Soulful singer comes to Steve’s Guitars tonight
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
CARBONDALE, Colorado ” “You know how it is, in a concert, who you feel like they’re talking to you?” asked Beth Wood, over the phone.
She certainly does. Without an experience like that, she might not be singing at Steve’s ” or anywhere ” tonight.
It was 12 years ago, and Wood was in her mid-twenties. She had always loved music and played instruments and sang since she was in a little girl in Lubbock, Texas. But in college, she had lost her musical way a bit, veered off into literature and later moved to Austin. There, she did writing gigs, sang some occasional backup, but wasn’t really going for music. She hadn’t taken the leap.
Then she got a message.
She was at a big, sprawling music tour and watching one of her favorites, Rickie Lee Jones.
“You’re in the wrong taxi, white girl,” Jones kept singing, as if right to Wood.
That night, Wood dreamt she was in New York, and her cabbie repeated the words.
“Oh, yeah, OK, I guess I am in the wrong taxi,” she remembered thinking. “If I don’t jump off this diving board right now, it’s never going to happen.”
A few months later, she hightailed it out of Austin.
After throwing everything she owned into her car, she ended up in Brevard, N.C., her old college town. While Austin was busting full of musical competition, North Carolina provided a more intimate stage. Wood took her guitar and newly-found knack for songwriting and started to discover places to play, even began to work with a management company. As the years went on, she traveled around, living in Dallas with her beau, Marty Ochs, and eventually getting hitched and moving to Lyons with him. All this while, she hasn’t backed off of doing what she loves ” though it blows her mind she’s been a professional musician for more than a decade.
She also can’t imagine making her living any other way.
“I feel like this is what I’m meant to be doing,” she said.
But that doesn’t mean she can explain exactly what she’s doing.
On her web site, there is a sampling on her most recent tunes. They take turns being folksy (“Beachcomber’s Daughter”), bluesy (“Suitcases”) and kind of Nashville (“Funeral Day”). They all tell these intricate tales, some which are based on real things, some that are completely made up. They all have her smooth, slightly twangy voice accompanied by an acoustic assortment of instruments. Beyond that, though, they’re hard to lump together. Even Wood has a little difficulty describing one of her shows.
“It’s kind all over the map stylistically,” she said. “Basically, I’ll just be telling stories and playing songs.”
When she first started out, she was just playing because she loved it, she explained. The older she gets, though, the more interested she is in energy. Intimate settings are what she likes best, because then she can feel the energy from the audience and give them some of her own. She didn’t want to sound all new-agey, but for her, it’s always energizing to see someone do exactly what they love to do. That’s the kind of exchange she’s looking for tonight.
“That’s the ultimate goal, to transmit the joy I get from singing,” she said. “To me, there’s a bigger purpose.”
And even through the phone line, it was obvious she was smiling.
Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111
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