Oxford American interviewed Beth and Juan for their website. Read it here!
ALLMUSIC.COM critic Thom Jurek said
“Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Beth McKee came to the attention of those outside the deep south with her stellar 2009 album I’m That Way, a collection of Bobby Charles covers. Like him, she possesses one of the most unaffected singing voices out there; it takes pleasure in the act of singing itself. That’s part of what makes Next to Nowhere, her first collection of original material, so special; the other is her songs. McKee is a smoking piano, organ, and accordion player, and all are amply displayed here. The set was self-produced and Tony Battaglia‘s mix is clean and true. The band is a close-knit group of friends and family including drummer/husband Juan Perez. Subdudes founder Tommy Malone lends his slide guitar playing. McKee‘s songs effortlessly criss-cross the entire panorama of Southern music.”
Read the full review at: ALLMUSIC.COM
Swamp Sista La Las are all about music and food and this one is no exception. Co-presenting is Beta Verde Farms, LLC, a noteworthy operation that is the brain child of mother-daughter Swamp Sista team Margaret and Salem Norfleet Neff. At this La La we’re raising awareness for the “good food” movement and money for an EBT/SNAP matching fund program at the Cobblestone market. Our aim is to increase buying power for those in need of assistance at Winston-Salem’s only sustainable farmers’ market. Join us for the fun! Advance tickets available at SwampSistas.com
What really makes Next to Nowhere work are the finely crafted songs.
McKee sings in a clear, honest, unmannered style with a sweet, downhome warmth, tempered with a bluesy confidence, and she is an accomplished keyboard and accordion player. It also helps that she has a rocking band on board that is able to keep a groove in the pocket and, at the same time, keep things loose and funky.
Beth McKee proves that the blues and other roots forms are the sources from which artists can shape an exciting and seductive musical vision.
— Robert H. Cataliotti (Living Blues)
A Mississippi native and former New Orleans and Austin resident now living in Florida, singer Beth McKee has long embraced the manifold sounds of the South, whether in her major-label country act Evangeline or her disc of covers by the great Louisiana polyglot Bobby Charles. Her music sits at the edge of the swamp and the city, adding cosmopolitan polish to the regional impulses of the places she’s called home. —Grayson Currin INDY week Chapel Hill, NC
“The South in all its triumph and tragedy shimmers like heat lightning in the songs on McKee’s latest CD, “Next to Nowhere”…. McKee is a woman and performer strong and brave enough to bare her heart and offer it up, song by song, and that honesty has earned her a devoted following.”
~ Kati Schardi, Tallahassee Democrat
[An] album of confident, rootsy, adult contemporary numbers reflecting a new self- realization, like Bonnie Raitt with less of the over-polish, Lucinda Williams with her act more together…. [and] Dusty Springfield if she had a weekly honky tonk gig. Read more. . .
The South in all its triumph and tragedy shimmers like heat lightning in the songs on McKee’s latest CD, “Next to Nowhere”…. McKee is a woman and performer strong and brave enough to bare her heart and offer it up, song by song, and that honesty has earned her a devoted following. ~ Kati Schardi, Tallahassee Democrat
Next to Nowhere #5 Click to Pick on BB Kings Bluesville XM Radio channel Next to Nowhere jumps on Americana radio chart list of top 5 added. Next to Nowhere makes the charts first week out.: #11 on the EuroAmericana chart and #19 on the Freeform American Roots Chart. “Excellent! Exactly the sort of beautifully eclectic blues-Americana blend you’d expect from modern-day New Orleans… Singer-pianist Beth McKee hints at a rich variety of inspirations, with wisps of Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Nelson, Lou Ann Barton, Doug Sahm and Delbert McClinton, a loose, funky, sweetly soulful mix on an album packed with strong original material. If you’re looking for the young blood that’s reinvigorating American roots music, check out this album: this gal’s the real deal!” Slipcue.com ” Beth plays tasty piano and accordion, which is very fine, but what she does best is sing. She sings in one of those languid to lusty voices that can make or break your heart, with just the right blend of swamp and soul. There’s a musical completeness here that’s not easily accomplished by an artist–the vocals, lyrics and arrangements all flow together effortlessly, creating elegant music that speaks with a single voice.” -Jim White Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Jackson, Mississippi native McKee is a musical chef of the highest order. Her specialty is a tantalizing gumbo that refelects her deep Southern roots. And she’s assembled the finest ingredients or, in this case, musicians to deliver her spicy cuisine to the fullest.” - Eric Harabadian Detroit Live
Beth McKee has lived through the South from Mississippi to New Orleans, through Florida and Texas, and has known both the joys and hard times that are necessary to create great music. She now brings her full-hearted voice to her upcoming release “Next To Nowhere,” an all-original collection of songs carved from the struggles of real life. “It was tough to decide whether to call the record ’Next to Nowhere’ or ‘On the Verge.’ The lyrics to both songs are personal- about returning to a dream after being too afraid to pursue it for a long time and about having the gumption to try again even though the odds are long.” Returning to that dream wasn’t an easy path: band break-ups, hardship gigs, and personal struggles all delayed and distracted Beth’s emergence onto a broader scene. But some fires refuse to be extinguished. Her husband and drummer Juan was a part of that journey. “It took me awhile to dig out of my emotional rut and start thinking about getting ‘out there again. Juan had been pleading with me to record, so when I finally said “let’s do it” he was ready to go– that’s when we recorded ‘I’m That Way.’ It had more impact than we anticipated– enough to suck us back into the dream of playing for audiences that came to hear us play.” read more. . . .
Beth’s 2009 release, I’m That Way was a tribute to legendary Louisiana songwriter Bobby Charles and it garnered attention and airplay from music lovers globally. It is a soulful and rootsy collection of songs that represent Bobby’s career as a songwriter. more . . .
Beth is actively touring with her band, check her calendar.
Photography by Wayne Ebinger