Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps

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Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps
From left to right: Jesse Schuster, Caroline Smith, David Earl, Arlen Peiffer
Background information
Origin Minneapolis
Genres Folk, Pop, Indie
Years active 2006 (2006)–present (present)
Labels United Interests
Associated acts Cloud Cult, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles
Members Caroline Smith
Jesse Schuster
Arlen Peiffer
David Earl
Past members Alex Ramsey
Colin Hacklander

Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps is an indie folk band from Minneapolis, Minnesota fronted by singer and primary songwriter Caroline Smith.


Caroline Smith is originally from Detroit Lakes, Minnesota,[1] a town of about 8,600 according to the 2010 Census.[2] She began playing music at an early age, reportedly learning guitar from her father. At 16 she started performing publicly at Zorbaz Pizza in her hometown and opened for B.B. King as well as releasing a self-titled album.[3] Caroline has been quoted saying she prefers the guitar, more than other instruments, because of her ability to control the dynamics. She describes her voice as a "conglomerate" with countless influences ranging from Billie Holiday to Peter, Paul and Mary among others.[4]

In 2006, at 18 she moved to Minneapolis to study at the University of Minnesota. She quickly began a weekly solo gig at Minneapolis' West Bank 400 Bar, a venue famous for acts such as Elliott Smith, Conor Oberst and Mason Jennings.[5] In 2007, the club's owner, Tom Sullivan, introduced her to drummer Arlen Peiffer who is known for his work in the band Cloud Cult. A year later, bassist Jesse Schuster joined the band. Then in March 2011, Caroline joined forces with multi-instrumentalist Alex Ramsey expanding into the Good Night Sleeps.[6][7]


In August 2008, the band released their debut full length album Backyard Tent Set. The album was recorded at Devil's Workshop in Minneapolis with Chad Weis (Mason Jennings, Ben Kweller). The sound is described by Smith as "storybook folk with an indie twist. We think it's important that our recording sounds like our live show." The band has toured twice in support of the album, playing as many dates as possible including an open mic at the Shadow Lounge in Pittsburgh.[8] [9]

In 2010, Smith and bandmate Jesse Schuster released Live at the Cedar, recorded exclusively during a show at the Cedar Cultural Center.[10] The album included several songs from Backyard Tentset as well as five additions. The albums were hand packaged and fitted with an envelope, string and a wax stamp and sold out within 6 months.[11]

The band has completed seven national tours, played at countless venues including Minneapolis' notable First Avenue. Smith described the experience of selling out the hometown venue: "When I was in high school, I used to sit in my bathroom and sing with my guitar and pretend I was on the main stage of First Avenue...I was totally transported back to that moment as soon as I started playing and I got all giddy." [12]

On March 6, 2011, Minnesota Public Radio station 89.3 The Current premiered a new song from the band on The Local Show entitled "Tank Top." [13] Previously, Smith, along with bandmate Jesse Schuster, performed "She Ain't Got it," "Lack of Height," "Denim Boy" and "Tying My Shoes" in the 89.3 The Current studios which was filmed on February 2, 2010.[14]

Most recently, Caroline Smith and company have completed tracking a new full length entitled Little Wind at the Terrarium in Minneapolis with Jason Orris (Polara, Happy Apple, Haley Bonar). The record, mixed by Tom Herbers (Low, Dark Dark Dark, Andrew Bird), was released on September 20, 2011.[15] She describes the new record as an "evolving more rocking sound still with folk elements and roots, We like to say post folk." [16]

Caroline's newest album "Half About Being A Woman," has a more neo-soul feel. She spoke about it saying, "I’m glad we gave ourselves a chance to write the music we really love."[17] Smith's newest album draws influences from "the 90’s neo-soul explosion: Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, D’Angelo."



Backyard Tent Set (August 19, 2008)[18]

Track Listing

  1. "Tying My Shoes"
  2. "You Promised Me"
  3. "Lack Of Height"
  4. "Closing The Doors"
  5. "Grizzly Bear"
  6. "Where Has Sally Gone?"
  7. "Clench My Teeth"
  8. "From Me"
  9. "Green To Grey"
  10. "Five Month Too Long"

Live at the Cedar (Caroline Smith Feat. Jesse Schuster) (January 28, 2010) [19]

Track Listing

  1. "Lack Of Height"
  2. "Birch Trees & Broken Barns"
  3. "Gracie"
  4. "She Ain't Got It"
  5. "Tying My Shoes"
  6. "Sally"
  7. "Grizzly Bear"
  8. "Denim Boy"
  9. "Closing the Doors"
  10. "Darling Light"

Little Wind (September 20, 2011) [20]

Track Listing

  1. "Tanktop"
  2. ";;;"
  3. "Strong Shoulders"
  4. "Strong Shoulders Reprise"
  5. "Calliope"
  6. "Eagle's Nest"
  7. "Scholarships"
  8. "Hannah's Song"
  9. "Denim Boy"
  10. "Birch Trees & Broken Barns"

Half About Being A Woman (October 8, 2013) [21]

Track Listing

  1. "Bloodstyle"
  2. "Magazine"
  3. "All That I Know Is (I'm Your Baby)"
  4. "Half About Being A Woman"
  5. "The One Thing"
  6. "Walking Off Strong"
  7. "Kind of Man"
  8. "Buy Me Something"
  9. "Child of Moving On"


  1. ^
  2. ^ "FactFinder". 2010 US Census. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Nesvig, Kara. "Rising and shining with Caroline Smith". Star Tribune. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  4. ^ Combs, Marianne. "This week's Minnesota originals". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  5. ^ Kara Nesvig. "Rising and Shining with Caroline Smith". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  6. ^ "Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps". Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps". Dive 95.9. Retrieved 5 August 2011.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  8. ^ Jentzen, Aaron. "Shadow Lounge open mic features Minnesotan Caroline Smith". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Nesvig, Kara. "Rising and shining with Caroline Smith". Star Tribune. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  10. ^ "Caroline Smith and Jesse Schuster @ the Electric Fetus". Retrieved 2011-03-12. 
  11. ^ Reinhart, Haley. "Caroline Smith and Jesse Schuster @ The Electric Fetus". The Dustbowl. 
  12. ^ Nesvig, Kara. "Rising and shining with Caroline Smith". Sun Tribune. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  13. ^ Dave Campbell. "The Local Show for March 6, 2011". The Current from Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  14. ^ Campbell, David. "CAROLINE SMITH AND JESSE SCHUSTER PERFORM IN THE CURRENT STUDIOS". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  15. ^ "Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps". Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Combs, Marianne. "This week's Minnesota originals". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 3 August 2011. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Backyard Tent Set". Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  19. ^ "Live at the Cedar (feat. Jesse Schuster)". Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  20. ^ "Little Wind". Retrieved 2 August 2011. 
  21. ^ "Half About Being A Woman". Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  • Featured on the PBS program MN Original from the TPT St. Paul, MN Station: MN Original Videos