Emerick Publishing Company | Founder/Author Stephen Wade Smith
Circa 2006



Emerick Publishing Company has been publishing the music and lyrics of Stephen Wade Smith since the mid-1990s.

This was his website. The content below is from the site's archived pages.

In approximately 2006, the company added a book publishing project: Escape to the Mountain: Mid-life Redemption on the John Muir Trail, by Stephen Wade Smith. It was released in early 2007. It is the story of one man's rediscovery of himself and the building of interpersonal connections with friends and family while hiking in the Sierra Nevada during the summer of 1994.

Having frequently in the hiked Sierra Nevada I was curious about the book. I have found the Eastern Sierra to be home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the country with its jaw-dropping jagged peaks, glacial lakes, and huge aspen groves. Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48 states is also located in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. No wonder that this stunning region is so popular with mountaineers, climbers, campers, and hikers. So I bought Escape to the Mountain and one evening settled down in my study for a quiet evening of reading. Well the reading was definitely enjoyable, but the evening was not quiet. My mix breed Huskie puppy must have eaten something that really didn't agree with his digestive track and he became quite sick with spewing from both ends- repeatedly. I did a cursory clean up before whisking off to the Animal Medical Center to find out what was wrong. Turned out that the holiday Amaryllis plant that I found him munching on earlier in the day is toxic to both cats and dogs. I didn't know. The vet dealt with my puppy and I returned home to deal with the carpet mess. A google search for carpet cleaning nyc brought up several companies. My Home Carpet & Upholstery Care had good reviews so I called them the next morning. A representative arrived promptly, assessed the carpet and presented me with a cleaning plan. They had their technicians there that afternoon. Not only did they do a pre-treatment of stain for more effective results and a thorough cleaning job, they also deodorized to eliminate any bad odors and finished with a Scotch Guard. Pretty impressive. By that evening I was once again able to settle down to continue Escape to the Mountain with a sleepy puppy curled up in a dog bed at my feet.

But the peace of the evening was disturbed by a phone call by my sister. She was frantic and very upset. Her current partner was once again drinking heavily and had wrecked their car. Fortunately no one was critically hurt. I had previously suggested the LifeBac program to help him cut down or to stop drinking alcohol completely. I knew of a friend who had successfully changed his relationship with alcohol through the LifeBac program. He won't have to stop drinking while he is in treatment. It's not like AA or total abstinence programs. He'll be taking an anti craving drug. It will be either baclofen or Naltrexone a habit-breaking, FDA-approved medication that targets AUD by disabling the reward circuit associated with consuming alcohol. We talked longer till she was calm enough to really hear what I was suggesting. I texted her the url to LifeBac after we hung up. Whew! So with a cup of tea and a few cookies I settled back down to reading. I totally agree with the 5 stars given by other Amazon reviewers. Escape to the Mountain: Mid-life Redemption on the John Muir Trail is well worth the read. Hopefully I can finish it without any more drama.

Read more about Dr. Smith's music below.​​

Top Amazon Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars


By Donna Coomer on March 27, 2007

Despite being told time and time again that we will know when we have reached the highpoint of our lives, it is still a surprise to many when it is not where, when or what we thought it would be. Steve Smith can attest to that. As he somewhat arrogantly professes he had it all. Great job, great family, great friends, but sidelined by continual back ailments requiring numerous surgeries and the accompanying recovering periods he began to wonder.

What most folks don't know is that God, the Universe, or whomever you believe in, searches for ways to bring us clarity. We most often live our lives in sort of the "forest for the trees" mentality. It took Steve Smith a chance moment far above the treeline to see that an opportunity for achieving it may lie along the infamous John Muir Trail in his beloved Sierras.

Using the meticulousness Smith has built his career on he plans a series of hikes along the JMT. With, at various times, friends, family, colleagues and assorted professional packers, he visits the mountains, the meadows and the lakes of his dreams. And as he had hoped a bit of clarity is achieved with each pass that's crossed, each trout that's caught, and as each trip is completed.

Smith's narrative is a combination of brutal honesty, camp humor, and moments that show the author taking the time to really look at himself and see where he's not quite made the right choices when it came to deciding between his overly zealous work habits and quality time with his young family.

How we benefit is that we are given the chance to see that despite someone apparently having it all, there are still bad times to be endured and relationships that need to be mended. Learning from what Smith achieved on his adventures gives us all the chance to strive for that clarity on high.


5.0 out of 5 stars

An inspiring story of a man finding strength

By Reader Views on March 5, 2007

Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (2/07)


This is an amazing story of a man, who, while fulfilling a life time goal discovers so much more as he pondered the questions: "What will I learn? What was the meaning of life? And what was important to me?" He concluded, "I was beginning to sense that my purpose for hiking the John Muir Trail was larger and more important than I had imagined. It wasn't just about accomplishing a goal I had set. It was about shaping a better character for the second half of my life. I saw that I needed a higher level of maturity and purpose."

Smith relived a summer of backpacking in the Sierra's as he reviewed his detailed journals, translating them into "Escape to the Mountains." Much of that which Stephen chronicled in his journals I have to live vicariously, through him, having never backpacked. However, I experienced with him the sound of silence, the grandeur of the scenic vistas of the Sierra's, and the taste of blueberry cheesecake. Dozens of photos and maps illustrate the events and bring the story to life.

I was profoundly impacted by the insights he shared with his son in the chapter "Lessons Learned from the Mountains." These are the principles I would like to articulate to my own sons.

Smith is an outstanding communicator, motivator, and teacher. He introduced tips for back packing, fly fishing, and business management, while writing on the environment, goal setting, core values and family relationships. By the time I finished the final line of the last chapter of the book I felt I knew Stephen personally. This is a book I want to pass along to each of my own four sons.Read more ›


5.0 out of 5 stars

Mind (Body and Soul) over Mountains!

By Jennifer Wright on March 28, 2007

Stephen Wade Smith tells the story that so many Baby Boomer men (and their partners) can relate to, that of the myth having it "all". Creating what our culture has told us to do as "good men", have the right job, right social standing, and the list goes on. Many of us do not have the courage as Smith did, to put this on the line, and seach for self. This is not the "selfish" self, but the connected self, the one we were created by God to be. We cannot connect without knowing who we are.

As an experienced backpacker myself, who takes midlife women into the wilderness for time away and finding that connected self, I was attracted to this book written by a man. His discriptions of life on the trail are detailed and allow the reader to experience the journey at all levels. This is important, as it brings to the reader the experience of putting one's body to the "wall". This is something that, unfortunately, only athletes do in today's culture. We are information rich, and experience poor. Smith gives the reader the opportunity to see his pain as well as his exhileration as he reflects on what he has done.

What I enjoyed the most was the relationship that Smith shared with his son. Again, in our culture,where there are few rites of passage for our young men, Smith has used the wilderness for that. Brilliant! A great read for boomer men and the women who love them!


About Stephen Wade Smith, D.C.

Stephen Wade Smith, D.C., owns and manages one of the largest and most successful chiropractic practices in Southern California. A former Practice Management Consultant, he is well known for his seminar leadership and professional coaching of hundreds of chiropractic clients, his community leadership and personal involvement on the boards of academic, professional and civic organizations.

Chiropractic followed Dr. Smith's first love and first career, music. As a singer, composer and guitar player, He began playing with bands professionally at the age of fourteen. He and his wife, Judy, formed and traveled professionally for eight years with their band, Evergreen. In the late 1990s, Dr. Smith took time out from his professional life to compose and perform the music for four CDs, publishing them through his company, Emerick Publishing Company. (More details about Stephen Wade Smith's music below)

Steve Smith's music and chiropractic careers have been punctuated with frequent back pain and six major back surgeries, which have led him to serious personal reflections about the direction his life was taking and to the decision to choose a career in chiropractic. In summer of 1994, after recovering from the fifth surgery and celebrating his fortieth birthday, he fulfilled a life-long ambition to hike and backpack the John Muir Trail in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, an area he has loved since spending vacations there as a child. He accomplished his goal in five separate adventures, each with a different set of traveling companions.

  • Trip #1 was made with his son, Jared, who was sixteen years old at the time.
  • Trip #2 was an adventure with members of a group of chiropractors (which he formed) called the  Lions Share.
  • Trip #3 was with his close friend, Skip.
  • Trip #4 was a journey with his wife, Judy.
  • Trip #5 was the culmination of the summer's adventures, again with wife Judy.

Dr. Smith captured the essence of his five mountain adventures and his renewed passion and direction for life in his first book in late 2006: Escape to the Mountain: Mid-life Redemption on the John Muir Trail. 

Steve Smith continues to explore and enjoy the exquisite beauty of the Sierras in song, prose and in person. In early 2006, he and his family purchased Parchers Resort at South Lake on Bishop Creek in the Eastern Sierras. On weekends, holidays and vacations, getting away from his busy chiropractic practice, Steve and his family also enjoy spending time at their condo in Mammoth, California.


CD by Stephen Wade Smith

Every Day's a Good Day"

This is an optimistic work built on the expression that “Every day’s a good day; just try missing one.” While it may seem trite or Pollyanna-ish, it is a great philosophy to live by. In my work I have seen the amazing correlation between attitude and health, attitude and aging, attitude and happiness.

The following are a few extra liner notes about each of the songs. A couple of the songs are tongue-in-cheek. Often we confront problems and whine. I don’t think that a little whining is bad as long as we keep our sense of humor and don’t start giving power to or magnifying our challenges.

1.Every Day’s a Good Day – Have you every gotten up depressed in the morning only to realize that you have many blessings? Have you ever felt that your life and happiness would be better served if you were doing something else with it? This, I have found is a common source of dissatisfaction. In the story, “Acres of Diamonds”, we learn the power of blooming where we are planted. It is the antithesis of chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Life is good right now. Be happy and grateful.

2.The Town Greeter – This is the true story of a little lady who was absolutely miserable living her latter years in a rest home. She was said to be cranky and hard to get along with. She found solace sitting on the corner of the busy street in front of the home. Soon the community and every one driving by were acknowledging her by waving or honking. She became a community Landmark. At her passing last year there was a great out-pouring of emotion and she was greatly celebrated. This song is about the paradox of the positive power of a seemingly insignificant act.

3.Your Wedding Dance – Judy tells the story of a young woman that goes to her grandmother complaining about the trouble she is having with her new husband. Grandma gives her some good advice though it was not what she wanted to hear.

4.Every Night a Saturday Night – New Orleans French Quarter is one of the most fun yet strange places on earth. Every line in this song, I have experienced. If you have been there, so have you. It has a great accordion performance by Jim Gilman and a hot southern fiddle solo by Michael Harrison.

5.Eyes like Ireland – This is a Celtic love ballad. The song is a poem of metaphors about the features of the love of my life. Joe Perez plays the soprano sax and his work is unbelievably beautiful.

6.Jose Martinez – Almost every year for the last 11 years I have gone down to Baja to go fishing. Last year when I was down there I was reading the biography of Mother Theresa. One of the points that she makes is that once basic needs are met, materialism plays a minimal role in happiness and may even be counter to happiness. I saw this to be true and wrote this song about the happy, humble fisherman, who took me fishing and talked with pride about his sons and wife.

7.Heading Up 395 – This song was written for the "Selden Pass" CD. I did not finish it in time to put on the album. It describes the anticipation and joy of getting out of LA and going to the mountains. I produced this as a blue grass and again Michael Harrison on fiddle and Pat Cloud on banjo tear it up.

8.A Stay Home Mom – One day, while at work, I had a young woman express her pain about having to leave her children to go to work. That same day a radio talk show host was speaking to a phone question on the same subject. The next day a family member was lamenting the same topic. I knew there was a song there and Judy brings it to life.

9.Teenager – Any of you who have had a teenage son will enjoy this song. I wrote and produced it as a Delta Blues. While I may whine about the bad behavior of my sons, I am very grateful for the opportunity of being their dad. The blues harp solo on this song was performed by Tom Richmond and it is awesome.

10.Sleeping Back to Back - This is a song about a young couple that has an argument about the trivial problems of life and goes to bed not speaking to one another. It has a happy ending. You probably have lived this song and I hope you have lived the ending.

11.You Are Not to Blame – A father is confronted by the child he abandoned years ago. Guilt ridden for years, he is not sure what to say. He asks for forgiveness but the song doesn’t tell us what the response is. In the CD booklet I state that this is not my story. I have seen the story lived by others from the abandoning parent perspective and from the side of the abandoned child.

12.You’ve Changed – Judy sings about the transition that frequently occurs once a man has won the hand of the woman he loves. He goes from being Shakespeare’s Romeo to Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Cramden ( Al Bundy for the younger generation). This of course goes both ways. When I originally wrote the song it was about the negative changes that a woman can undergo. A woman can go from to Raquel to Roseanne. But Judy wasn’t exactly thrilled with it so I changed it. It’s a hoot and has a great Hammond Organ performance by Matt Reid.

13.The Love of a Woman – One day while I was driving down 395 near Lone Pine I heard a minister on the radio say “The love of a woman and the love of a child is what will civilize a man.” As I thought about this I came to the realization that it was only partially true. What really changes the heart of a man is loving a woman and loving a child. Mature, lasting love is the greatest thing on earth. It is far more meaningful than romantic love because it really does produce happiness.

Now friends, I hope that I wetted your appetite. I hope that you will order this CD.

Thank you so much for supporting my music.
May God Bless You,
Sincerely, Stephen Wade Smith