Dallas Smith got into Country Music by Default. Default, of course, was the superstar band whose neo-grunge anthems shot them to the top of Canada’s indie-rock pile in the early ’00s. Their No. 2 smash in the U.S., “Wasting My Time,” exemplified their sound, particularly in Smith’s vocals: hurt, angry and ecstatic, all at the same time.
So here is Smith again, this time singing about moonshine, the Fourth of July, tan lines, Mountain Dew, Daisy Dukes and even “panties in your purse.” His angst has yielded to a more ebullient and exuberant approach. Somehow a little down-home drawl has softened his delivery, and even his song titles have started dropping their “g’s.”
And guess what? With the release of his EP Tippin’ Point, produced by Joey Moi, we may be meeting the real Dallas Smith for the first time. Raised in rural British Columbia, he grew up to the tune of his mother’s Country albums, with plenty of Garth Brooks, Brooks & Dunn and Alan Jackson on the playlist. To these influences, he added Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban and other Country connoisseurs of strong melodies and expressive vocals. From Default, he learned to project with deep emotion; from Country, he stirred in some humor and accessibility. And on the title track and first single, written by Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, with Jaren Johnston, he ties it together with a lip-tripping hook, like he was born to sing this way.
For more on Dallas Smith, visit www.CMACloseUp.com.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“I’m a huge Beatles and Keith Urban fan. Great melody with a great voice is king, and to me they are the greatest.”
ALBUM ON YOUR PLAYLIST
“Keith Urban’s new one – ‘Cop Car’ is on heavy repeat right now.”
“Before I leave for a tour my son likes to give me a picture he’s drawn or a tiny little toy or object to ‘remind me of him.’ It’s honestly the sweetest thing. If it’s small enough to fit in my pocket, I’ll always look at it before I head out on stage. Keeps me focused and gives me a boost of confidence.”
“First show was at a little local club here just outside of Vancouver. Shakin’ in my boots to say the least. If it was at all possible to hide behind an inch wide mic stand, I definitely nailed it. Didn’t say a word between songs … just shook. Two years later I was on The Tonight Show. I had to get over it fast.”
On the Web: www.DallasSmithMusic.com
On Twitter: @DallasSmith