“It’s not the goal that counts, it’s the path”.
Beth Hart’s path has been chaotic for many years; she has come a very long way, has experienced pain grief, physical or psychological (her sister Sharon died from an overdose), engrossed in her cells the memory of suicides (her mother’s grandfather and her father’s mother), addictions to drugs and alcohol… « Life is suffering » said Buddha.
But rather than bearing the burden of the past, California’s Silver Lake resident, a popular neighborhood in Los Angeles that has become, like Brooklyn, a chic and sophisticated suburb over the years, has chosen to drop it off to continue its journey with more lightness. She used all her stages of life to turn them into a powerful artistic engine.
What we do with the injuries is probably more important than the injuries themselves.
“The dark idea, shame, malice, welcome them to your door with a smile and invite them in”.
At the age of 48 (she was born on January 24th), Beth Hart now seems more appeased. « I am grateful every day of my life alongside my husband Scott [Guetzkow], even though I sometimes want to kill him (laughs), alongside my mother, my sister and these guys [Intended for her musicians Jon Nichols (guitar), Tom Lilly (bass, double bass), in the crew since LP “Leave The Light On” in 1984, and the colossus Bill Ransom (drums)], I am grateful in front of landscapes, when I look at flowers… Life is a miracle».
The two gigs she has just given at L’Olympia in Paris highlight the immense spectrum she is capable of : ballads at the piano or alone at the bass during the solo concert on Saturday, February 29th and a rock, soul, jazz and blues atmosphere at the same time (and sometimes in the same song!) on Sunday, March 1st.
She draws inspiration for her texts and music from her tormented past life. Everything she sings then rises in an emotional intensity driven to its climax («Mama This One’s Is For You» invariably transforms the venue into an advanced lacrymal state).
Humanity is pregnant and she is utter honesty. Each of her speeches in the preamble of songs liberates positive thoughts, thus sharing energies of high vibration. As they listen, the venue increases its vibratory frequency and as notes and vocalizations progress, this crazy energy she has in her body, as a blazing fire, develops and spreads.
Beth Hart forgets the words of “Take It Easy,” the favourite song of our Dutch friend Jacqueline, who she immediately asks to remind her of the first words. Her freshness is permanent, her complicity with the musicians is magic and beautiful to see; eye to eye contacts with Jon Nichols reveal a mutual admiration and a great complicity. The meek Bill Ransom amuses Beth with his jokes and contagious laughter. Tom Lilly’s radiant and smiling face says a lot about his happiness to be back on stage.
These ingredients must surely be seen as the secret of this collective and harmonious success.
I have had the chance to see Beth Hart a dozen times since her concert on March 6th, 2012 at the New Morning Paris and what comes out each time is the singularity of each gig, depending on the audience and the venue. A permanent renewal, a renewed freshness.
Her european tour comes to an end tonight (she will tour in the U.S. from April 15th), in a state of absolute grace, she gratifies us with an anthology «I’d rather go blind», sublimating the interpretation of Diva Etta James herself. Nothing less than that.
Sitting in front of the stage, the emotion is predominant, the morphic and energetic field at its firmament. There are moments of grace like those which belong only to the ephemeral, but which will remain forever.
The dear friend Jean-Pierre C., an absolute fan of Beth Hart (he attended to not less than 29 Beth’s gigs !), slips me in the ear at the end of the gig that he has just received a big slap in the face. I remain mouth-to-mouth, amazed, glued, « slammed to the floor » (according to the fashionable expression of my teens), amazed by so much beauty, majesty and maestria. I realize how fortunate I am to have lived this rare and unique moment.
Dear Beth Hart,
« I love you neither with my heart nor with my mind. The heart can stop, the mind can forget. I love you with my soul. The soul never stops, never forgets ».
« I keep you in my dreams because in my dreams you have no end… ».