VALERIE SMITH, THE HUMAN CONDITION
Bell Buckle Records
If you’re familiar with Valerie Smith & Liberty Pike, you already know the powerful punch of versatility that her voice can travel. She demonstrates that creative stretching with her singing on The Human Condition. Through her unique spin on this collection of cover songs, Smith digs into the difficult situations in life.
With “I’m Not Lisa,” she steps convincingly into the role of a woman in love with a man that can’t shake a past relationship. The disc opens with Smith’s take on The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun.” Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” goes into a fun and different direction, thanks to the acoustic arrangements. She squeezes the emotional strings with “Where I Used To Have A Heart” and pours her heart into “Just As Long As You Love Me” (Buck Owens) and Phil Collins’ “That’s All.”
Produced by Mike Scott, who plays banjo on a couple of numbers, the CD also showcases the talents of Aubrey Haynie (fiddle), Tim May (acoustic guitar and mandolin), Smith-Curry (pedal steel), Carl Jackson (harmonies), and Valerie Storey (harmonies). Her daughter Josie steps in on the closing track “Fireflies,” demonstrating her potential to follow in mom’s footsteps one day. For listeners who still prefer the CD over digital downloads, Smith solicited the artistic eye of Greg Carr who provided a clever cover and inside drawings. (Bell Buckle Records, P.O. Box 142, Bell Buckle, TN 37020, www.thehumancondition.info.)BC