Quick Six Interview and a review of Beth Hart at Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, UK
Food poisoning is no match for the power of the Blues, and last night Beth Hart recovered from a weekend under the weather to deliver a great performance at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall.
If Janis Joplin and Peter Gabriel had a baby when they were too young, and they would have been, and thus that little girl grew up knowing the feel of heartbreak and struggle, she would sound just like Beth Hart. She has a big fan base here in the UK, and the press love her as well – The Guardian has praised her “daring, brooding performances” and The Times just calls her “extraordinary.”
From the opening of “Sinner’s Prayer” through 19 more songs and lots of wise and wonderful stories, she had the crowd at hello. Including “We’re Still Living in the City,” dedicated to the husband who has been by her side through thick and thin, and a Tom Waits cover that we learn below in our exclusive Quick Six interview is a song she wish she had written herself, the night was full of superb musicianship and emotional moments. Lucky Euro Beasts will get to see Hart in the next few weeks – with the Kris Barras Band opening – who put in a fine acoustic set to start off the night.
Beth Hart took time for the Quick Six Interview
What inspires you recently?
The new Lana Del Rey record (Lust for Life) . I find her very inspirational – all of her productions are great. I know she works with a lot of great, a lot of different producers, and she’s a producer herself. It’s very soundscape, very thematic, big and beautiful, I find her voice is amazing, I’ve been listening to that a lot.
Who decides on your album cover art?
I guess I do. At the end of the day we go in and we do a big photo session, take a ton of photos for both press and the record company and we pick what we think looks the coolest and we go with that, or, I might in advance know what I want, specifically like I did on Bang Bang Boom Boom, but it is usually not that way – that was just for that record.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in the music industry at all?
There a lot of things I love – camping, outdoors; I love fishing. Maybe I’d gotten into being a fisherman? I adore gardening, I could have been a gardener, but then I love cooking, so I could have gone to chef school or something?
Morning or night person for work? and for a day off?
For work – both. I love to work first thing when I wake up. But sometimes the night can be really inspirational too, it depends on where I am at.
Days off, I’m up early. As I said, I get involved in stuff like painting, I always paint out in the garden.
How do you know when a song is finished? Do you ever go back and dig out unfinished or old songs?
Yes, yes yes, I do do that, done that forever. So how do I know when a song is finished? I just know! I don’t just write melodies and lyrics, I write all the chord changes and also parts. I write parts for bass and drums, parts for guitar, parts for string, all through the piano – its all self-explanatory. We will make a really easy demo – unless its a co-write. If I write with someone else then we will make a more specific demo, and we will put out a drum track or whatever, we will mess with stuff like that. But if I am working on my own, it’s all self-explanatory through the piano, and … I just know. It’s like when you do your hair and your makeup or you get dressed, how do you know you’re finished dressing and ready to go out? You just kind of feel it and it works, it works for you.
What song do you wish you had written?
So many… “Moonlight Sonata” would probably would be number one… it’s a Beethoven song, piano song, wonderful, phenomenal. So many Leonard Cohen songs, Tom Waits songs – “Chocolate Genius” is so killer! , Carole King and all of her incredible songwriting, James Taylor and all his incredible songwriting. Ricki Lee Jones – her whole first album – any song on her incredible first album. “Danny’s All Star Joint” is a killer song … I could go on forever!
If you could duet, vocally or instrumentally, with anyone alive or dead, who would that be?
It would have been with Leonard Cohen for sure. Even just getting his coffee for him in the studio, I’d have been very happy doing that, or Tom Waits, would love to do anything with him, love him.
What would be your perfect weekend?
Being with family, and going to the garden shop, getting stuff for gardening, going out into the dirt all day, planting things and trimming things, getting out my paints and easels, and painting all day. Then cooking a really yummy meal that night, hanging out all of us together and laughing, taking a really beautiful hot bath. Where there’s been a sunshiney day, I love that…I could go on about different kind of days that I love – there is so much to living that is so wonderful.
What’s next for you?
I start a record when I get home from this tour. December 11th I go into the studio with Rob Cavallo, he’s producing my next record. (Longtime collaborator) Joe Bonamassa and I just finished up a record with Kevin Shirley, who produced our third studio album together, and then I have two other “side” albums coming out soon, I’m learning, and working on them, now. I’m not going to say who with – they are kind of a surprise.
THE QUICK SIX INTERVIEW: POP CULTURE BEAST LETS ARTISTS CHOOSE FROM OUR STANDARD TEN QUESTIONS – WE LET THEM TELL US WHAT THEY’D LIKE YOU TO KNOW.
BETH HART TOUR DATES
FOLKESTONE LEAS HALL – THURSDAY 19th APRIL 2018
CARDIFF ST DAVIDS HALL – SATURDAY 21st APRIL 2018
CAMBRIDGE CORN EXCHANGE – TUESDAY 24th APRIL 2018
BLACKPOOL OPERA HOUSE – THURSDAY 26th APRIL 2018
HULL CITY HALL – FRIDAY 27th APRIL 2018
READING HEXAGON – MONDAY 30th APRIL 2018
PORTSMOUTH GUILDHALL – TUESDAY 1st MAY 2018
LONDON ROYAL ALBERT HALL SOLD OUT – FRIDAY 4th MAY 2018
CHELTENHAM JAZZ FESTIVAL – SATURDAY 5th MAY 2018
RUHR CONGRESS – BOCHUM GERMANY – THURSDAY 10 May 2018
ZIGGO DOME AMSTERDAM – SATURDAY 12 May 2018
PALAIS DES CONGRES PARIS – MONDAY 14 May 2018
More PCB Quick Six Interviews:
A former ABC National, Dallas and Atlanta radio personality, Martina O'Boyle is now making movies and covering culture in London, Dublin, and as far in Europe as the cheapie flights will take her, for Pop Culture Beast.