Bios:

Solo 

Aaron Smith is a man on a mission, but he’s no preacher. His songs hold a mirror to the mystery of human experience, searching for the meaning of home, love, family, aging, kindness, doubt, faith, and grace. In vignettes injected with an infectious and persistent sense of hope and humor, the unlikely heroes of his songs -- grandmothers and grandfathers, street preachers and neighbors, the forgotten and lonely -- find courage, salvation and more than a few laughs in the everyday. He’s been featured many times on Rich Warren’s Midnight Special radio show, and KUAF Fayetteville's Ozarks at Large. Aaron’s songcraft has earned him recognition as a winner (2019) in the nationally renowned New Folk songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. He also won the BMG Songwriter Showcase at the Power of Music Festival in Bentonville Arkansas and was featured in an official showcase at Americanafest in London in 2020. His first album The Way the World Turns was released in 2015. His album The Legend of Sam Davis is due in late 2022 and includes includes a coffee-table book with essays, maps, artwork and family photos. 

 

Long (Band)

The music of Aaron Smith and the Coal Biters is deeply rooted in the Arkansas Ozarks, telling tales of the Ozark hills and Buffalo River, singing stories of local legends and pioneers. In 2013, Aaron met percussionist and vocalist Ryan Gentry, and a year later they were joined by multi-instrumentalist George Holcomb to become Aaron Smith and the Coal Biters. 


These three generations of seasoned performers combine forces on guitar, banjo, upright bass, mandolin, tambourines, and even washboards and clarinet. Aaron’s skilled guitar and banjo picking is reminiscent of John Prine, John Hartford, and David Wilcox, and with the Coal Biters behind him, their repertoire ranges from pensive, emotive ballads to southern roots grooves recalling The Steel Wheels and Avett Brothers. With timeless, singable melodies and foot-tapping bass and percussion, thoughtful lyrics are supported with a satisfying and entertaining musicality. 


The release of Aaron Smith and the Coal Biter’s debut album, The Way the World Turns, was sponsored by the Boone County Library at the Lyric Theater in 2015. Their latest release, The Legend of Sam Davis, is a coffee-table compendium of songs, stories, artwork, maps and family photos telling stories and legends of Newton County Arkansas. 

Aaron’s songcraft has earned him recognition as a winner (2019) in the nationally renowned New Folk songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. He also won the BMG Songwriter Showcase at the Power of Music Festival in Bentonville Arkansas and was featured in an official showcase at Americanafest in London in 2020.

Short (Band)

The music of Aaron Smith and the Coal Biters is deeply rooted in the Arkansas Ozarks, telling tales of the Ozark hills and Buffalo River, singing stories of local legends and pioneers. These three generations of seasoned performers combine forces on guitar, banjo, upright bass, mandolin, tambourines, washboards and clarinet, with timeless, singable melodies and foot-tapping bass. Aaron’s songcraft has earned him recognition as a winner (2019) in the nationally renowned New Folk songwriting competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in Texas. He also won the BMG Songwriter Showcase at the Power of Music Festival in Bentonville Arkansas and was featured in an official showcase at Americanafest in London in 2020.

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Solo

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With the Coal Biters

The Legend of Sam Davis

Our Latest Book/Album

The Legend of Sam Davis

Journey back to Newton County, Arkansas in the 1820s with your guide, singer songwriter Aaron Smith.

  Follow the legend of eccentric mountain preacher Sam Davis' odyssey to find his lost sister. Feel your heart break on The Trail of Tears and revel in the courage of outlaw pioneers. Cry with a mother for songs gone bad and rejoice in a thousand babies delivered by a midwife who travelled on horseback. Ponder the mysteries of human nature in love, murder and the exclusion of those we fear.

  These are true stories about the heartbreak, rage, longing and love of tough people in tough times. They're tales that invite you to feel the pain and joy, the community and isolation of a long gone world that you won't forget. Aaron's elegant lyrics and unique sound will leave you wanting to explore the wilds of Newton County.

Wow... Aaron Smith knocked it out of the park. How about that?” - David Olney

— 2017 Harrison Arkansas Lyric Theater

These finely crafted songs and rich musical arrangements provide a worthy vessel to hold and preserve these stories for future generations. The Legend of Sam Davis is a great example of what folk music can still accomplish in these often confusing modern times.” - Kelly Mullhollan

Author, True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley

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