The Caitlin Smith Group

The Caitlin Smith Group


Highly original and spell-binding jazz/folk/funk from New Zealand's greatest genre defying singer/songwriter


Caitlin Smith bio

Anyone who has heard Caitlin Smith, either in live performance or on any of her recordings is immediately smitten by that voice. It’s a rare instrument that contains purity of tone and depth of emotion. Combined with her unique songwriting skills, Caitlin is surely one of the biggest talents New Zealand has to offer.

Her early recording with The Fondue Set found the versatile vocalist singing standards in a jazz setting, but as usual, musical labels fail to tell the whole story. A quick listen to her 2005 solo album Aurere reveals an artist comfortable with a range of styles and moods.

The Canadian-born musician has been a New Zealander for as long as she can remember. After taking part in the Auckland punk scene, Caitlin pursued an education in politics. After achieving her Master’s Degree she realized that her passion for music could no longer be ignored.

Along with guitarists Steve Gerrish and Graeme Webb Caitlin formed The Fondue Set and turned heads with a series of residencies, festival and TV appearances along with two well-received CDs, Stick A Fork In It (1999) and In A Blue Vein (2000).

Along with writing and performing, Caitlin has built a reputation as one of the country’s leading vocal coaches. Her voice can be heard on countless radio and television ads as well.

One of Caitlin’s proudest musical achievements is the release of her 2005 album, Aurere. Completely self-produced, and self-distributed, it found a small but loyal audience including influential American on-line music store CD Baby who chose it as an Editor’s Pick and a glowing review stating: “This album feels like the result of a love of the past 70 years of pop music, from Tin Pan Alley, to 70s singer/songwriters, filtered
through a 21st century band featuring electric guitar and spot-on production.”

These accomplishments are even more impressive when you realize that Caitlin is partially sighted, with just a small percentage of her vision intact. It’s a condition that she has used to her advantage.

Caitlin is currently recording her next album.
“What I’d like to have in this next album is elements of World Music and highly original instrumentation. What I’m trying to do with my music is to focus the listener on the story of the song and hopefully tell stories that aren’t frequently told.”

She has appeared at just about every major music festival in New Zealand and Australia and counts among her favourites the Threadbo Global Music Festival and the Manly Jazz Festival. But, she admits, she’s happy making music anywhere.

“It’s very natural for me to sing and it’s very natural for me to create and play music. I’d be doing it even if people weren’t there.”



Written By: caitlin smith

I want to feel what it’s like to lie down
When the grass stretches out and the shadows grow so long
Let the sun’s hands hold the back of my head
And cradle away the day

I want to feel what it’s like to be gone
With just the sound of my steps on the track I’m walking on
My head and heart are open cause that’s all they need to do
Forgetting anything they ever knew

I want to feel what it’s like to go home
Where the streets sing me songs
Lullabies of those who’ve flown
Friends who left town so many years ago
I’m going to hear them say hello

I want to feel what it’s like in your arms
Without early wake up calls, expectations or alarms
Just the day ahead with nothing we’re supposed to do
Just lie in the warmth of my love for you

I wanna feel – and have time to feel

Nature Girl

Written By: Caitlin smith

There was a girl who wouldn’t let nature through
What a shame!
Bend every rule, moving each picture frame – to suit her
Can’t figure out why she’s not powerful like she wants to be

Show me the line that separates us
How could I possibly judge?
Cause we are all made the same
With the same ability to love
Yes we are all made the same
With the same ability to love

There walked a man who took it upon himself to control
Made everyone certain about his role as the leader
He asks “why are they not grateful for the sacrifice I make?”


Love like you’re dependent on it
Love like you don’t care
Love as if someone you love is no longer going to be there

See over there? Someone who let’s their mind deceive them
They’ll over analyze every symbol and sign for it’s meaning
They ask “why we can’t understand the significance in things?”


Written By: Caitlin smith

She was brought up a lady
So she don’t say how she really feels
She’s telling every man how wonderful he is
So he won’t turn around and hurt her

She’ll say “I don’t know” when she really knows
She’ll say “It doesn’t matter” when you know it really matters
She’ll say “I don’t care” when she really cares
She’ll say “It’s OK” when it’s not

When she was a girl she hung out
She sung out, her voice rung out - MAN it was loud
Then she saw the guys, she got shy and realized
They thought she was too proud


Embarrassed by the changes, that time had been putting her through
Members of her family had noticed her development too
Especially her brother who thought he would initiate her
He knew that good girls don’t speak out


Stronger she survived, she grew up
She knew that, to speak up you don’t always get heard
So in her silence is her sorrow
So she said….


The Fondue Set, "Stick a fork in it" 1999
The Fondue Set, "In A Blue Vein" 2000

The Caitlin Smith Group, " Aurere "
-Featured on Air New Zealand's inflight entertainment

Set List

Solo set

1. I get along without you very well -- Hoagy Carmicheal
2. Anchor Me -- Don McGlashan
3. The Ship Song -- Nick Cave
4. Ordinary People -- John Legend
5. One day I walk -- Bruce Cockburn
6. Speaking with the angel -- Ron Sexsmith
7. Dolphins -- Fred Niel
8. A tree too weak to stand -- Gordon Lightfoot
9. So far away -- Carole King
10. The Way young lovers do -- Van Morrison
11. The Moon’s a harsh mistress -- Jim Webb
12. Where Fairburn walked -- Ross Mullins
13. Old Man River -- Gerome Kern
14. Amazing Grace
15. Hallelujah -- Leonard Cohen
16. Gallileo -- Declan O’Rourke
17. The Ride -- Joan Wasser
18. Anyone -- Joan Wasser
19. Fireworks -- Kate Walsh
20. Throw your arms around me -- Hunters & Collectors
21. When I drink -- Sylvie Lewis
22. Promises of Paris -- Sylvie Lewis
23. I’m sorry -- Lesley Fiest
24. The Park -- Lesley Fiest
25. The Tealeaf Prophecy -- Joni Mitchell