Beth Marie Anderson
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Beth Marie Anderson

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | SELF | AFM

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2009
Solo Country Folk

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"Achieving her goals: Country songstress tells high school students to follow dreams"

If there is one thing aspiring country songstress Beth Marie Anderson has learned while chasing dreams of stardom, it’s that no goal is too lofty.

“It doesn’t matter if you come from a super tiny town and it doesn’t matter how big your dreams are, if you take little baby steps towards them you can make them a reality,” said the 26-year-old.

The Qualicum Beach native stopped in at Woodlands Secondary last week as part of a tour to share her country music journey and inspire teens to follow their dreams.

Anderson has just returned home from Nashville, the country music capital of the U.S., where she said she has been performing and co-writing songs with artists like Patricia Conroy and Emerson Drive.

She has also just released a second and a more “gritty” country-rock album, Let it Go.

There are still big dreams to pursue – including singing at the Grand Ole Opry – but the songstress said she has come a long way from her start six years ago and wanted to share the experience with students. It isn’t always easy to know where to start, she said.

For Anderson, it was believing in herself.

She grew up fascinated by music and loved singing along to harmonies, but as an overweight and bullied teenager a career seemed unreachable. She “just wanted to hide” in the shadows than share her talent, Anderson said.

It wasn’t until the eleventh grade that Anderson decided to sing in front of a small group of girls. She insisted they keep their backs turned as she belted out a tune. It was the first time she performed and shared her hopes for a music career out loud and no one booed or judged, she said.

“I had big dreams to an outsider. I was overweight and had no singing lessons – they were probably thinking ‘good luck,” she said. “[But because of their response], my confidence grew a bit.”

Anderson started believing in herself and working toward her dream. At 18 she started taking voice lessons and after four years of studies at Vancouver Island University, she was accepted to Victoria’s Conservatory of Music.

It wasn’t long after, she decided to take her journey to Nashville. She worked two or three jobs to record music and handed out business cards “like crazy” to people in the music business.

“You just start somewhere ... and keep following your dreams on a forward path, you can achieve a lot of different things,” she said.

The message came over loud and clear for Woodlands Secondary student Saffron Hall-Weber, who said she also liked hearing that a singer from a small community on Vancouver Island could make inroads in the country music scene.

“A lot of the singers you hear about [seem] to start somewhere larger,” she said.

For more information, and upcoming performance dates, please visit www.bethanderson.com. - Tamara Cunningham - Nanaimo News Bulletin


"Beth Marie Anderson releases impressive 'Let It Go'"

Beth Marie Anderson is a Canadian country/pop singer-songwriter who has recorded both her albums (Open Road and Let it Go) in Nashville. Her most recent album, Let It Go, is a full-flowering of her undeniable talent, an album of deeply-felt, perfectly chiseled songs that attest to Beth Marie’s assured place in the future of authentic North American music.

Underground Nashville recently caught up with Beth Marie Anderson for this brief interview:

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: Why did you create Let It Go at this time in your career? What are you trying to communicate through this particular album?

BETH MARIE ANDERSON: I have been writing for three years—since my first album—and I finally felt like I had captured my growth as a songwriter and vocalist in these songs. This album is all about songwriting, for me. This collection of songs is my way of showcasing how my musical style and approach to both songwriting and vocals are changing.

UN: Why do you feel compelled to write, sing, and record music?

BMA: There is some creative spark that flows through my veins, I can’t help but do something with it. At first it was piano, then flute, then piano again, then singing, now songwriting and recording. It’s an evolving process that never ends and I can’t seem to get enough. I live for creating music and love it when folks can identify with my songs.

UN: What are your deepest hopes for Let It Go?

BMA: My deepest hopes for this album would be that the songs would touch as many lives as possible with the words and music. Sure, I’d love to sell a bunch of copies or have my songs on the radio. But my desire is to be a part of someone else’s life through my music, and help create and capture memories through the lyrics.

For more about Beth Marie Anderson and to view the “Open Road” video, please visit:
http://bethanderson.ca/ - Dave Carew


"Q and A with Beth Marie Anderson"

Beth Marie Anderson is a talented Canadian country artist that has been building a strong following of fans that have fallen in love with both her original songs and her covers. Take a look at this interview that offers some insight into her music.

BS: How long have you been making your own music?

BMA: Well I started writing my own poems and lyrics from a young age, and played the piano from a young age as well, but started putting my words and music together in 2007, so six years now! In 2010 I decided to take my love for writing and creating music to a more commercial level.

BS: What is it that you love about country music?

BMA: There are so many different reasons that I love country music! Where to start…. hmmm… Firstly, I love how the music tells a story and gives you images, characters and almost every song you can create a movie inside your head with the lyrics. Country music is so easy to relate to because you can talk about real life situations, sometimes cheeky – sometimes sad, and it really resonates with you.

I love the instruments – the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, organ, harmonica, steel guitar etc. The instruments bring everything to life and are just as important to the story as the lyrics are. Lastly, I love the fans and people involved with Country music! They are so loyal and kind, everyone roots for each other and we all get that each artist is talented and has different things they bring to the table. That’s why there is such a family feel to country music – we all have each other’s backs

BS: What moment can you pinpoint as the one that made you want to make music or country music more specifically?

BMA: There was this one moment when I was writing a song on the piano and I played it for my friend and she almost started crying and said that she could relate to exactly what I wrote, like I wrote the song for her. At that time my lyrics were simple and unrefined and I thought to myself, ‘if I work at this really hard, maybe one day I can make thousands of people feel that way’, and I started my musical journey.

When I thought how can I pair my big voice and rich lyrics and fit inside a genre … well I got my answer listening to Lee Ann Rimes, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton etc. Real story telling, a raw emotional voice and the power to let the lyrics speak for themselves are exactly what country music is all about.

BS: Now from what I understand you have a long history already with music. Can you walk us through what all-different paths you have taken in music up to this point?

BMA: Wow, this will be a long answer!! Well, when I was about 6 years old I took piano lessons because my big sister took piano lessons and I wanted to be just like her. The only problem was that I wanted to make my own melodies and re-write the ‘classic’ pieces I was supposed to be learning, so I quit piano after a few years on recommendation from my teacher that my parents were ‘waisting their money and her time’. Rightfully so, all I wanted to do was learn disney songs and make up my own music!

In grade 6 I joined our school band and played the flute until grade 11 while still playing the piano and learning songs by ear. In my grade 11 year I decided to quit flute lessons and decided that I wanted to learn how to sing! I got a vocal coach and took vocal lessons for 4 years from an amazing teacher named Sharon Wishart (who taught Diana Krall in her early days) and piano lessons from her daughter Laura Wishart. During those 4 years studying voice I had a lead role in a broadway musical called ‘Honk Jr’, performed in many musical theatre shows and sung with the Vancouver Island Opera in Die Federmaus & Le Boheme and started to write my own material and teach myself how to play the guitar.

In 2008-2009 I attended the Victoria Conservatory of Music for Classical voice and received a certificate in Music Foundations and was on the Deans Honor Roll. After school in 2009 I left for Nashville after feeling I had written enough material for an album. I secured investors, booked a recording studio, booked a few co-writes and off I went!

After releasing my first album in 2010, the last few years have been such a blessing! I had the opportunity to open for major Canadian country music acts such as Johnny Reid, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Jessie Ferrell, Michelle Wright (etc.), I released two singles and a Christmas single in 2011/2012 and have been working on an extensive catalogue of songs that I’ve been writing/ co-writing for the past 3 years with my co-writers all over the world!

BS: What musicians have inspired you musically?

BMA: I’ve been inspired by so many amazing talents over the years such as Whitney Houston, Le Ann Rimes, Martina McBride, Dolly Parton, Allison Krause, The Backstreet Boys, and Josh Groben to name a few. Each person I just mentioned helped shape me in different ways. Whitney Houston taught me soul, the Backstreet Boys taught me how to sing harmony and Martina McBride taught me how to sing with conviction. Seeing the artists I grew up listening to evolve and explore their own talents – that’s what inspires me.

BS: What do you think is the biggest challenge musicians face today?

BMA: I think that everyone wants to have music for free, and that’s a near impossible feat to achieve. You want to make your fans happy and you want to give back, but as much as it’s all about the music – you also want to be able to pay the bills at the end of the day. Speaking as an Independent Artist, my biggest challenge is making in an income with music alone and still being able to put out new material in a timely manner.

BS: What do you feel was your biggest obstacle to get to where you are today?

BMA: I think the hardest thing was to develop a thick skin and trust my instincts. If you believe in yourself and you decide nothing is going to come between you and your dream – then you will achieve what you set out to achieve. The minute you start believing what the naysayers say and you second-guess yourself, then you’re setting yourself up for failure.

BS: In 2010, you released an album “Open Road” what was creating that album like for you?

BMA: When I was a little girl, I dreamed about what I would write on my thank-you section every time I bought a new CD. Creating my first album made me feel like I was on the right path to something bigger than myself, bigger than what I had ever done before. ‘Open Road’ was really special, I wrote/co-wrote 8 of the 10 tracks on the album and was able to have a say in every aspect of the recording process. It was like putting everything I’ve ever worked towards all in one little package.

BS: Do you have a favorite song off of the album, and why?

BMA: Oh No, I hate this question! I can’t pick, they are all my babies! This album is so personal and each song means something special to me, but my favourites would have to be ‘No Yellow Brick Road’, ‘Right Here With Me’, ‘Fallen Angel’ & ‘Open Road’.

BS: You released a music video for the title track Open Road, What is the story behind the song?

BMA: When I started writing for this album it had a lot of love songs, and songs about growing up and leaving where you were raised, coming home and seeing things through a different set of eyes – so when we started writing Open Road it was kind of me saying ‘ it’s taken me a really long time to get here and to figure out where I belong, but now that I’ve found it there’s nothing standing in my way and there is no slowing me down because I’ve got endless opportunities ahead of me’. Once we realized we were writing almost an anthem/empowerment song it just created itself and Open Road was born!

BS: When can fans get a chance to see you play live?

BMA: I have a few shows being scheduled in BC for the summer, but hoping to be doing a North American tour in the fall/winter of this year, and hopefully a full touring schedule for 2014! If you keep an eye on my website www.bethmarieanderson.com I will keep everyone up to date.

BS: Any plans you can share with us for 2013?

BMA: There are so many exciting things happening for 2013!!

Firstly, I have been signed to a booking agency called ‘Firebones’ which I’m very excited about! We are planning tour dates for 2013 and 2014 at this time and I’m excited to get out on the road

Secondly, I’ll be releasing a brand new single in the summer, and Instead of releasing just one album, I am releasing a 7 song EP in September of 2013 – followed by a tour.

In 2014 I will release another 6/7 song EP – followed by another tour! The idea is that I’m always releasing new music so my fans have something new to look forward to!

Another cool project I’m working on is my online store through my website so folks who can’t make a tour date can purchase everything we will be selling at my live show – right online!

There’s a lot more brewing and exciting bits of news that I’ll be announcing anytime, so make sure to check my website and stay in touch

BS: Anything else you would like to say to your fans?

BMA: THANK YOU. Thanks for listening to my music & for sharing my songs, without you guys this wouldn’t be worth doing. Thanks for believing in me & having my back I created my new website with YOU in mind because I want to stay connected with you! Look inside my world through pictures, video, twitter, Facebook, pinterest and all those awesome sites all from one place! www.bethmarieanderson.com Be sure to always check in and say hi! <3 Beth - BAREBONES ENTERTAINMENT


"Beth Marie Anderson up for Music Award"

Beth Marie Anderson will be in Victoria later this month for the 2012 Vancouver Island Music Awards (VIMA). Anderson was nominated in the Song of the Year Award category for Fallen Angel.

The aspiring country singer said it is the first time she has submitted her work for an award and said she is thrilled to be nominated.

“It pretty cool. It is nice to be recognized for your work. It was one of the first songs I ever wrote” she said.

She confessed she is excited but nervous as well because there are 10 nominees in the category. She added that the category is the only one recognized by the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) which pays royalties to creators and publishers of music and also fosters Canadian music creation.

The VIMA awards ceremony takes place April 21 in Victoria and Anderson said it will be a great opportunity to network with people in the industry and to meet new musicians. Anderson said some of the featured nominees including herself performed last month in Victoria.

Anderson is one of just a few musicians from the mid-island nominated and she said she is excited to find out what the outcome will be.

“It would be nice to say you won a music award…to have something behind you that solidifies your status as a musician. I have worked hard for it. I hope I win. If I lose I won’t be really sad,” she admitted.

She said she wrote Fallen Angel in 2006 but the meaning of it has changed since she first recorded it.

“The song is about falling in love for the first time. When I originally wrote the song I played it on the piano for my boyfriend. Then I went to Nashville for five days. I was just starting out and I booked a studio and recorded the song and I thought it sounded so awesome. When I cam back I ended up breaking up with my boyfriend and then I wrote a bunch of break up songs,” she recalled.

Anderson said eventually she re-recorded it and then the song took on a whole new meaning.

“I related it to my friends and family and everything I have gone through. Basically it is about my support system. My friends call it a Beth Classic.”

The emerging country artist has been working hard to gain some ground in the thriving music industry of Nashville, Tennessee. She is now working on a plan to make Nashville her permanent home.

Her first trip to the country music capital happened just over five years ago and since then hasn’t looked back.

Along with recording her music she also attended a songwriting course with the Nashville Songwriter Association International.

The experience of working with some of the world’s best in the business inspired her to write five new songs in a matter of days, all of which can be found on her album Open Road which was released in 2010 with 10 original tracks.

The KSS grad admitted that she loves the city filled with songwriters and music producers and will continue to work hard saving up enough money so she can go back and hang out in the city and continue to learn the ropes.

When Anderson records her next CD she agreed she wants to do it justice and that will take some money. For now she is hoping her fans will check out her Facebook page and give her a thumbs up.

“I need to get fans on my Facebook page because record labels look there and you have to have a lot of likes.”

She added you can also get free music downloads on her Facebook page. You can also follow her journey through her website www.bethanderson.ca, Myspace and Twitter. - PQB News


"Hitting the Open Road"

By David Morrison
The day before I interviewed delightful Beth Marie Anderson for this piece, I happened upon a magazine Q&A with Ugly Betty actress, America Ferrera. When asked ‘Has playing Betty given you a different perspective on the role beauty plays in a woman’s life?’ Ferrera answered: “Definitely. In Hollywood there’s a certain role that women fill, and it’s usually to be eye candy. I’m pretty lucky that I’ve gotten to play parts that ask what a woman has to offer if she’s not perfect and beautiful.” Another such role was as Ana Garcia in Real Women Have Curves (2002), a movie in which the issues of self-image and societal expectations of how women should look and ‘be’ are raised.

Of course, unavoidably tied up in these conformist expectations are cruel prejudices. A classic high profile example of this would be Susan Boyle: before she opened her mouth to sing and wow the world, the studio audience sniggered and rolled their eyes at how frumpy and eccentric she appeared. Then 20 seconds into that dazzling debut performance, Britain’s Got Talent co-host, Ant
McPartlin, turned to the camera to say: “You didn’t expect that, did you? Did you? No!”

Why on earth shouldn’t we have expected that? Because this kind of prejudging cynicism is in all of us – in your community and in mine – as it’s a flaw of our species. That’s why. And 22-year old Qualicum Beach country singer Anderson is one who has been subjected to it.
First and foremost, as clearly exhibited on her debut CD release, Open Road (Independent, 2010), Anderson is a very good singer indeed. Her voice is clear, pure and powerful. It is equally comfortable delivering epic ballads (Fallen Angel), swaggering country-rock (Love Don’t Even Know My Name), delicate bluegrass (No Yellow Brick Road) or even tackling a challenging classic like Unchained Melody. Yet in the past, in the minds of some, this has not been enough.

This young lady is open about the battle she has had with her weight, to which end she has shed an inspiring 80+lb in the last couple of years. Back in May 2008 when, for this publication, I covered the Mosaic Youth Showcase at which a larger Anderson performed, she was singing mainly arias and show tunes.

“I was completely comfortable with who I was,” she recalls. “When I was doing my classical and musical theatre and such, I had no problem stepping on a stage because I knew that when I opened my mouth people could hear that I can sing. But when I started doing country music, no one would take me seriously. And once I tried out for a part in musical theatre, and I know they wanted
my voice and abilities, but they gave it to a girl with less of a range (Anderson’s is 3.5 octaves) who was much smaller. I got angry and thought: ‘Why? I’m just as good!’”

Isn’t it interesting how double standards within the prejudices examined here are such that it is deemed acceptable or ‘normal’ for opera singers to be large people – Montserrat Caballe, for example – but not, as in this instance, for country singers to
be? To my mind there is as much logic to this as there is to the notion that wearing a suit makes a person better at a job than if they did not wear one. Anyway, driven by her annoyance at this rejection, Anderson made the decision to get serious about losing weight.
“I thought: ‘If I’m going to be able to get the roles I want I’m going to have to change something,’” she continues. “Also, I started thinking about all the money I might save on clothes. So it started with my anger at not getting the part, then it was more about my health, then it was more just about me. Now people can see that I’m real, and that you don’t have to be as skinny as Taylor Swift, but I definitely think it’s very wrong that you can be super-talented and not be taken seriously.”

With her Nashville-crafted CD now out and gaining attention from country radio, critics and fans alike, I’d say Anderson is having the last laugh at such as whoever was responsible for casting that part. Everything is going just great for her in 2010, which is all the more remarkable when considering she only decided to record an album last August. Moreover, she only started singing seriously five years ago. Why, though, when she’d spent most of that time immersed in musical theatre and operatic material, did she suddenly make the switch to country music?

“Well, I grew up listening to country like Patsy Cline, a lot of Jim Reeves and Diamond Rio,” Anderson explains. “Country always felt the most comfortable to me because it tells stories, and with country there’s often a twist in the story at the end of the song, which I really like. When I was little I wrote poems, so listened to country songs to get ideas for poems. Little did I know that later on they would turn into my own songs!”

And little did Anderson also know that she’d end up in Nashville, the world centre of the genre, collaborating with seasoned songwriting and production professionals like singer-songwriter Marc-Alan Barnette, who has written for Shelby Lynne and shared stages with the ilk of Charlie Daniels and some dude named Garth Brooks. Not exactly a bad way to launch a career, is it?

The result is Open Road, the title a metaphor for setting out on the path of discovery that is Anderson’s new life in music. The album is peppered with songs relating to the experience of getting out there, her lyrics loaded with excited anticipation at what may lay ahead: I’ve got new beginnings / I’ve got second chances / I’ve got new horizons just waiting for me (New Life). It’s a confident and immaculately produced and performed debut referencing Coombs in the touching tribute to Anderson’s sister, Erin (Right Here With Me), adding a lovely downhome touch to its universal pop-country appeal.

The next rung for Anderson comes on July 1 when she plays an hour’s set opening for Canadian rock legends Trooper as part of the Parksville Canada Day celebrations in Community Beach Park. You could say her excitement is tangible:

“I’m so stoked! I love big crowds!” she gushes. “But if you’d have told me when I was in Grade 10 I’d end up singing in front of thousands of people I wouldn’t have believed you because, in Family Studies class, I used to make people turn around in their seats to sing to them, so nobody could look at me as I would be so nervous.”
My, how things have changed, and will continue to change, for Beth Marie Anderson. If only human attitudes to ‘judging books by their covers’ could dramatically change accordingly, so people of all shapes and sizes would be viewed not on how we feel they should look, but on the joy they bring to the world. Oh well, I guess we can dream... ~

For further information about Beth Marie Anderson, please visit www.bethanderson.ca and www.myspace.com/bethmarieanderson - David Morrison - The Beacon


"Parksville Star will play Filberg"

The Filberg Festival will be showcasing the best in Canadian arts, crafts and music July 31 to August 3.

The festival is the major fundraiser for the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park and Wendy Sears, one of the producers, said they try to keep the festival fresh so it can continue to sustain its longevity and provide the much-needed funds to keep the park and its heritage buildings in good repair.

Sears said for 33 years the festival has been known for its great entertainment and this year they want to exceed the public’s expectations, so they added a Friday evening performance featuring the Cowboy Junkies on July 31.

“We thought we would try an evening concert to bring in some more funds,” she said.

Cowboy Junkies were formed in Toronto in 1985 by siblings Michael Timmins, Margo Timmins, Peter Timmins and friend Alan Anton.

The alternative country/blues/folk rock band are best known for the seminal album, The Trinity Session.

Opening for the Cowboy Junkies will be The Lion, The Bear, The Fox.

Sears said the festival will clear the grounds at 6 p.m. and re-open at 7 p.m. with a performance from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

A limited number of tickets priced at $39 for festival seating are available on-line only for the special evening concert (www.filbergfestival.com/tickets).

For those who can’t make the Friday night concert, there is a stellar musical line-up for the actual festival which includes Parksville’s queen of country Beth Marie Anderson.

She will perform an acoustic set with another guitar player on Monday, August 3 from 12-1 p.m. on the Garden Stage.

“I’m super excited to be playing the festival,” she said.

Anderson just returned from Nashville’s CMA Fan Fair and she couldn’t be happier with the results

“I was selected as the only Canadian Emerging Artist at the 2015 CMA Fan Fair June 11-14.”

For four days she greeted fans and estimates about 2,000 people got autographs, pictures and a chat with her.

During the event she also met some of her childhood icons.

“I met Jamie O’Neal, Phil Vasser, Brenda Lee, Megan Linsey (the voice) Lynn Anderson and more. They were so supportive of emerging artists and just had wonderful things to say.”

Now that Anderson is back home she is counting on her fan base here to step up and support a project she hopes will get her nominated for a (BC) Country Music Award (BCCMA). - PQB News, Brenda Gough


Discography

- Let it Go - Album 2013

- Merry Christmas To Me - Single 2012

- Who's Going Home With Who - Single 2012

- Choose Me - Single 2011

- Open Road - Album 2010

Photos

Bio

Originally from Vancouver Island, Canada, Country Singer/Songwriter Beth Marie Anderson has accomplished much in her young years.  She has had several of her songs cut by artists all over North America, including Grand Ole Opry Performer Sherry Lynn, and has had song holds with major label artists including LeAnn Rimes & Sarah Evans.  Beth has recorded two albums in Nashville and was nominated for multiple awards in B.C including “Song of The Year” at the Vancouver Island Music Awards and in the U.S, “Female Vocalist Of The Year” at the 2nd Annual Barebones Music Awards. 

Beth has shared the stage with Canadian Superstars such as Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Johnny Reid, Michelle Wright, Patricia Conroy, Trooper, Jessie Farrell, and English/US hit songwriter Roger Cook.  Beth was selected as the only Canadian ‘Emerging Artist’ at Nashville’s 2013 CMA Fan Fair where she did four days of 8 hour meet & greets, saw over 3,000 new fans and performed at select venues including the legendary Bluebird Café.

In her younger years Beth was a lead in the Musical ‘Honk Jr’ with Bard To Broadway, sung in the chorus of many Operatic Productions with the Vancouver Island Opera Company including ‘La Boheme’ and Die Fledermaus, and other musicals through the Echo Players Theatre Company.

One of Beth’s passions is teaching and inspiring youth, so in 2013 she started speaking at elementary, middle and high school kids about her journey, how being unique is a blessing, and inspiring them to dream big and chase their dreams through life’s obstacles.  In 2014 Beth was selected to be the Music Director at the Tim Horton’s Children’s Camp in Kentucky (for under privileged children) for 4 months.  Beth taught guitar, vocals, mandolin, drums and recorded music with the kids.  Also in 2014, Beth was selected as an International Finalist in the ‘NewSong International Songwriting Competition’, beating out thousands of Artists all around the world for 1 of the 10 spots.  

2015 is already an exciting year with her songs being placed on Music Compilations, having the lead radio single of Canadian Artist Alessia Cohle, receiving FACTOR grants to record music this spring, being selected as an Emerging Artist at the CMA Fan Fair in Nashville this June, is selected as a Semi Finalist in the 'Unsigned Only' Talent Competition and a Christmas Album and Tour in the works for this winter.    

 

Band Members