Caitlyn Smith backstage at Pilgrimage Festival

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Caitlyn Smith is a prolific songwriter and soulful artist. Born and raised in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, she grew up writing songs in a homey nook in her bedroom closet. Her newest album Starfire has amassed praise since its release in January. Even at seven and a half months pregnant, Smith was at the top of her game this Saturday at Pilgrimage.

With 16 years in Nashville under her belt, Smith has established herself as a master on Music Row. Her major cuts include “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” by Meghan Trainor and John Legend, and “You Can’t Make Old Friends” with Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, as well as Garth Brooks, James Bay, and Nashville placements. On Starfire, we’re finally able to hear her own voice and the songs she connects to the most. The album is her realest self – a newfound authenticity after years of writing for others.

I highly recommend her cover of “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman”, and the title track, “Starfire”, which was heard soaring over the festival on Saturday. “This Town is Killing Me” is utter honesty about the exhausting life of an aspirational songwriter in Nashville. “East Side Restaurant” might be my favorite, a reflective and bewildered break-up ballad featuring a gorgeous string section.

Smith is also a cofounder of Girls of Nashville, a seasonal songwriters show in Nashville that showcases undiscovered female talent. Check out her backstage interview with Adam.

Written by Taylor John

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