Smithfield w/ Rachel Levitin

All Ages
Thursday, December 01
Doors: 7:30pm
$12

Doors at 7:30 | Show at 8
All Ages
$12/$15

SmithField formed in 2011, drawing not only upon the family history that bound Jennifer and Trey together, but also the musical influences that set them apart. From the start, SmithField’s music was a unique mix of the contemporary and the classic, blurring the boundaries between country, pop, and rock. “We grew up in the same part of Texas, but we come from different sides of music,” Trey explains. “That mixture is what makes it so unique. Even though we’re not related by blood, our musical bond stems from this longtime friendship. It’s created a bond that you can’t manufacture.”

 

There’s no lead singer in SmithField. No main songwriter, either. Instead, Jennifer and Trey split those duties equally, writing harmony-filled songs that explore love, loss, and life from both sides of a relationship. The two moved to Nashville in 2012, eager to carry the torch for country music’s rich legacy of male-female duets into the 21st century. It was there — in the same city that inspired classic collaborations between Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner; Tim McGraw and Faith Hill; and Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty — that SmithField fine-tuned their own brand of platonic chemistry. Songs like “Hey Whiskey” and “If It Ain’t You” rewarded the independent duo with major-label-sized success, including multiple appearances at the Grand Ole Opry, heavy airplay on satellite radio, 65 million digital streams, acclaim from Rolling Stone, and shows with fellow genre-bending country artists like Brothers Osborne, Scotty McCreery, and Old Dominion. 

Growing up in the city of Chicago, she didn’t initially aspire to be a pop-rock recording artist, but an eclectic love of jazz, early aughts radio hits, and expressive ambition led Rachel Levitin to pick up her first guitar as a tween. As the ordinary and extraordinary traumas of early adulthood crashed down, Levitin channeled her grief, optimism, and growth into her lyrics. A move to DC in 2005 introduced her to the Washington-area music scene, where she quickly established a reputation for herself as a confident performer and a stalwart supporter of her peers. Her debut EP, “Nearly Broken” was released in 2015 and was followed by a string of singles, including 2021’s “Off My Mind”, which showcased Levitin’s ability to write an unforgettable hook. In an age when wispy cynicism is en vogue, Levitin’s earnest, raw lyricism sets her apart from the crowd. Her music combines the endorphin rushes of early aughts hits with the emotional availability of a healed woman.

As the pandemic brought live music to a grinding halt in 2020, Levitin channeled her creative energies into music production and began shining a light on gender inequity in the music industry. Together with a team of talented DC creatives, she is currently self-producing her debut LP, due out in 2023.

“I would describe [Levitin] as: If Brandi and Belinda Carlisle had a baby, and that baby was raised by the Mickey Mouse Club.” – Annie Stokes