Valerie Smith released her debut in 1997, joining the growing ranks of female bluegrass performers like Rhonda Vincent and Alison Krauss. Like her colleagues, Smith stakes her claim to bluegrass turf by surrounding herself with good players and filling each song with emotive vocals. On her third outing, Smith is joined by Liberty Pike, a solid band made up of mandolinist John Wesley Lee, guitarist Stephen Mougin, bassist Daniel Hardin, banjoist Randall Conn, and fiddler Becky Buller. Surrounded by these players and their fine harmony, Smith cuts loose on a number of up-tempo pieces like "Jacob Spence," "Let's Let It Go," and "I'm Lookin' for a Man." The harmony works especially well when Buller joins Smith on "Sarah." The two weave their vocals together on each chorus, adding something special to this jubilant song. Smith adds an emotional intensity to slow pieces like the title cut and her self-penned (with husband Kraig Smith) "Where the Blue Bells Grow." There are also fun songs like "Love Wagon," where Smith manages to sing the line, "If I can manage to keep from going bananas/Kicking that old love monkey, spoken like a true love junkie." No Summer Storm offers a fine introduction to Smith's music and will please anyone addicted to good contemporary bluegrass.