Born and raised on Long Island, country siren Mindy Smith began singing as a small child, thanks to musically inclined parents who inspired her to follow her dream of becoming a country music sensation. Like hoards of other pretty girls who can sing and dance, Smith moved to Nashville to pursue a musical career and to buckle down and hone her songwriting skills. Two years after her arrival, all her hard work paid off. Smith won the Tin Pan South Writer's Contest, which landed her a publishing deal in 2001 with Big Yellow Dog Music. Her singing, which has been compared to Patty Griffin's, emits a controlled finesse that can instantaneously flare up into soulful wails and genre-transcending vocal gymnastics.