Michael Smith lives in Chicago and is well known for writing "The Dutchman," popularized by Steve Goodman. His work has also included the score for the Steppenwolf Theater Company's Broadway production of The Grapes of Wrath. Other recordings include a live coffeehouse album, the long out-of-print Juarez, which, strictly speaking, is not a Michael Smith album, but a trio (known as Juarez) comprised of Smith, Ron Kickasola, and Barbara Christopher Smith. In 2002, his pleasantly understated There was released on Wind River Records. Subsequently during the new millennium, Smith has continued a quite active schedule of performing and recording in a variety of contexts, issuing his live recording Such Things Are Finely Done in 2003 and Just Plain Folk, a duo effort with John McDermott, in 2005, while also collaborating on theater productions that in some cases also resulted in album releases, such as 2003’s Michael Smith’s The Gift of the Magi and 2008’s The Selfish Giant, featuring music penned and performed by Smith for a puppet show that launched the 2007-2008 season of the Chicago Children’s Theater. Meanwhile, Smith composed the music and performed in a chamber folk opera version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, which began a multiple-year run at Chicago’s Victory Gardens Biograph Theater in 2006.