Written by Jude Johnstone
BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC
Lead Vocal: Valerie Smith
Strings: Tim Lorsch
Acoustic Guitar: Bob Minner
Synth Strings: Kevin McKendree
Fiddle: Stephen Burwell
Bass: Dave Roe
Harmony Vocals: Tanya Dennis
Produced by Valerie Smith and Tim Carter
Engineer: Tim Carter
Studio: Tree House Studio Ridgetop
Mastering: Dave Harris
Studio B Mastering, Charlotte, NC
Photography, Art and Design: Gabrielle Minikiewicz
"On That Train" was written by one of Johnny Cash's favorite songwriters, Jude Johnstone. The lyrics cleverly approach the subject of regret, the wish we would have dared to take a chance for love and life.
DJ Steve Martin (Unreal Bluegrass, Syndicated Radio Program) states, "Valerie Smith seeks music in life. Renaissance rises from this search with stories of love, separation, celebration, overcoming, and devotion." Renaissance crosses through multiple musical genres while still staying true to the Valerie Smith sound that encompasses an acoustic flair with a touch of bluegrass and all with exceptional musicianship. The album was meticulously crafted and features her long-time band Liberty Pike and esteemed guests, including Andy Leftwich, Rob Ickes, Donna Ulisse, Jerry Salley. There's even a stirring number featuring Gospel greats, The McCrary Sisters.”
The advanced single "I Found "debuted at #5 on the Roots Music Report chart, #7 on the Bluegrass Today Grassicana chart, and #8 on the FAI Folk DJ Chart for June 2021.
The album is called Renaissance because in looking at the world and herself, Smith has been reborn. With themes including self-worth and acceptance and songs about love, finding love, acceptance, and regret, the project signifies the journey Smith has made in her life with optimism to which others can relate. The album includes upbeat, happy songs that encourage the listener to move to the groove and lush ballads with meaningful lyrics and melodies that grab the soul. Two songs were written by Smith, and the remaining selections were carefully chosen from the works of other seasoned writers to best express what she wanted to say.