The 2013 Nashville Film Festival sponsored a panel of music supervisors and executives from Nashville, Los Angeles, and New York yesterday here. Especially notable for his wisdom and insight was Steve Vincent, Disney Channel VP Music & Soundtracks. As for the quest to place the best fit music to picture, he believes a song ” finds its right place….”. And it’s nice to hear his perspective on the tv/flim industry’s side of the search for songs: “There’s plenty of good music out there. The companies HAVE to find it”.
Beth’s evocative lyrics, unusual melodies and rich vocal quality are enhanced by her own piano accompaniment. Arranger Jerry Kimbrough completes the picture with multi-textured orchestration. Moody and captivating! -Lisa Silver, Nashville Singer, Songwriter, Liturgical Soloist, Violinist
A wistful take on Americana! Upon listening to “Seven Songs”, I was reminded of that honest, organic sound similar to that of artists like Mary Lou Lord or Patti Smith. That being said, you are able to maintain your individuality by blending a myriad of influences and forging an eclectic take on the singer/songwriter genre. This can definitely be heard in songs like “I Forgive Myself” and “Dying Breed”. I love the twangy Emerson, Lake and Palmer-ishintro in “I Forgive Myself”. This wry little shanty then continues via crisp acoustics atop drving cadence- very catchy.I must say, though, that “Stampede” is probably my favorite song off the album. Again, another flawless intro with escalating electric lead atop the backing guitars. This song has just the type of melody that leaves an impression on first-time listeners. All in all, “Seven Songs” radiates with pastoral goodness and boasts of proficient songwriting. We here at Shut Eye would love to feature you on the third edition of our “This Is Alt Country” Compilation .-RYAN HOFFER,
Beth Sass is “sassy”! She reminds me of former teen singing star, Debbie Gibson, if she had gone Country instead of going into musical theater. Beth has a lovley, lilting voice and can hit all the high notes. The more you hear her songs, the more they grow on you. I like her better than Faith Hill, too. On “I Forgive Myself” — which is like a country version of Joan Jett’s immortal “I Hate Myself for Loving You” — it’s refreshing that she sings “I don’t even want to work it out,” rather than something ultra-lame like “take me back or I’ll die,” because lyrics like that are so played and make me want to scream and punch walls. I noticed also that her performance of this fine song recalls the great Judy Collins and I can imagine hearing Beth belt out an awesome cover version of Ian Tyson’s “Some Day Soon” (which Judy covered so definitively way back in the day). That would rule!
Beth Sass accepts. She watches, she listens, she feels, she accepts. Based on her acceptance, she moves on, or not, with no blaming or whining. She is respectfully honest with whomever might be listening…especially herself. Her songs are tightly crafted narratives, movies that will necessarily play differently in your imagination than in hers. She accepts that too. -JERRY KIMBROUGH, PRODUCER, ARRANGER, ENGINEER, SESSION GUITATIST
Beth Sass is an American original, taking the bricolage of the every day and crafting it into something so deep and penetrating that it becomes almost sacred. Her voice, which has always been an amazing instrument, now has the texture of time and the timbre of wisdom — while lulling you into thinking you’re listening to a pop song. Her lyrics are stark and unusual (“tomorrow ripped me from your mouth”; “I should find a place where someone understands/that I am who I am/but I don’t want to work that hard”(!)) — the pure drop of economy. And have three chords and the truth ever been so brilliantly demonstrated than on the chorus “Knowing Me”? This is music that defies labels, crosses in and out of styles effortlessly, is beholden to no other artist. But somehow you know you’ve heard it before — in the deep recesses of your heart that you, yourself, could never turn into song. Fortunately, Beth Sass has. John Hamilton, Pastor, First Congregational Church; musician, writer, jongleur
If you have the guts to listen to Knowing Me by Beth Sass be prepared to confront some introspection. Her music isn’t for the shallow or fearful. She’s both musically and lyrically deep and expects the same from her listener. Her melodies and images will haunt you after you’ve turned the music off. If you are open, she’ll bring you to tears, she’ll make you examine your life and give you reason to celebrate your survival. -Robyn Flans, Los Angeles.
Up until recently, I hadn’t really gotten excited about Adele. But my daughter, who purchases hundreds of downloads, asked me to listen to Turning Tables. There’s something humbling about the link from the past to the future coming through a child that way. As a keyboard player, a singer, and a songwriter, I was pulled in to and enveloped by the dark and rich mood immediately. The chord changes that the piano defines with the arpeggios, the room for her vocal winds and turns and the conviction of the writing and performance reminds me of the fuel from feeling within a relationship that originally inspired me to start this whole process. I love being reminded of my origins and the wide open future it suggests. I am impressed that the team surrounding Adele helped capture and bring this song to fruition. Bravo! Off to write!
My students’ recital last weekend featured an especially brave personal victory for one of my kids. Andy (not real name) has Asperger’s (http://www.aspergers.com/).
He stumbled into my school several months ago courtesy of a frazzled and worried mother, who, up til that point, had only a chaotic and out-of-control almost 7 year old. Anders attends public school, where, despite medication, he misses all/most social cues and is seen as a hyperactive disruptive force. His ONLY successful outlet: solo intensive genius-level lego play.
But with me, in his piano lesson, he suddenly and instantly morphed into a calm maestro. He focused. He was able to read music from the minute I put it in front of him. There was literally no learning curve. What takes most children months and months to stumble through took him literally seconds. Before we knew it, he was playing Hanon exercises with both hands almost instantly. I often wept at his lesson…witnessing him angelically lit up from inside by his accomplishment.
When it was time for the group recital, no one was more prepared MUSICALLY than Anders. But the night of the recital, when all my students gathered in my room to wait their turn, he lost it. He clowned, he drooled, he threw himself down, he ate garbage, and did whatever he could do generate a response from the other children, even if disgust or horror or anger. Some laughed with him. I eventually had to ask him mother to restrain him and have him wait in a separate room for his turn. He was crushed that he had to go off with her.
As she left to isolate him from the other children, I asked her what the plan was if he should act out on stage. She thought for a minute and said proudly, “I want you to explain to the audience, before he plays, when you call him up, that he has Asperger’s and how miraculous his music has been for him. I will stand on the stage and take him off, if need be.”
So, after a bunch of perfectly well-behaved little folk, it was his turn. I announced him. Quiet now, he and his mother walked up to the stage together. He solemnly took his seat at the piano. I did as the mother requested and briefed the audience about how much of a risk bringing Andy onto the stage was that night, but how music was an instant, if not one of the only wins in his life so far, and how it was crucial to give him the chance to perform. Audience members nodded in understanding. He nodded that he was ready.
We all held our breath……… and he played beautifully. He was absolutely perfect. He earned a tremendous round of applause.
I am so moved by his heartfelt relationship to his music. May he always find comfort and pride there.