Country music may not have seemed like the most obvious career path for a young boy growing up in South Yorkshire, but for singer songwriter Danny Smart, the stars aligned through Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton tunes blasting on his parents’ car stereo, some well-timed primary school guitar lessons, and his less-than-intentional first gig as the front man of a band. By the time he was 16, Danny was writing his own songs and starting down the road that would take him around the world, sharing stages with the likes of Old Crow Medicine Show’s Charlie Worsham, New Zealand folk singer Aldous Harding, and the UK’s own Lauren Housley.
His original tunes bring deep respect for country music’s roots to the UK’s booming country scene, layering Cash’s rakish storytelling with a bit of Brad Paisley’s effervescent charm and a Keith Urban-esque ability to swing from summer single to heartbreaking ballad quicker than you can tip your hat. He’s country with the sort of distance-makes-you-fonder diligence that comes to those who fall in love with a genre from afar, and as he continues his vagabond mission to find inspiration in every corner of the globe, he hopes to share each newly discovered story with the familiar twang of the tradition he loves.
The road has always been an essential piece of Danny’s story, from months spent at sea to exploring Alaska by train, meeting a ‘roo or two in Australia to hiking through South America, Mexico sunsets to recording sessions at the iconic Blackbird Studios in Nashville, TN. 2020’s pandemic carved an unexpected pause into his passionate commitment to travel, a break he used to immerse himself in the production side of the music industry, hone his recording skills, and rediscover the joy of songwriting.
Time at home to reflect and write has sharpened his respect for inspirational lyricists from Jason Isbell to Miley Cyrus, and a wealth of inspiring artists in between. He’s continued to pull from adventures collected in past years of travel to fuel his writing, and can’t wait to bring those stories back out on the road in the near future.