent 17 weeks on the Billboard charts, including eleven weeks in the Top 10. The "Bible" of American Roots music, NO DEPRESSION magazine, raved:
“… lyrics and music as potent as Woody Guthrie ... A reminder of the darker period of Bob Dylan, and it’s that good, that memorable…”.
Grant made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2018 and has won numerous awards, including two Grammy® certificates. He will be appearing at Lincoln Center in late 2020, and Carnegie Hall again April 2021. He has just been inducted into the Indie Music Hall of Fame in Hollywood.
Whether he’s playing with a full band or performing solo, audiences are enthralled by his meaningful songs and his sense of humor. Grant is also an actor, appearing in the feature film Oildale filmed in Bakersfield, California.
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6 Reviews - 2 Repeat ClientsEndorse Grant Maloy Smith
Good communicator, very professional, prompt with replies, tracks top notch.
Again Grant Maloy Smith did more than play a song of mine. He MADE my song idea into a song. Like Pinocchio becoming a real boy! If you want true authenticity from a brilliant Americana master, work with Mr. Smith. I know I'll be calling him back--and soon.
Grant is the real thing. You can’t fake a voice like Grant’s or his guitar playing. He’s also one who takes notes on board and communicates well. I never thought I’d write a country song but now I think I’ll write a few more. Inspiring.
Grant absolutely broke my heart with his work! This song is the first I've written since moving to Nashville and this fine musician made it one I couldn't be more proud of! He was generous enough to give me a vocal over the guitars I asked for--it sounded so good, I asked him to sing the thing! Beautiful!
I would highly recommend working with Grant. Currently working on a cover of "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and Grant nailed the acoustic guitar takes perfectly. One of the things that I try to do when recording with different musicians is to learn something each time. In this instance I learned a lot more about instrumental spacing on a composition which I will take into even more consideration in my writing process moving forward.
I had the privilege of playing fiddle on Grant's upcoming record. His songs are masterfully crafted, skillfully performed, and most importantly heart-felt. He is an artist that understands how music is put together and as a producer, knows the right people to call to carry out his vision. In addition to his musical chops, Grant is very easy to work with. So, if you're looking for a singer, player or producer who has a deep knowledge of his craft, you've found him right here.
Interview with Grant Maloy Smith
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I wrote a song called "Man Of Steel" to honor our veterans, which was selected by the National Veterans Foundation as their official theme song. Besides writing and recording it, I have performed it hundreds of times, and it always gets a powerful emotional reaction from so many people, especially our veterans and their families.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: Matt Combs is an incredible player, best known for his fiddle work, but he is a monster on cello, mandolin and more. I have hired him to play on my albums and on tracks that I have produced for clients.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Allison Kraus. She is enormously talented and with the voice of an Angel.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a home studio based on a UAD audio interface and Pro Tools running on a powerful iMac computer. I have a handful of good mics. My main instrument is acoustic guitar, so I am well set up to record acoustic instruments of all kinds. I also cut bass and drums for clients who want a full production.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Just finishing a new album called APPALACHIA - AMERICAN STORIES, which I co-produced with Jeff Silverman in Nashville. I will release it in 2021.
Q: Analog or digital and why?
A: Both. Each has their place. All of the real-world sounds that we record should be preamped with as much analog gear as possible, so that we capture that warm, real sound. But after that, I like having everything in the computer because it's so easy to edit. I used to cut 2" tape with a razor blade, and I promise you that digital editing is way more accurate and fun to do.
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: To do my very best to make them sound as good as I know how.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Being creative and working with other creative people. Pressing PLAY after mixing a new song and hearing it with fresh ears, even after I have listened to it 100 times during recording and mixing.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: "How do you write a song?" And the answer is that I am not sure, except that I work very hard at it. I read about songwriting from people I admire. I study it and apply myself. And I never stop trying to get better.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: Artistically, I want to know what their vision for the song is. If they are unsure I help them to discover it, because without that it's like going to the grocery store not really knowing what you want. Business-wise, I ask them what their goals are for the song, so that we can make a realistic plan to achieve them.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Listen to their work before you hire anyone.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: First I'd want to have survival gear! But if you mean only musical gear, I'd have to have my guitar and a LOT of strings and the tools needed to change them. A computer or some way to record, with a solar charging system to keep it running, headphones, and a bunch of external SSDs!
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: I was in bands since the 1980s, then settled down with a family and did scoring for film and television for a long time. In the early 2010s I discovered my Kentucky family's roots in "mountain music" and I have never looked back.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Thoughtful American roots
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: Adding more instruments or tracks than are necessary to a song is like continuing to pour water into a glass when it is already filled. Stop.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: I am usually in the American Roots world, which spans roots itself, country, folk, bluegrass. But I work in other genres, too, like contemporary instrument, world, new age and rock.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Songs are stories. But so are arrangements and recordings. It's important to have a real sensibility about how to best tell the story of the song using the arrangement, which includes not just the format of the song (AABAB, etc), but the choice of instruments and the mood of it.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: When recording a demo, I usually play a scratch guide track on guitar or piano, then I use that as a reference to build a great rhythm section with the right groove. I spend as much time on this as necessary, because this is the foundation that the house is going to be built on. If it's not good, nothing will be good. Then I replace the guide track with one that works with the groove, and go on from there, depending on what's needed. Sometimes a scratch vocal is needed if other players are coming in to do overdubs, so that they know how to play around the vocal and not step on it. Then final vocals at the end.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Any one who gets great, warm and punchy acoustic tracks has a fan in me. I like things that sound organic and real. Songwriters who write from their heart and produce well-crafted songs. Players who bring their A game to every session.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: When I work for other artists, it usually takes the form of me helping them to finish a song that they are having trouble with, and then making a good quality demo for them in my own studio. In addition, I also make music videos for some of my clients.