Mindy Smith lives in Music City, had a breakthrough hit in 2003 with a haunting cover of Dolly Parton's “Jolene” but she's definitely not a country artist. Born in Long Island, New York, Smith is a singer/songwriter who pens smart, confessional songs that adroitly meld Americana elements with classic pop. The 37-year-old's latest album, Stupid Love, came out in August. It's twang free yet still has a back-porch warmth that makes Smith's touching tales about life's struggles and love's vagaries all the more intimate. She performs tonight at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. OC Weekly called Smith recently at her home in Nashville, located “about three minutes from Music Row.”
OC Weekly (Wade Tatangelo): What's a typical day off like when you're not on the road, in the studio or stuck talking to journalists?
Mindy Smith: Well, I'm an Internet junkie. I watch a lot of Netflix and try to write as often as I can but it's no an everyday occurrence. I try to come up with ways to keep this music thing afloat. It's a little more tricky these days. The last couple years the industry has changed so much. I'm just trying to come up with ways so I don't have to get a job, and work as a cashier like I did for so many years!
You're getting ready to launch a tour that kicks off here in Southern California. What have your past experiences visiting, playing, or maybe even partying here been like?
I don't think I've ever played Orange County before but it's nice to play some place new.
But it isn't a bit nerve-wracking playing a new market?
It's so scary when I see the size of the venues. It's so big and what if only 20 people are there? I just want to play to an audience. That's really my motivation. I'm just a ham who likes getting on stage and having fun.