Beth Marie Anderson – Christmas With You
By: Jamie Steinberg
Q) How would you describe your sound?
A: I consider myself to be a Folk/Soul Singer-Songwriter. At the heart of my sound I am a storyteller driven by an acoustic sound, my vocals are smooth, soulful and dynamic, which allow me to explore and mix different genres like Soul, Americana, Folk, Country and Jazz. Think a mix of Allison Krauss, Janis Joplin and K.D. Lang.
Q) Who are some of your musical influences?
A: Eva Cassidy, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, The Eagles, Martina McBride, Elvis, Allison Krauss, Rita McNiel, Grace Potter, K.D Lang, Kacey Musgraves, Carolyn Dawn Johnson…My list could go on and on!
Q) Talk about the story behind your new song “Tropical Christmas.”
A: “Tropical Christmas” is such a fun song to sing and imagine you are on the beach in the sun for Christmas! I live on Vancouver Island in BC, Canada and we don’t really get snow in the winter but it’s usually rainy and cold! My co-writer Robin Ruddy and I were talking about how different it would be to get away somewhere hot for Christmas and not worry about all the traditions, hustle and bustle that come with the holidays. This song fell out in less than three hours and it’s still one of my favorites and certainly a fan favorite with the crowds at my Christmas Shows.
Q) What do you think it is about the song that fans connect to?
A: I think the groove is catchy, it has a certain vibe about the melody that makes you smile and sway along with the music and my fans have told me they love the lyrics and sentiment behind the song. It’s an all-around feel good song that leaves you dreaming about paradise in the winter time.
Q) What is your song writing process? Do you need music before you can create lyrics?
A: It’s different every time! Sometimes the mood strikes and I’ll get a flood of lyrics that pour out of me and other times it’s a melody line and sometimes it’s both! I don’t need music before lyrics, but the art of songwriting to me is to craft both together seamlessly as if they were meant for each other inside that exact phrasing. Every song is different and requires a different approach, which I love! It keeps me on my toes, allowing the song to guide me verses trying to force something that might not fit.
Q) How much of hand do you have in the production of your music?
A: Yes, I have always had a hand in the production of my music, but even more so with this Christmas album. My first three albums in Nashville were made up of original songs, which I conveyed to the producer and session players. I also stayed with the mix engineer for most of the mixing process to weigh in on what instruments and licks I would like to use and have stand out. For this Christmas album, I co-produced with JUNO/CCMA nominated Jordan Honsinger and we collaborated on every demo until I felt my vision was coming through. I spoke in depth with the session players to ensure the right sound was being captured and worked with Jordan to find specialty instruments to bring the sound to life. I always do my own background harmonies and stacks which is a big part of production.
Q) What is it about the Christmas season that made you want to create a holiday album?
A: I love everything about Christmas! The lights, food, family, weather, music, movies and so much more – there’s nothing I don’t like! I have been writing Christmas music since 2011 and now have fifteen holiday originals. After selling out four consecutive Christmas concerts and requests from my fans to have a holiday album, I knew it was time to record!
Q) What songs off your Christmas With You album are you looking forward to performing live?
A: I love performing them all live! I especially love performing “Reindeer Reunion,” “Tropical Christmas,” “Christmas With You” and “Same Sky!” Some are lively and upbeat and others are a joy to perform because I can get into the soulful melody and lyrics. After playing nine shows this Christmas season, I can honestly say that I love performing every song on this album!
Q) What do you hope listeners take away from listening to your new album as a whole?
A: I hope they are inspired with the Christmas spirit and that the lyrics really struck a chord inside their hearts. I hope listeners enjoy my vocal stylings and want to press repeat on their playlist!
Q) Where are some of your favorite places to perform and what makes those locations so significant to you?
A: I love performing in my hometown of Qualicum Beach/Parksville because there are so many amazing people who have supported me from day one and still support me four albums later! I love showcasing how much I’ve grown and improved so they can feel proud of me! I love performing at the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville because a lot of great artists have played there and you can feel the magic and respect in the air.
Q) With the holiday approaching, what are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
A: Some of my favorite traditions are decorating the tree, drinking hot drinks by the fire, listening to old time music like Bing Crosby and Rita McNiel and baking and cooking with my family. On Christmas we always open our stockings and then make a big breakfast together. After breakfast we open presents and get the turkey in the oven so we can spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing. Some years on the 26th we would go as a family to the movies to check out the hottest box office success.
Q) Who would you most like to collaborate with on a song in the future?
A: I would love to write with Kacey Musgraves, Gordie Sampson, Hillary Lindsay or Steven Lee Olsen one day! The way their minds work to create hit songs is really fascinating. For performance, I would love to sing with Allison Krauss, Josh Groban, Grace Potter, Kelly Clarkson and oh this list could go on and on! Amazing vocal chops get me every time.
Q) What album/band are you currently listening to and why do you dig them?
A: I’ve been big into Grace Potter and Pentatonix for the last few years. They both have such a unique styles and use their voices to create a really amazing experience for my listening pleasure. Grace Potter is raw, her songwriting is honest and soulful and her voice is phenomenal. Check out her album The Lion, The Beast, The Beat. Pentatonix is an Acapella group that sounds nothing like Acapella. Their voice control and creativity win the cake every time. I love their Christmas albums. I usually listen on repeat!
Q) You are a part of social media. Why is that such an important way for you to connect with your fans?
A: Social media is so important these days! I have fans all over the world who love watching Live Streams from Facebook or seeing what I’m up to on Twitter or Instagram. It’s an opportunity to share with a larger audience my music, my personality, my songwriting and stay in touch with everyone no matter the distance. While sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the platforms, I really love connecting with my fan base on social media, especially because life is so busy it’s hard to meet up and catch up in person.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who is a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A: Thank you! The journey is long, but your support is what keeps me going! Cheesy, but so true. Everyone who makes an effort to come to a concert, send Facebook messages, comment on posts, encourage me when I need it and buys my albums, etc. – it all means the world to me and I wouldn’t be able to do it without you all. Thank you for loving my creations and believing in me!