Beth Scalet

Beth Scalet

 Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Beth is in the Kansas Music Hall of Fame, and Holly Figueroa, founder of the network, says:"Your music touches are a true pioneer, a trailblazer for women in music." Kansas City's Pitch Weekly says "Beth Scalet is a local institution. . . she walks it like she talks it."


On March, 2008 Beth was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. To celebrate, she gathered songs from her previous CD releases and had them remastered to compile "Body of Work: The Best of Beth Scalet."

She has been recognized for her excellence as as a songwriter numerous times, from the Billboard Song Contest (three times), the American Song Festival (3 times), and the American Songwriter's Association. She has performed actively for over 30 years, bringing a mixture of original songs and select songs by others to audiences throughout the country. She figures she has played several thousand shows in her long career.

Her writing ranges from deep emotion to high wit, and her subject matter covers everything from traditional blues themes to vignettes about love and life in the new world to issues of concern to women in particular and humans in general — domestic violence, eating disorders, addictive behaviors, homelessness — and she handles them all with taste and insight. In short, Beth’s versatility makes her difficult to pigeonhole. Beth accompanies herself on guitar and harmonica. Her unique fingerpicking style, bluesy voice, and range of material have endeared her to audiences in the Midwest and across the country.

She has been featured as the opening act with such greats as Billy Joel, Manfred Mann, Arlo Guthrie, Richard Thompson, Steve Goodman, Bill Monroe, Koko Taylor, and many others.

In 1981 she released "It's A Living . . . " (on vinyl) and in 1987 "Blues in Paradise" (on cassette). Both have been re-released on CD. In 2000 the all-original “Taking the Cure” was released.

Beth is a respected blues singer and harmonica player, and a talented writer of blues songs, as witnessed by her “Blues in Paradise” release. It showcases influences from country blues to R&B to Chicago-style to gospel.

Beth has long had a local reputation as a consummate interpreter of Bob Dylan’s songs, and in 2002 she released “Beth Loves Bob,” a tribute album that has been well-received by Dylan fans from all over.


Blues in Paradise

Written By: Beth Scalet

I used to have the blues nearly all the time
When I looked around, nothing I saw was mine
No food no car no money, lots more nothing each day
Now the times are changing, things are coming my way

I know I should be happy, things are finally going nice
Real nice
If I ever get to heaven, I'll have the blues in paradise

Got food on my table, carpet on my floor
Don't have to run and hide from the landlord no more
I got me a job, don't have to work too hard
See me in the summertime, baby, out in my back yard


Got me a sports car and a personal jet
It's loaded up honey with everything you can get
Got a color television, got my MTV
I still got these blues, something must be wrong with me


Now when I die and they lay me to rest
Want a solid gold coffin, nothing but the best (building up)
Lined with silk and satin, covered with rubies & pearls
Want a great big choir, honey, sing me out of this world

Now the preacher starts talking, the choir begin to sing
everybody's crying, you got to do just one more thing
last thing you must do, fore they lower me down
Look down in my grave, see that the blues is not around


Half of My Heart

Written By: Beth Scalet & Kathryn Lorenzen

Half a Heart
(Beth Scalet/Kathryn Lorenzen)

Babe if that’s what you want, I guess you’re gonna go
Even though I’m surprised it’s not like I didn’t know
Let’s try to keep things civilized while tearing them in two
I don’t know what you have in mind, but here’s what I’d like to do


You can come back for the furniture, you bought it anyway
Don’t forget all the little things, please don’t leave a trace
It’s bad enough to see a space where something used to be
Without running into living proof of dying memories

It’s funny how folks come together
As if nothing could go wrong
As if clouds were just for weather
And sad was just for songs

Babe if you’ve made up your mind
I guess that it won’t change
Even though I never wanted it
It was moving in like the rain
Let’s try to take care of each other
While we take care of ourselves
Maybe we can be whole again
Only time will tell


A Whiter Shade of Pale

Written By: Keith Reid/Gary Brooker

We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels 'cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
but the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, 'There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see.'
But I wandered through my playing cards
and would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open
they might have just as well've been closed

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale


It's a Living . . . Blues in Paradise (J-bird Records) (out of print)
Taking the Cure Beth Loves Bob: The Songs of Bob Dylan Blues in Paradise – Anniversary Edition Roadwork: The Blues & Everything Else (2-disc live)
Body of Work: The Best of Beth Scalet
CDs are available at CDBaby and Amazon. Downloads from Amazon, iTunes, and others. Hear full songs at

Set List

My set list is determined by the type of show I am doing. Normally I do one or two 45 minute sets, but sometimes more. For a blues audience, I focus on my blues material. For my "fans" I make sure to include lots of my original material (Big favorites are "Lose Your Money" and "Taking the Cure"
and when it's a casual, fun club scene, I'll pull out covers from the 60's that everyone seems to enjoy, from "Runaway" to the Everly Brothers.