Starting as a working pianist from the age of 14, Beth Mckee’s musical identity began catching wind once Beth moved to Austin, Texas. After some time spent playing in small bars and blues bands, Beth was swooped-up by Greg “Fingers” Taylor for his backing band, The Ladyfingers, and embarked on a 1990 tour opening for Jimmy Buffett.
Later that year, Beth moved to New Orleans and joined the all-female country quartet, Evangeline. Through her previous connections with Jimmy, Evangeline signed to Buffett’s MCA Nashville imprint, Margaritaville Records. Beth released two albums with the group before setting-off to create her own musical legacy.
After a few years of silence, Beth released I’m That Way, a heartfelt tribute album of Chess Record’s Louisiana legend Bobby Charles songs. She exclaims, “Recording Bobby’s songs was a great study in songwriting and I learned a lot from it and from him.” Bobby, was so impressed with Beth’s interpretations of his songs that he asked her to sing with him on his own record, “Timeless,” which would become the last before his death.
In 2012, Beth released her first album of originals, Next to Nowhere. She enlisted a group of friends and family as backing players and toured ventured out on a tour across the US. After years of being a part of a band, Beth finally had a piece of art that was completely her own.
Her most recent released, 2015’s Sugarcane Revival, is a collection of fiery sweet songs of tenacity and purpose with a deep southern groove. Beth’s full-bodied piano drives the songs, soaring over the other instruments and showcasing Beth’s personality louder than ever.
Beth’s strong desire to give back to the communities she has visited inspired her to found a network of over 2,500 southern women, dubbed her Swamp Sistas. With their help, Beth hosts gatherings, called “La Las,” around the South. The Swamp Sista La Las are celebrations of regional music, food, and culture, and raise awareness and money for community issues and organizations important to the group.
“Like Bonnie Raitt with less of the over-polish, Lucinda Williams with her act more together. Maybe Dusty Springfield if she had a weekly honky tonk gig.” — Alex V. Cook (New Orleans Offbeat Magazine)
“… she possesses one of the most unaffected singing voices out there” — Thom Jurek (Allmusic.com)
“… an artist who is chock full of talent that she channels through a program of original tunes that portend big things for the future.” — Robert H. Cataliotti (Living Blues)
“Honky Tonk piano worthy of some Jerry Lee Lewis arson.” — L.A. Weekly (live review)
“The show is stolen however, by Beth McKee, in a class with a young Bonnie Raitt.” — Nashville Scene (live review)
“McKee’s soulfully stirring, Bonnie Raitt-recalling vocals come across as both laid-back yet honeysuckle sincere on all eleven McKee originals.” — Gary Von Tersch (Sing Out Magazine)
“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)
“McKee pulls it off magnificently … spine tingling.” — John Conquest, Third Coast Music