Darren Smith

New Music coming early in 2018!

Hey everyone,

I’m excited to announce that I’m back to writing again. I’m looking to put out my third album early in 2018. It seems like a ways out, but as we all know, with family and work, things sometime take a little longer. (To do them right anyway) I’ll keep you posted when we hit the studio.

I’m also very excited to announce that I have signed with a new label. Rainwater Records. This is a start-up nonprofit record label that will fully support my music without owning it. Also, I won’t pay the organization for these efforts, but donate into a fund that will give much needed dollars to grade and middle school, music and choir programs. So, when you stream a song or buy merchandise, a portion of that will go to those programs here in our communities, as well as the communities that I’ll be touring in. I’m so excited. 


For the title track, Darren Smith ventured to the city of Detroit for inspiration…

Though I started writing the songs for BOOMTOWN while living in Austin, TX, the title song was inspired by the city of Detroit. “Boomtown” is really a love song about the city and the people in it. But more than that, it’s about going back home and searching out a simpler life, about breaking it down to the basics. Making the best out of what you have. About spending time with the ones you love while they’re still around. That journey has taken me back to the Pacific Northwest.

On the record there are a few songs about coming home. I think for me, since my last record, getting married and having a child has certainly changed my perspective. I am more in tune with the immediate, the things that really matter.

Working with producer/engineer John Wagner in his Portland-based Supergiant Studio was a great experience, and a new way for me to make a record. I’m used to doing most of my own recording at home. To hand it over to someone with John’s expertise was a thrill! I was able to bring John a bunch of finished songs. Then, we rebuilt them from the ground up using a stellar group of Portland musicians. There are some country elements, some folk, some rock, and even a bit of electronica. I really wanted to add some new sounds and expand on what I’ve done in the past.

Most of the songs on this record are fairly new for me. I have, however, been kicking around a couple since the last record came out. I tend to take a long time to turn out a song. The only exception is the tune “Life We Live” which I wrote in a few hours back in 2006. That really never happens for me. I tend to struggle over the entire process, changing the music, rewriting the lyrics, and recording multiple demo versions of a song before settling on something I can live with. It’s really great when a song just falls in your lap as a complete piece…but it’s very rare for me. The most important thing about songwriting for me is that I can listen to it a few years down the road and still feel some connection to it, and still be excited to play it. If I can’t do that, how can I expect anyone else to? That’s the test.

I’ve had some really great opportunities over the past few years; doing some touring as support for one of my favorites, Josh Ritter, opening for Tift Merritt, Mark Erelli, and Mark Geary. We even got a song placed in a major motion picture and soundtrack.

Right now the future is wide open—I’m really psyched about the new record and am playing with a great band. My goal is to take the show overseas, to places like the UK, Ireland, and Europe. We hope to be coming your way soon.

Listen to Boomtown

Just click the album cover  to stream the complete Boomtown album on Bandcamp.

Also, check out the first record "Last Drive" on Bandcamp by clicking the button below

Go to Bandcamp


"Smith steps up to challenge, with the likes of Justin Rutledge and Rocky Votolato … with deeply confessional lyrics, the best of which can be found on ‘Goodnight Stars’ and ‘Surrounded."
“The sound is pure americana with pedal steel, mandolin, accordian and dobro. Darren’s voice and the way he structures his songs reminds me of recent stuff from Slaid Cleaves. It’s tasteful and every element from the instrumentation to the backing vocals are just perfect.”
“…a dusty epic-inspired by the story songs of Gillian Welch, the Louvin Brothers, and Steve Earle.”