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Coming 23 August 2024, the third album in the Billboard Top 10 and multiple award-winning AMERICAN STORIES series of theme albums from Grant Maloy Smith. More than an hour of music spanning 16 songs that explore the truth and mythos of America's most famous river, from top to bottom. Grant performs with Grammy® winning artist Janis Ian on the song "Memphis," and Grammy winning accordionist Jeff Taylor (the Time Jumpers, Vince Gill, Paul Simon, George Strait), ACM winning pedal steel player Mike Johnson (Reba McEntire, Jason Aldean, Carrie Underwood, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard), 2 x GRAMMY nominee and Grand Ole Opry fiddle player Matt Combs (Jerry Douglas, Patty Loveless, Marty Stuart), Grammy and IBMA winning dobro master Rob Ickes (Earl Scruggs, Tony Rice, Alison Krauss, Willie Nelson), IBMA winning banjoist Scott Vestal (Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs), award-winning trombonist Roy Agee (Prince, Jimmie Buffet, Janis Ian, Tyler Childers, Lauren Daigle), 2 x GRAMMY nominated singer Carrie McDowell, and many more. The album was recorded at Palette Studio in Nashville, Sun Studios in Memphis, Butcher Studio in New Orleans, and Suburban Cowboy Studio in Rhode Island.

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Left to right: Janis Ian, Jeff Taylor, Matt Combs, Mike Johnson, Rob Ickes, Scott Vestal ... just some of the amazing artists

The Mississippi River starts in Minnesota and traverses the continent to pour into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists have recently learned that the Mississippi began flowing 70 millions years ago, when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. More recently, Native peoples have lived along the river for thousands of years. They plied her waters on canoe for transportation, and drew fish and water from her bounty. The arrival of Europeans in the 17th century changed everything, of course. The events of the last 200 or even 1000 years are only a blink of an eye compared to the life of the Mississippi.


The river was named by the native peoples, including the Ojibwe who called it the “great river” or “gathering of waters." The Dakota and Ojibwe coexisted by the river for centuries. The river was critical infrastructure for the nascent USA, serving as its most important mode of transportation of goods and people through the 18th century. Riverboats and flatboats carried goods from the north down to the port of New Orleans. Steamboats arrived and drastically increased how much could be transported, and how fast. It became an existential resource when the US Civil War came, as control of the Mississippi would determine which side would win. But the river was wild at times, subject to devastating flooding that could demolish whole cities in a few hours, or turn thousands of acres of land into lakes. There is a romance to the river as captured by Mark Twain and others that goes hand in hand with the reality of her enormous power. More than 2,300 miles long, her watershed drains from 32 American states and two provinces of Canada.

The Book

Grant has written and designed a large hardcover coffee table book to accompany the album. He describes the backstories behind the songs, putting them into context with history, and describing parts of the writing and recording process. It is filled with amazing photographs and artwork for all of songs. This is a powerful part of the album and something that you will want to have forever. When you buy the book you will get a CD and link to download digital audio files. It is available for pre-order now at this link: MISSISSIPPI. The CD and digital download will become available on August 23, from this website as well as from all major online music services worldwide.

With this album Grant paints a picture in song of this history, from the native peoples to the 20th century. Please enter your email below to be notified when it is released!

MISSISSIPPI: american stories

Thanks! We will keep you posted on MISSISSIPPI: AMERICAN STORIES.

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Produced and Mixed by:
Grant Maloy Smith,
Suburban Cowboy Studio, Rhode Island
Mastered by:

Chuck Ebert, The Cabin Recording Studio, Azle, Texas

Additional Recording at:
Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee
Palette Studio MSP, Mount Juliet, Tennessee
Butcher Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana

Performers (alphabetically):

Barney Floyd • Trumpet
Carrie McDowell • Vocals

Chris Butcher • Trombone

Emmanuel Echam • Trumpet

Evan Cobb • Tenor and Alto Saxophone

Gary Hopp • Harmonica
Grant Maloy Smith • Vocals, Guitars, Dulcimer, Piano, C-3 Organ
Janis Ian • Piano

Jeff Taylor • Accordion, Penny Whistle
Jim Spake • Baritone Saxophone
John Garland • Bass Guitar
Judy Pancoast • Background Vocals
Kimberly Fleming • Background Vocals
Lannie McMillan • Tenor Saxophone
Marc Franklin • Trumpet
Matthew Burgess • Percussion

Matt Combs • Fiddle, Cello, Mandolin

Mike Johnson • Pedal Steel Guitar, Lap Steel

Pasha Karchevsky • Flugelhorn
Rob Gorham • French Horn

Rob Ickes • Dobro
Roy Agee
• Trombone

T.C. Sam • Drums
Scott Vestal • Banjo
Wade Smith • Baritone Saxophone

Publicity by Fred Anderson Media and

Gloria Domina, 13 Butterflies Productions

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