Beth McKee has lived through the South from Mississippi to New Orleans, through Florida, Texas and North Carolina, and has known both the joys and hard times that are necessary to create great music. With these deep southern roots, her music has elements of soul, jazz, blues, rock and roll, gospel and country. She brings her full-hearted voice, skillful piano playing and energetic accordion style to both her recordings and her shows. Her latest release “Next To Nowhere,” is an all-original collection of songs carved from the struggles of real life. With stellar reviews and radio airplay worldwide, including a nationally aired tourism commercial for her home state of Mississippi, her talents continue to be exposed to wider and wider audiences.
Her 2010 release “I’m That Way” had breathed her fire into the works of Chess Record’s Louisiana legend Bobby Charles, (Mr. Charles wrote songs like See You Later Alligator and Walking to New Orleans) and set the stage for “Next To Nowhere.” Prior to that, Beth was a member of the popular New Orleans band Evangeline who released two albums on the MCA Nashville label and enjoyed international success including touring as the opening act for Jimmy Buffett.
Beth has a strong desire to give back to the communities she visits during her tours, so she founded a network of over 2,100 southern women that she 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 that are important to the group.
The most recent Swamp Sista La La was held in June, 2013 at SECCA in Winston Salem, NC in conjunction with Cobblestone Market. Prior La Las raised money for The Eagles Nest Foundation , WMNF Community Radio in Tampa, Fl. And awareness for Indie retail in Orlando Florida’s Audubon Park Community. More La Las are in the works.
Singing and piano playing are still Beth’s primary passions and it’s easy to see that when she performs. Husband and drummer Juan Perez is part of the journey and Dan Walters fleshes out the sound on bass. Producer and friend Tony Battaglia adds grit on guitar. The band tours regularly.
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
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