Kenny & Amanda Smith Band
Winners of the IBMA’s prestigious Emerging Artist of the Year award in 2003, the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band combines gutsy, heartfelt vocals, brilliant instrumental talents and a powerful contemporary sense of song choice and arrangement.
From the intense musical and romantic connection between Kenny and Amanda, the band shares a rare intimacy and cohesion. Musicians call it being in the groove.
Kenny is one of the most influential flat-picking style guitarists of his generation. two-time IBMA Guitarist of the Year, his credentials include six years with the popular Lonesome River Band and an exceptional solo CD, Studebaker, in 1997. He is in great demand at guitar workshops and master classes at the renowned Roanoke Bluegrass Weekend series and at major events such as IBMA. Amanda grew up singing in church choirs and in talent contests. She started playing guitar in high school and soon discovered Bluegrass music through artists such as Claire Lynch, Rhonda Vincent and Alison Krauss. She met Kenny at a Lonesome River Band concert, and they began dating and playing music.
Their shared Christian faith, love for Bluegrass and desire to perform together led to a debut CD, Slowly But Surely, in 2001. It surged up the Bluegrass charts on the strength of their hit song, Amy Brown. The band’s second release, House Down The Block, solidified their position as one of the best new bands, as did their third album in 2005, Always Never Enough.
In early 2007, Tell Someone, the band’s all-gospel project, was released on Rebel Records. “We’d been wanting to do that project for a long time really”, says Kenny. “Ever since Amanda and I met, those were some of the songs we sang together.
About two weeks before we were supposed to go in and record it, my dad was involved in a fatal tractor accident, and it just changed the whole project. I don’t think I’ve ever gone through an experience like that, coming out of the funeral and then going right in and doing a project. But it was emotionally a whole different outlook. You just feel closer to the Lord after something like that happens, I think that’s why it touched other people”.
Tell Someone has won Grammy, GMA Dove Award and IBMA nominations. In September 2008, the band released Live and Learn.