Mindy Smith
Transplanted New Yorker Mindy Smith has good reason to be pleased about her move to Nashville.

The singer cut a video clip for her version of Dolly Parton hit Jolene for Parton tribute disc Just Because I'm A Woman on the eve of release of her debut solo disc One Moment More.

It was good karma for Smith who left New York with just $300 after her mother died of cancer.

Mindy arrived in Nashville with $300 in her pocket and the phone number of a friend. When she called, the friend had moved but the person on the other end was looking for a roommate and the rent just happened to be 300 bucks a month.

Five years later, Smith is enjoying similar good fortune with her version of the oft cut Jolene.

Parton hailed Mindy's version as her favourite and backed up her praise by going on The Tonight Show to belt it out alongside the young singer-songwriter.

"It was a challenge because she has such diehard fans out there," says Smith. "It's her
most cut song, so that also was tricky. Most of Dolly's songs that I'd heard were the
ones from her later years, like Little Sparrow, so I was not inhibited by other people's
arrangements or approaches. It was really from an honest and fresh place, and I just
wanted to honour her as best as I could. And Dolly just went, 'I love it,' and she's really
got behind me as a writer. Nothing but great stuff has come out of Jolene."

Smith's debut disc, released early in 2004, documents her coming of age.

Highlights include Raggedy Ann, - a portrait of an unhappy childhood, and the title track - a rumination on life and loss.

"It's about my mum Sharon who passed away from breast cancer," says Smith, who first left her native Long Island, New York, after her mother's death. "It's been a great healing song. A lot of people have thanked me for writing it, because they didn't know how to communicate how they felt. The record is dedicated to her. She was also a musician and a fabulous singer."

Smith was a fan of The Cure long before she ever heard Alison Krauss or Shawn Colvin. Tracks like It's Amazing - penned in Smith's tiny Nashville studio apartment - represent the young songwriter's bid to transcend the doom and gloom of her early writing efforts.

"When I first started writing, everyone was like, 'Why are you're songs so sad?'" she says.

"With that song, I just had a nephew and a niece - my sister had a little boy and my other sister had a little girl - and I was madly in love with them. So I had to figure out how to incorporate that joy into writing."

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