Bet Smith
Gig Seeker Pro

Bet Smith

Gravenhurst, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Gravenhurst, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Folk Country




"Introducing Bet Smith"

I received an email through my site from Rob Currie asking if I would check out an EP called ‘Loose Ends’ from Bet Smith featuring the Currie Brothers (Rob and Andrew). Not knowing what to expect, I clicked the link and listened to the music. Wow, it was beautiful. It was Bet’s voice that initially stood out for me as she has a wonderful tone and control. The more I listened the more I really appreciated what I was listening to and I had to find out more.

To find out more about Bet Smith and her collaboration with the Currie Brothers on this EP, I thought I’d ask the lady herself. I asked her about her influences, working with the Currie Brothers and much more. This is what she had to say.

Who or what inspired you to become a musician and which artists/bands have helped to shape your sound?

It was probably my father – first and foremost – who inspired me. His singing and guitar playing was a constant throughout my youth and it was he who taught me my first chords on the guitar and gave me his Epiphone to learn on. My parents kept some pretty great folk music playing in the house at all times, and somehow remained open minded or at least tolerant as I experimented with listening, at full volume, to everything from Hanson to Tool in my teenage years.

It is very hard to say which artists or bands helped to shape my sound. I write and play a lot of country music when I’m not busy being dark, dreary and alt-folky. The two types of music I write are in strong contrast to one another. But on the subject of the Loose Ends EP, I might have to say… hmmm… there’s probably a bit of Tool influence and I definitely heard a bit of Marilyn Manson when I sang my harmonies, (ha) but also, I adore the haunting and meaningful music of Natalie Merchant, the complete vibe of Gillian Welch, and quirky artists like Hawksley Workman and Tori Amos taught me that I could be a bit odd as a songwriter, and possibly still find listeners. These aren’t all artists I necessarily listen to often, or even at all anymore, but they have had some influence.

How did you and The Currie Brothers get together to work on this ep? Also, what have they added to your sound?

The Currie Brothers have lived so close to me for most of my life, but I only just met them a year ago. I’d been told about their shop and studio by a friend, and thought about going to meet them, but I certainly wasn’t making it a priority. Until one day last spring when I was out walking my parents’ dog, trying to figure out what to do with my life and if music would be a part of it anymore, and thinking about maybe going to meet the Currie brothers, when a woman I hadn’t seen in years pulled up in her van, and the first thing out of her mouth was, “YOU HAVE GOT TO MEET THESE CURRIE BROTHERS IN GRAVENHURST!” And so I emailed them that night. And that was that. It’s a longer story, but that is the crucial beginning of it.

Andrew was the one who sat me down to listen to some of the work Rob had done in the studio. In fact, Rob wasn’t even there that night. I hadn’t had huge expectations of a young guy with a studio in a small town, but what I heard seriously impressed me.

By Rob’s general appearance and the recordings I’d heard, I had an inkling that we might have fun working on some of my strange alt-folk songs together, as opposed to the upbeat country stuff. So I brought the strange stuff, with no expected outcome, just a hope that we would click and make something cool. And I think that’s what happened.

Rob quickly fell into a producer roll and he and Andrew worked together and with me, layering instrumental tracks and ambient sounds, turning my alt-folk songs into something rich and lovely. I don’t even know how to describe what the Currie Brothers have added to my sound, I just know that I never want to be completely without the Currie Brothers ever again.

What is your favourite song from the EP and why?

My favourite song is the title track, Loose Ends. It was the second song we recorded. Talisman was the first, and after realizing that the guys were actually into the “dark” aspect of that song, I thought, “heck. I’ll show you dark.” I believe I played Dynamite for them at that point, but we still didn’t know each other well enough to make that one happen yet. But I just love how Loose Ends turned out. It was a brand-new song at that point, and I was uncertain I even liked it yet. But now I am certain. It is also the song that inspired Johnny Fay of the very well-loved Canadian band, The Tragically Hip to volunteer some cool ambient percussion tracks, and it is the song that ended up as the title of the EP. I chose it as the title because it was my favourite, but also because every song on the EP was, until now, a loose end. Songs I wasn’t sure about, songs I thought were too strange to play in public, songs that weren’t quite finished, or were rarely played in front of other people.

What have been your career highlights so far and are there any others music related goals you wish to achieve?

Definitely recording Loose Ends with the boys. And we continue to record together… so that is on going. I have played a handful outdoor folk festivals, and that is one of my favourite things to be able to do. I hope to do a lot more of that. I hope I can drag the guys out of the store and studio once in a while to do festivals with me. I love road trips and travel, and roughing it, so I do love to tour. I’ll be touring Canada mostly alone this year, which will be different, but interesting, I’m sure.

What are your future plans and goals for your music?

Well! If there was only more time. We are working toward a full-length album, continuing on the feel of Loose Ends. I expect that will be out next spring.

I also have a country band called The Wretched Mathildas. It is a duo with my friend Cody, and we play original music that is unlike the music on Loose Ends in almost every way, except for that I am still pretty crafty with the song writing, and Cody is also a fine composer.

I am working on creating a portfolio of country songs to pitch to artists who will take them further than I ever will or want to. Rob and Andrew have been helping me with that.

Music has been my passion for a long time, and I feel like this EP is a breakthrough for me. So I have my fingers crossed that it will find its listeners and I will at least feel validated enough to keep dumping time and money into the bottomless pit that is every independent musician/s career for a few more years. Things are looking up!

How good does the EP ‘Loose Ends’ sound? It sounds great and it actually gets even better with every listen as I keep discovering new favourite elements to their sound. What Bet has created with Rob and Andrew Currie is a great blend of country and folk that is as grounded as the musicians themselves. Throughout the EP you have the winning formula of Bet’s highly impressive vocal talents which are equally matched by a great musical arrangement delivered by Bet, Rob and Andrew. The formula may be the same on each song, but each one is individual enough to stand out on its own. I love the way these musicians have blended together to create this sound that is beautifully layered to give the music so much depth to match the lyrics which have a must hear story telling quality. Again I need to mention Bet’s vocal abilities as they are such a delight to listen to which is perfectly demonstrated on my favourite song called ‘Lone Wolf’. This song is simplistic in sound which leaves the centre stage for Bet to deliver a delicate tone that is spellbinding. The control by her voice and the music is also great to hear. I need to highlight the song ‘Dynamite’ which is a musical journey that needs to be heard.

Overall, ‘Loose Ends’ was more than I expected and even though it sounded great on my first listen it keeps get stronger with every play. If you like your music honest with a country/folk sound delivered by an amazing vocal talent then this is the EP for you. Head over to Bet’s Bandcamp page (click HERE) to listen to the EP in full and you can also grab a copy while you are there. I highly recommend you go check it out, even if it is not your usual sound it may surprise you.

I can’t wait to hear what Bet Smith and the Currie Brothers will musically cook up next as I am a huge fan of what they have created already. If you want to keep up to date with Bet’s music then check out her website at or check out her social media pages at Facebook and Twitter. While I am waiting for this new music I plan to check out Bet’s other project ‘The Wretched Mathildas’ which she discussed during her interview.

As always, independent music needs the support of the fans to help the music grow and it is your duty to help spread the word about the music that matters to you. If you are a fan of the music by Bet Smith then purchase the music and tell the world about her music! Music this good needs to be heard! - My Random Jukebox - James Wilson

"Bet Smith – Loose Ends EP"

-Smith’s bringing some country flair to her music. Pick out your favorite boots before you play this album. There’s a little swing and swagger to this country songstress. The title track “Loose Ends” lives in a minor key and it really can be a bit unsettling. I think that’s intentional. Smith’s vocal quality is weathered and familiar, putting listeners in mind of someone like Joan Baez. “Lone Wolf” begins with a sweet, expressive vocal that will give listeners chills. This is an underestimated but exceptional little album. Don’t miss it. - Greg Jones - Ear to the Ground

"New Music: Bet Smith “Loose Ends” feat the Currie Bros"

“Loose Ends” is taken from Bet Smith‘s forthcoming EP of the same name, the track was produced by Rob Currie of Currie’s Music in Gravenhurst, Ontario and both Rob and his brother Andrew played on it….along with Johnny Fay (Tragically Hip).

Bet’s smokey lyrics drive thru The Currie Bros layers of magic with effortlessness ease
–Joe Cornelisse - Joe Cornelisse, Sonic More Music


...if I were you I'd call her on any date and/or time slot you have available .. Bet has just released her fabulous new EP "Loose Ends" recorded with and by the incomparable Currie Brothers and a bit o Johnny Fay of the Tragically Hip .. Bet's songs are deep, emotional, and passionate .. They are also very musical and she has a powerfully soft voice with a tenderly honed edge .. Betty Ash Smith can play it solo, or with the very talented Andrew Currie and Rob Erto Currie .. These three along with Betty's sister Bronwyn recently played to a packed back room at The Legendary Cameron House .. Seriously! You can say you booked her when .. Follow her, friend her, lend her songs your ear and by all means, book her .. You won't be sorry you did. This Muskoka gal has a boatload of talent .. and you might get the bonus of meeting/hearing The Currie Bros. and possibly even enjoy the appearance of a special guest .. OK go. - Wayne Hodgeson

"Bet Smith celebrates Earth Day with the release of her new EP ‘Loose Ends’ featuring The Currie Brothers"

When an artist releases new music it’s a two fold kind of deal, of course it’s a special thing for the artist themselves but it’s also just as exciting for their fans, with the release of Bet Smith‘s new 5 track EP ‘Loose Ends’ featuring The Currie Brothers we were given an inside look at the making of it step by step through social media, and in the end I feel we indirectly played a small part in the making of it.

‘Loose Ends’ was released today……Earth Day, and I think that’s no small coincidence with the real natural vibe each song gives off; so buy a copy and go for a walk and enjoy what Bet is selling because it’s certainly worth buying. - Joe Cornelisse - Sonic More Music

"Bet Smith featuring The Currie Brothers – Loose Ends"

“Loose Ends” is het eerste album dat ik van de 32-jarige Canadese Bet Smith hoor en bespreek. Bijna een half dozijn aan liedjes op deze ep in de categorie van luisterbluesfolk is van een uitzonderlijke kwaliteit. Ze is een natuurmens Zie ook de fraaie tekening op de hoes van “Loose Ends”. De liefhebberij van het buitenleven, misstappen uit het verleden en de eenzaamheid krijgen alle ruimte op haar vijf zelfgeschreven liedjes. Ik ben van de bedachtzame decoraties, niet opdringerig maar net aanwezig genoeg om het verschil te maken. Sfeervol en onderhuids. Opgenomen bij schemerlicht in de antiquair en muziekzaak van multi instrumentalist Andrew Currie, die samen met broer Robbie in een prominente technische rol, zorgt voor de broodnodige subtiele nuances. Delicate instrumenten als de xylofoon, tamboerijn, houten stoelpoot, Afrikaanse bel en een klokkenspel illustreren op schaarse wijze haar mooie, diepe en warme stemgeluid als het beste mahoniehout. Een evenwichtige boom aan geluid. Strikje eromheen en koesteren. - Johan Schoenmakers, Alt Country Forum

"New name, new sound for musician with Muskoka roots"

"The songs are all songs that I didn’t play very much at shows or on stage and haven’t really attempted to record before,” she said. “Usually I guess I end up doing sort of country upbeat stuff at shows and these are definitely not that.”

Smith has released albums in the past as Ashlea Jones-Smith, but is now reinventing herself after making some major life changes, including moving back to Ontario after a stint in British Columbia.

“I spent three years living off grid on Denman Island and we were just like peeling logs to build a home and living off swamp and rainwater with no electricity. A lot of people live like that there and so a lot of the album is related to that sort of lifestyle and reflective on it …” she said, explaining that there will be a lot of environmental imagery throughout the new release.

Smith has selected April 22 – Earth Day – as the debut date for the new EP to go along with its environmental ties, but title track Loose Ends has already started making its way onto airwaves.

“I just posted it (online), sick of waiting, so I was like ‘I’m gonna put it up’ and then my friend Laurie posted it, and she’s a music industry person, and then she had a friend who saw it and then the next day played it on the air in the morning. And she connected with it a lot so she kind of raved about it,” Smith said.

Story continues below

That was on CKCU FM, a community-based radio station out of Ottawa.

“Other than that I’m still just sending it out,” she said.

Smith, who grew up in Bracebridge, worked on the album with two other local talents from Muskoka, brothers Rob and Andrew Currie.

The pair own and operate Currie’s Music in Gravenhurst, a vintage music shop that also houses a full recording studio.

Rob produced and engineered the album, as well as playing lead guitar and some bass on the tracks, while Andrew contributed a wide variety of other instruments, including the upright bass, drums, glockenspiel and more.

“They were full songs before I brought them, but then definitely they have become double or triple the songs that they were before, with these guys involved in them,” Smith said. “They’re totally different. I never could have done anything even similar to what they sound like now. It’s really cool.”

Also contributing to the album was Tragically Hip drum player Johnny Fay.

“He comes into the store quite a bit and he’s always curious about what I’m up to in the studio, so he asked me to play something and I was in the middle of one of Betty’s songs, and I played it for him and he said ‘Oh, can I play on it?’” Rob explained.

Smith was out of town at the time, but Rob texted her to get approval to add Fay to the album.

“He said, ‘Oh let me think about it for a bit,’ and then he left and then I’m like, ah well, probably will never happen, and then he came back the next day. Like just showed up and says, ‘OK, let’s do it,’ and then he did it,” Rob said.

“He played an African bell that he randomly had in his car, which was funny, and an old marching snare drum, too,” he said. “He’s been really supportive of the whole project.”

Other than the mastering, the entire album was produced from August 2014 to January 2015 in Muskoka at the Currie’s studio.

“We haven’t even known her a full year yet and we already feel like family,” Andrew said of the relationship that developed between the three over the course of recording the album.

Check out the title track, Loose Ends, on Smith's website at - What'sUp Muskoka


Loose Ends, EP released May 2015. 

Hurricane, EP released 2012 under the name Ashlea Jonesmith

The Things That Stay With Me, LP released 2009 under the name Ashlea Jonesmith 



In Spring 2014, singer/songwriter, Bet Smith wandered into the vintage music shop owned by The Currie Brothers on the advice of an old friend. Soon after, the three began recording what would become their first EP, Loose Ends.  Moody alternative-folk songs written by Bet were brought to life by multi-instrumentalists, Rob and Andrew and some of their talented friends. Since releasing the EP in April 2015 the group have been caught up in a whirlwind of concerts and recording projects.  Sarah Girdwood connected with the group at a show in late 2015 and joined the band soon after.  The band is set to release a deluxe anniversary edition of Loose Ends on Earth Day 2015, and a new alt-country album: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is in July of this year. 

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, the forthcoming ten-song LP by Bet Smith is an album inspired by the hard-working and under-appreciated folks who make the world go ‘round. Primarily written in farmers’ fields, construction sites and the back roads of rural Canada, this album reflects on Bet’s blue-collar years, labouring on small farms in British Columbia and welding on muddy hillsides in the Ontario bush.     

Conversations had, overheard and imagined over long days in field and brush sparked new songs that were realized in full at Bet’s first opportunity to pick up a guitar at the end of a workday.

Whereas Bet’s 2015 folk EP, Loose Ends, was dark and cautionary, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is relies on traditional country themes mixed with tongue-in-cheek humor to achieve a new level of accessibility with songs written about love, broken hearts, working hard, being poor just the same, and lessons learned on a bar stool: ten songs she hopes will speak to the backbone of rural North America, and lovers of Alt-Country and Americana.

The LP’s first single, “Bakesale Angel, BBQ Queenis a comical song about good-old-fashioned kitchen rivalry: competition that erupts between a jealous girlfriend and her beau’s ex. The tune was imagined up while Bet shovelled manure on a good friend’s farm – the friend being an enviably excellent cook.

The recording features Miranda Mulholland of The Great Lake Swimmers on fiddle and Aaron Goldstein of Daniel Romano and the Trilliums on pedal steel. Bet’s hometown allies, The Currie Brothers hold it all together with Andrew Currie on drums and brother Rob on bass and percussive electric guitar. As a final touch, Bet talked the boys into a pots-and-pans percussion track to compliment the theme of the song. The second tune – Get In Line – from which comes the album’s title, “put your money where your mouth is,” was thought up while Bet did menial chores on a cattle farm and allowed her mind to wander to a bar interaction between a farm girl and a fake cowboy.  

Bet’s previous release, Loose Ends was well received by radio and online media in Canada, earning rotation on twenty college and community stations as well as CBC Radio. The album was also welcomed into the U.K. by a James Wilson, blogger for My Random Jukebox, who introduced Bet Smith to programmers of the syndicated radio show Music Hour UK. The show subsequently promoted Bet’s music to listeners of 40 stations around the world.  

Loose Ends’ release was celebrated by a packed room at The Cameron House in Toronto and took Bet on her ninth and tenth Via Rail concert tours across Canada and road tours in Ontario and British Columbia where she holds on to friends and fans created through past performances at Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, Islands Folk Festival and Lillooet’s outdoor concert series, as well as many shows in the Comox Valley where she once called home. On-route Bet worked with CBC television to create a mini-documentary about her tour with Via Rail for the new show, Exhibitionists. A couple more dates for the EP remain, one at The Company House in Halifax on March 14th and Chaffey Hall in Huntsville, Ontario on March 25th. 

A release party and tour for Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is are currently in the works. 

Band Members