SmithField is expanding their duo to include a furry friend, Chewie! SmithField has beautiful voices, heart-string-pulling lyrics and they are winning over the Country Music genre with critically-acclaimed songs like “Hey Whiskey” which you’ve heard on Sirius XM and seen a music video on CMT.
½ the duo, Jennifer Fielder decided to get a new puppy recently! Read our interview from Chewie here and get excited with me for SmithField’s Christmas song, “Christmas Was Here” releasing on November 20th, 2020.
(No animals were harmed in the making of this interview recording but some did talk, and quite fluently.)
Jennifer (Jenn) Fielder and Trey Smith, SmithField, you are a Country Music duo on the road who live separate lives off the road, so what was the decision like to get a pup, Jennifer?
Jenn: “I’ve been telling Trey I’ve wanted a dog for at least three years. And with radio tour and touring life in general, I knew I wouldn’t have the time to train a puppy the proper way. When the pandemic hit I felt like this is the best time to get a puppy when touring is on hold. It’s time to get a dog and train them so he can go on the road with us.”
Trey, how do you feel about having to take care of a puppy when you’re out on the road as a duo?
Trey: “I’ll put it on my invoice. ‘Dog Care.’ Kidding, he’ll be good to have on the road. He’s a puppy so right now he’s chewing on everything! (Sara interjects: “Appropriately named, Chewie.”) Yeah, hopefully he won’t be chewing on the guitar cases one day. ”
Chewie: “Sara, have you seen Star Wars? I am named after Chewbacca so I was destined to be a side-kick. [Chewbacca was enslaved by the Empire until he was rescued by Captain Han Solo and became his co-pilot aboard the Millennium Falcon. – https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Chewbacca]. Plus if you jumble around the word ‘duo’ and take out the ‘u’ and add a ‘g’ you’ve got DOG. So, I realize that every great duo actually needs a great road-dog. Maybe that is a little far-’fetched’ but I’m going with that.”
Chewie, since you’re joining the SmithField duo on the road, will you be a musician, a singer, or both?
Chewie: “I wish I had the amazing vocal ability that Jennifer Fielder and Trey Smith have! Have you heard their harmonies? I can’t even howl that well with another pup in tune. In addition to being a side-kick roadie, I’ve also applied for the role of drummer. That seems like a very Chewbacca musical place to land as a pup-artist.”
SmithField is known for loving coffee! What does the coffee experience mean for you?
Trey: “[When Jenn and I are at a coffee shop] We are usually planning music stuff, at a coffee shop is kind of where we game plan and plot to take over the music world!”
Speaking of coffee talk and music stuff, tell me about the EP you have coming out in 2021.
Trey and Jenn: “Our fans raised the money earlier this year  on Kickstarter for us to do an EP. We’ve got five songs recorded. And so usually coffee talks consume, how we’re going to release the music, who we’re going to release it with, what order, you know, timing, what makes sense for right now. We’re really excited! We finished [our new EP] right before COVID happened and we were lucky we did right before everything shut down. Then for obvious reasons things got set back a little bit. So now it’s just about getting it out to the world and getting it out in the right ways.”
Chewie: “I’ve been writing with Jenn and Trey over the past few months and hoping to get a cut as a 6th track on their EP when it comes out. It would be a dog-gone good song, I tell you what!”
And we are sitting at Ladybird Taco in Nashville doing this interview and photoshoot because it’s special to you, why is that?
Trey and Jennifer: “Ladybird Taco is a little bit of Texas and Tennessee. There’s not many places that have real Tex-Mex Tacos [in Nashville] that we’ve found anyway, living here over the past eight years. The owners are from Texas. We come here a lot because the food’s really good, and we feel like it’s a little piece of home all the way from home and their coffee’s really good. So that’s important. It’s like, okay, they got Texas, they got tacos and the coffee is actually really good and we can bring Chewie!
I feel like a lot of places always say they do have great Tex-Mex, but I’m skeptical because so many times people are like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s just like Texas [food] you have to try it.’ And then you go and it’s not even close [to real Tex-Mex]. And so Ladybird Taco is one of the few places I’ve been to since we moved here where I was like, okay, yeah I could see this in Texas.”
Chewie: “I am such a people-loving-pup. And coffee shops are the best place to make new friends [pups and people], talk about music, and really just enjoy life sitting at the feet of your favorite human.”
Trey, tell me about your custom craft coffee.
Trey: “I started roasting coffee about a year ago. I order my green beans from a distributor in Texas actually, and love to get a variety so I can try different beans from all over the world! Probably my favorites so far have been Ethiopian Harrar, Sumatran, and Guatemalan Huehuetenango coffees. I just love how you can’t roast any two different kinds of bean the same way. They’re all unique. It takes a lot of experimenting, and there’s definitely a craft to roasting each one. Every little part of the coffee making process can make a huge difference, from the roast, to the grind, to the water temperature, and even down to the technique with which you brew it. I could geek out for a while, but I’ll spare you EVERY detail for now.”
What is it like to be male and female best friends on the road together, especially now that you have this “co-road” responsibility of Chewie the Cavapoo’ie! (Who you can find on Instagram at @ChewieTheCavapooie)
Chewie: “I am a very low-maintenance best friend addition. I’ve got this!”
Jenn: “Our history is we’ve known each other since we were 10 years old and our families go back three generations. So our grandparents went to high school together and our parents went to high school together! We met when we were little kids because our families did New Years Eve and 4th of July parties together. We would always be the family entertainment, just not together at that time, but separately. We didn’t start singing together until college. What does make our relationship special is because people, think we’re brother and sister or the first thing they think is, are you guys a couple? And when we say ‘No, we’re just best friends.’”
Trey: “I think a lot of people talk about the strengths being the fact that we have this onstage chemistry. I think more so than just not being in a romantic relationship, the [friendship] history that we have still allows us to have that deep rooted, kind of trust and experience with each other, just growing up and knowing each other [since we were 10 years old]. So it’s weird. It’s kind of like we have all the perks of being in a relationship without being in a relationship.”
Chewie, tell me about your tattoos.
Chewie: “I like to call my white spots on my brown fur my soul-patches. My mom, Jennifer, has some neat tattoos, so maybe one day I’ll have more when I grow up.”
Jenn: “My tattoos mean a lot to me. [My Mimi’s] favorite song was ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. And so the day that she passed, I saw a big rainbow, a full one like I’ve never seen. I’ve always seen only half a rainbow so I wanted to get that tattoo as my last memory of her. And she believed in SmithField so much and always encouraged me to follow my dreams and then with Trey our dreams [as a music duo].
The other one’s for my dad to remind me that miracles, real miracles, can happen. He [Jennifer’s dad] died three times and came back to life in the same day. He had a cardiac arrest and Trey and I were there to witness the miracle [of life being restored]. We prayed every hour on the hour for him for a week. And he came back to life. He’s [Jennifer’s dad] a little disabled now, he has short-term memory loss and he can’t drive or go to work, but we got him back. He knows who we are and he can come to shows and sing with us.”
Jenn, tell me about the faith and dream catcher tattoos.
Jenn: “This year in 2020, faith is just to remind me to have faith in our ability and faith in our dream. It’s funny, I got this one [the faith tattoo] the day we signed our first record deal. And then this one [the dream catcher tattoo], the day after our label folded. The Native Americans believe what a dream catcher does is catch all the negativity in it, so only positivity flows through the feathers. So the day our label folded I was just like, okay, this sucks. And you know, our dream didn’t come true when we thought it was going to, but it was just to remind us that, to just let positive vibes through. We’ve accomplished a lot of things without that label.”
Trey and Jenn, you mentioned how your grandmothers were best friends. How did that shape your friendship growing up and then partnership as a duo?
Jenn: “Our song “If It Ain’t You” is about my Mimi and my Paw Paw’s love for each other. I’m very close to my Mimi and actually Trey grew up with my grandmother, too. My grandmother [Mimi] knew his grandma and was probably the reason why we got together [as a duo] in the first place, and because our grandma’s talk, we didn’t want to let either one of them down.”
Chewie, if you could describe your purpose, what would you say?
Chewie: “I believe that people and puppies have a purposeful connection. For example, when we are on walks, or on the road meeting people, every smell I smell has a story behind it. Every person has a journey they are on that is unique to them and it all has a purpose. Sometimes the purpose is just to get to the nearest coffee shop and sometimes the purpose is more deeply rooted with an understanding we may not know today. As the incredibly smart representation of Star Wars Chewbacca, I believe that my purpose is to be the best side-kick light to Jennifer and Trey of SmithField as I can possibly be!”
What does “be the light” mean to you?
Jenn: “Be the light to me means that we do country music, but we’re also believers. I always felt like I didn’t need to sing in a church or CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) to be a light. I could sing country music and have a party and sip whiskey and still love Jesus. I feel like that’s really what’s important is the love of Jesus and not where I’m singing. I can be a light, we [Trey and I] can be a light, in anything that we do.”
Chewie: “While Chewbacca never actually uses a Lightsaber in Starwars, he believes in upholding peace and justice and wants to ‘be part of the light’. That’s me! I want to bring peace and love and light to every dog and human I meet.” [The lightsaber also became synonymous with the Jedi Order’s values to uphold peace and justice throughout the galaxy.- https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Lightsaber/Legends].
Tell me about the Christmas music video you have coming out November 20th, this year!
Chewie: “I was holding down the fort at home, protecting our local galaxy while my mom and Trey created a really neat video for their Christmas song titled ‘Christmas Was Here.’”
Trey: “[Christmas Was Here] is a Christmas song and I feel like Christmas is all about families coming together and connecting and we all need a little bit of that this year listening to this song with your friends and family.”
Note from Sara about “Christmas Was Here”: