American blues-rock artist Beth Hart is no stranger to the music business, with her first single being released in 1999. With such a varied history, both personal and professional, sitting down with Beth is like riding a comet – fast, furious, beautiful and never boring.
With over thirteen albums spanning a career that covers decades, her most recent album Fire on the Floor was released in 2016, it must be hard to create a set list. Beth says,
“What I do is I change the set every night, no matter where we are, because I would be so fucking bored out of my mind doing the same shit every night. Also one thing I really fear is when we as a band get too familiar and then you are no longer in the moment. You might be thinking about your laundry later or some other kind of bullshit, whereas when you’re not too familiar with the set you are much more focused and in the moment; the audience deserves that, they need to have your total focus.”
One of the beautiful things about Beth is how candid she is; she speaks honestly in every moment, an unfiltered interaction, which is rare in this day and age. It is well documented that she struggled with substance addiction when she was younger and one of the things that helped her pull herself out of that time was finding religion.
“I love when the shit hits the fan,” she says, “and people drop to their knees and say ‘help me lord’, because there is nothing more wealthy or accomplished than being filled with the spirit of God. It’s almost like you pray to be broken so that big hole and be filled up with strength.”
She’s grateful to be at Bluesfest, saying,
“I’m so in love with Australia – the people are so warm, lovely and real. The nature is amazing over here and this festival is probably my favourite festival in the world. The backstage, the way it’s set up so you get to see everybody, it doesn’t get better than this.”
In the way of Bluesfest tradition Beth got up and played a set with fellow artist and friend Eric Gales; he returned the favour by jumping up during her show on Saturday night and joining her on For My Friend.
After Bluesfest Beth will be touring throughout India and has now plans of slowing down.
“I started writing today for the first time in six months,” she says.
“I write like an addict once I get started and then I put it down for a while. I’m in the middle of writing on my third album with Joe Bonamassa and we’re hoping to find some material that won’t make the writers and producers hurl, because we’ve done some great songs in the past.”
Regardless of what they come with we can be sure that it won’t make anyone hurl.
Photo credit: Gina Martin