Canaan Smith to play at D&E

ELKINS – One of country music’s most compelling new artists, Canaan Smith, will bring his brand of insightful songwriting and strong vocals to The Icehouse on the Davis & Elkins College campus for a 10 p.m. show on Nov 2.

Presented by Davis & Elkins College and the Campus Activities Board, the performance is free and open to the public.

Smith has earned a loyal, enthusiastic fan base as an opening act for Sugarland, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker and others. His first single, “We Got Us,” a tender romantic ballad, was released in early 2012. He recently signed a recording contract with Mercury Nashville.

Smith’s talent as a songwriter has garnered some attention as well. While performing around Nashville, Smith began writing with other tunesmiths, including Love and Theft’s Stephen Barker Liles. Their collaboration, “Runaway,” became Love and Theft’s first single and a Top 10 hit.

Smith’s career as a musician and songwriter began early. While growing up in Williamsburg, Va., he and his two best friends formed a band. From sixth grade through their senior year in high school, the trio performed throughout their home state, recorded 11 original songs and became a regional sensation. However, after high school, they parted ways. Canaan spent a year at James Madison University before heading to Florida’s prestigious Full Sail University, where he entered an accelerated program and received a recording/engineering degree. Afterward, he moved to Nashville to attend Belmont University and began performing around Music City, landing a regular gig at the popular nightspot On the Rocks.

While performing in Nashville, he was recruited for another role. Now, Smith is known not only for his music, but also for his competition on the hit television reality show “The Amazing Race,” for which he traveled to such locales as Dubai, Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia.

Following his performance at Davis & Elkins, Smith continues his tour with Love and Theft in the Midwest.