Nina Jo Smith

Nina Jo Smith

 San Francisco, California, USA

I like a song that goes from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. You'll hear many songs in a day but will wake up the next morning humming mine.


(Nina rhymes with China) is a natural-born indie singer-songwriter (born on the 4th of July). Her successfully Kickstarted "People, Places and Sings" is her first full-length studio album. Nina Jo plays guitar and ukulele with clean, inventive picking. Nina Jo sings in a voice that ranges from city smooth to mountain plain. Nina Jo returned to performing twenty years after her brother was murdered. During those silent years, Nina Jo she earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and taught self-defense to more than a thousand people. Nina Jo brings the focus and passion of a martial artist to her gentle music. Her song, LA Man, recorded by Penny Nichols, with Nina Jo on guitar and additional vocals, won a Global Music Award in Folk and Songwriting categories (2015).

Influences: Joni Mitchell, Alison Kraus, Gillian Welch, Be Good Tanyas, Wailin' Jennies, Tony Rice, Chris Smither, Jason Isbell, Zachary Richard.


Make Love Not War

Written By: Nina Jo Smith & Scott Eckersley

Make love not war,
make love not war,
make love not war,
make love not war.

Well, you can't throw a bomb
With your arms around someone,
Make love not war.
If you doubt me, think it out and
Sing, don't shout,
Make love not war.


You can do it in the road,
It’s pretty hot or so I’m told,
Make love not war.
And you can’t catch anthrax
When you’re rollin’ in the sack,
Make love not war.


I loved a man who just said, “No,
They called me up but I won’t go.” We
Made love not war.
It's such a lovely little earth.
And it's been our home since birth, let’s
Make love not war.


Kiss the earth with your feet
As you’re walking to the beat
Of your heart.
Make love not war.

© 2004 Redwood River Music

Hey Songwriter

Written By: Nina Jo Smith

Hey Songwriter
Words & Music by Nina Jo Smith
© 2009 Redwood River Music

Hey songwriter
Where you been so long?
I went down to the river of song
And stayed there all night long.

They say we all live downstream
From Dylan, Taylor and Prine
But I always carry my drinkin’ gourd
And I am doing fine

With an ancient groove
That’s carved into
The river rock of time
And a sacred stream of melody
On a scaffolding of rhyme


There’s a place I go
Some of us know
If you linger you will find
Life’s a dream when you float downstream
With Dylan, Taylor and Prine.

Hey, songwriter… (repeat & out)


LA Man, duo recorded with Penny Nichols on her Golden State album, PenSongs Productions, 2015 - Earned Global Music Awards in Folk and Songwriting categories (2015)

People, Places and Sings CD released on Redwood River Music April 29, 2013 - first full-length studio album - "Hey Songwriter" picked up by 323 radio stations

Make Love Not War (digital single) ukelele reggae (Jawaiian arrangement) released on Musik and Film August 10, 2012 - Received international radio play

Guitar Songs EP (May 21, 2006) - Redwood River Music.

Set List

Hello Stranger (A.P. Carter)

Buddha At The Backdoor

Take This Heart

Somewhere The Sky Is Blue

Hey Songwriter

LA Man

Basted Eggs

Lee Side Of Love

What Are Flowers For?

Make Love Not War


Bright Morning Stars (traditional)

I'll Be Your Baby Tonight (Bob Dylan)

Pretty Polly (trad. arranged by Nina Jo Smith)

Brokedown Ford

Additional songs:

Sitting In Limbo (Jimmy Cliff)
Plane Wreck at Los Gatos/Deportee (Woody Guthrie)
Heaven Here With You (Lee Mallory)

Songs For Children:

Cosmic Lady
Bluejay Blues
Loonie Bird
Say Hello (The Penny Song)
I Love Pie! 
Rainbow Connection (Kenny Loggins)