Tuesday, September 18, 2012

BETH HART: An Introduction

It's the wind over the ocean. It's the secrets in the sand.
It's all trying to tell me something.
So I'm listening.
Life is Calling ~ Lyrics by Beth Hart

Beth Hart came into the world on January 24th and grew up in Los Angeles, California. At the tender age of 4 she was playing piano and at age 18 won 13 episodes in a row on Star Search (a competitive music show) where she went on to win the show’s final competition.

During her tumultuous childhood and young adult years, Beth battled the pain of drug and alcohol addiction, the loss of a loved one to drug abuse, and lost herself as well, from her fear and mistrust of people. At one point Beth even had a serious weight issue. With the steady and reliable help of one person, her road manager Scott Guetzkow, Beth went to rehab, lost the weight, then married Scott. Through it all, writing and recording music has been Beth’s therapeutic solace.

“Music is what life sounds like.” ~ Eric Olson

Beth’s mental and physical hurdles make up her musical DNA.  She guides us on her journey with soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics, Beth paints the setting with her intense powerful sound ~ all musical tapestries spun to heal the pained soul.

With a unique, raw voice Beth can croon ballads and yet belt out angry, angsty rock numbers with screams of animal savagery. With true grit and tenacity Beth Hart, like the greats: Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, and Janis Joplin, sings from the belly of the beast. Reaching in deep she pulls out everything and smacks you upside the head, not with her heart, but with her soul.

"Music is an outburst of the soul.” ~ Frederick Delius

Beth Hart is no shrinking violet; her mesmerizing voice is a sultry growl sung with fierce ferocity backed by artistically creative musicianship. She is here and now.  A striking presence and a mighty force to be reckoned with.  Beth’s indomitable spirit gives no quarter and she expects none back.

Her band includes lead guitarist Jon Nichols, bassist Tom Lilly, and drummer Todd Wolf.

The Music:

In 1993 she recorded her first album, Beth Hart and the Ocean of Souls. Beth released her next album, Immortal with the Beth Hart Band in 1996.

Her next album, Screamin’ for My Supper, came out on Atlantic records in 1999. It featured the top 5 Adult Contemporary chart hit, "LA Song (Out of This Town).” Beth was also singing the lead role in the off-Broadway musical, "Love, Janis". A musical based on Janis Joplin's letters home to her mother.

In 2003, Leave the Light On was released and in 2005 Beth released Live at Paradiso. July 2007 found Beth releasing 37 Days in Europe July 2007. During this time Beth performed a song with Slash called "Mother Maria."

In 2011 Beth worked with guitar legend, Joe Bonamassa; first providing vocals for the track, "No Love On The Street" on his album Dust Bowl then collaborating on an entire album of blues classics entitled, Don’t Explain (See CD Review Here and Here) which was released on September 2011.

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The following 5 songs are being re-released to fans in North America. The songs were originally released from two different albums: 37 Days and My California.

Liner Notes:

37 Days: The album name refers to how long it took to record the album.

My California: On this album Beth’s Danish producer, Rune Westberg wanted her not to rely on her impressive voice but to make the songs powerfully emotional and that is exactly what she did. My California is openly poignant and emotes Beth’s hard-won battles as well as her losses.
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Good as it Gets - 37 Days: Music is upbeat and Beth gets into the groove and sings this song for all its worth.

“I have made you suffer, left you waiting in the rain
While I was chasing demons in the deserts of my pain
You know me better than the poison in my veins
So my love remember, when God forgets my name.”
My California ~ Lyrics by Beth Hart

My California – My California: I read that this song was written for her husband/manager, Scott. From the lyrics to the music, it’s hauntingly beautiful.

“...So forgive me for my weakness
I guess my faith is a little stoned
The angles cried on a Friday
The day that God walked you home.”
Sister Heroine ~ Lyrics by Beth Hart

Sister Heroine – My California: The 7th track, "Sister Heroine," is a sensitive, honest and moving tribute to her older sister who died of heroin abuse. It is an extremely powerful and sad ballad filled with much emotion, reflecting the pain, struggle and closure of losing someone. Beth honored the memory of her sister beautifully in the way she does best – with song.

NOTE: Slash, former guitarist of Guns N' Roses, guest performs on the track.

Soul Shine - 37 Days: This track is a cover of the song, "Soulshine", originally written by the Allman Brothers guitarist, Warren Haynes. While the Allman Brother’s version is fantastic, I prefer Beth’s style, the way she imbues her own brand of soul fire and sound; Beth took a well known song and made it her own,

Easy - 37 Days: A song that starts off easy but holds no punches as it gets moving. Stronvocals with telling lyrics.

Click here for: Beth Hart Website

Click here for: Beth Hart Facebook

Picture:  Copyright: Greg Watermann / BethHart.com