RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jersey girl Madeline Smith brings country music to the Rutherford band shell on Thursday, July 21 as part of the Rutherford Summer Concert Series on Thursdays at 8 p.m..
Smith, 19, hails from Somerset and produced her first album with Dolly Parton's Kent Wells when she was 16 years old. Her sophomore album "New Beginnings" was also produced with Wells and released on July 13.
"The night the album came out, we opened for 'A Thousand Horses' at Jenks Club in Point Pleasant and people were falling in love with the songs," Smith said, noting she and her Jersey-based band performs most weekends along the east coast. "I just love when people have a reaction to my music."
Nashville became Smith's stomping ground following a family vacation in Disney World. The American Idol Experience just happened to be there at the same time and she auditioned and won, getting the chance to perform in front of a live audience. She was just 15.
"I got a lot of phone calls after that, it was really exciting," she said.
She and and family went to Nashville to talk deals and Smith started working with Wells and hasn't looked back. She said she hopes to keep to writing songs and singing to people the rest of her life.
Smith's mother, Lee is from Louisiana and "almost everyone plays an instrument." The rock and pop side comes from her father, Todd, and his Seattle roots.
"He played lead guitar in my band when I was first starting out. He loved it, it was really fun," she said.
She was a presenter at the British Country Music Awards and has had hits on the UK charts at #15, 16 and 20.
In the near future, she hopes to play Red Rock Stadium in Colorado. "We’re playing songs all over. People are loving it and I’m loving it."
Rutherford's summer concert series takes place at the Lincoln Park Bandshell on Lincoln Avenue and Highland Cross.
Upcoming concerts include,
- July 28 -- Rutherford Community Band
- August 4 -- Jersey Sound (oldies and doo wop)
- August 11 -- Beatles Faux Sale (Beatles tribute band)
- August 18 -- Jigsaw (classic rock) and Big House (rock/pop)
Hot dogs and beverages will be available for purchase.
Additionally, donations for the Rutherford Food Pantry will be accepted.
The concerts are sponsored by Cliffhanger Productions and the Rutherford Recreation Department.
Rain dates, if needed, are the following Monday.