Grammy-nominated American singer/songwriter Beth Hart blew in on a Californian breeze back in 1999, tearing her way into the hearts of music-lovers worldwide. She makes a return visit for Bluesfest next year.
How would you describe your passion for music: is it part of your internal monologue?
Other than my love for my husband it’s my greatest passion and way of finding the truth inside
What are the songs that have touched you most deeply?
So many. Too many to name. But here are few: Strange Fruit, Good Morning Heartache, I’m a Fool for You Baby, You Can’t Always Get what You Want, Lullaby of the Leaves, Thunder Road, A Song for You, Hey Good Lookin’, Crazy, and many, many more.
What is it about singers such as Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald that originally fascinated you?
Awareness of the song; respect for the lyric and the music; their incredible tone; the ability to make the song the truth.
Your most recent release Seesaw has seen you take out a Grammy nomination for Best Blues Album. What do you love about blues?
Everything. The power, the draw, the rawness. The no apologies. The no settling for shit. The faith.
What are the subjects that you are drawn to explore in your songwriting?
The truth of the beauty and ugliness of life, and love and struggle.
Addiction is generally a very private thing. As a ‘public’ person struggling how did you find the strength to get help and to get your life back on track?
The love of my husband and family and God.
Is staying clean a daily process? Is it challenging in an industry that sometimes normalises addiction for musicians?
Yes, it’s challenging for me.
Who are the people who have been integral to the journey of your reclaiming your place centre stage?
Many. My husband Scott and manager David Wolff; Jeff Beck, Slash, Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa; my label; luck; God; no-quit mentality and all the people on my team, such as Bianca Poldermans, who work very, very hard for us all. I’ve been very very blessed to have these loving and believing people on my side.
What was different for you when you came back to making music?
Just more stories to write about.
Tell me a little about the solo album that is due for release in 2015?
It’s a beautiful and easy-listening soul and storytelling kind of an album that I’m very excited to share and perform.
What should we expect for your Bluesfest show in Byron Bay?
Energy and a lot of sweat and joy to be back.
For more information about Bluesfest 2015, the lineup and ticketing, go to bluesfest.com.au.