Dublin-bred Smithson, 24, worked five days a week as a waitress and then as a bartender at the Field for almost three years, up until her stint as a finalist on Fox network's "American Idol."
"Carly, one day, told us, 'I can sing.' Then she sang, and she didn't stop. That was New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 2006," the pub's chef, Thomas Beatty, 31, told The Associated Press.
"I was shocked at the range of her voice," the Irish chef said. "She always sang this one song 'Black Is the Color,' a Scottish song. It would make everyone silent. Everybody would just be in awe of her."
As for her 2001 MCA Records debut, "Ultimate High," which flopped, Beatty said the pub's staff never knew about it.
"She never talked about having a record deal," he said.
Kevin Dickinson, 25, a tattoo artist at Nothing Sacred and a friend of the Smithsons, said Carly Smithson invested a lot of her own money in the album. He said lackluster sales could have been due to the album coming out soon after Sept. 11, 2001.
As for her heavily tatted-up hubby, Smithson met him at Los Angeles International Airport when a friend sent her to pick him up. After a friendship and phone romance that included Smithson traveling between California and Ireland, the pair married about three and a half years ago, Dickinson said.