ARTIST: BETH WOOD

TITLE: BEACHCOMBER'S DAUGHTER

LABEL: INDEPENDENT

Release Date: February, 2008

By Susie Glaze

Beth_Wood_CD_Cover.jpg Beth Wood is an artist you should know about. A powerful singer/songwriter of new contemporary folk music, her newest project, her eighth independent release Beachcomber's Daughter, is a gorgeous musical joy ride, vividly and movingly brought to life via a confident and kick-ass country rock and roll, at the same time tender, poetic and painful, with a wicked and wonderful humor to top everything off.

Beth has achieved an impressive array of awards for her work, from winning the Kerrville New Folk Contest in 2005, the 2006 Sisters Folk Festival Dave Carter Memorial Songwriting Contest, the 2004 Wildflower Festival Songwriters Contest, and was a finalist in the 2007 Telluride Troubadour Contest among others, along with a big list of festival appearances and college touring. It's a resume that makes you want to sit up and listen.

Beth's talent in songwriting is matched by versatile and soulful performances, as well as a beautiful guitar technique that makes hearing her live (usually solo with her guitar) a distinct pleasure. The storyteller's art tops it all off. Her focus on story and feeling seems her core intention, and you can feel the depth of her engagement in it, her emotional investment and commitment, and this makes her work the transcendent, satisfying journey that music should always be.

Beth's vocal skill and range is impressive and dazzling. She uses it to its fullest in interpreting her songs on this album, as well as the one cover, the Harry Warren and Mack Gordon At Last. Her own writing reflects a versatility that defies labeling. She begins with two country-flavored rock and rollers, Travelin' John and the Everly Brothers-sounding pop ballad, Don't Give Me Diamonds, both of which could stand alongside any country standard out of Nashville (and I think those Nashville folks oughta stand up and take notice). She then follows those with the beautiful title track Beachcomber's Daughter, a poignant song from her family's stories. Later on I have two other favorites, the gorgeous This Sanctuary about being let into someone's heart, and Handsome Sparrow about a deep loss.

Her lyrics are poetic and probe deeply for emotional truth, and it's for this reason that her songs deserve multiple listenings. The CD ends with the hilarious country rock number about how women can stand to live with men, called Clean Up (Before I Change My Mind). That song, also, ought to be covered by Nashville and I hope they do it and make Beth a bunch of money, because this woman is writing some hits here.

Beth's ability to bring soul and sensitivity and vocal beauty to her songs is downright amazing, and you can tell that she is a first-rate vocal technician who knows how to feel something so much and marry it with her skill and intention to bring about a work of art. You think you're listening to a mix of Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Lee Jones or Whitney Houston.

Beth made this album in Dallas with the fine musicians George Anderson, Daran DaShazo, Andrew Frye, Milo Deering, Brent Dacus and Jorge Ginorio. Besides singing all the leads, she plays acoustic and electric guitars and piano, and produced, along with Patrick McGuire.

Award-winning recording artist and critically-acclaimed Bluegrass powerhouse vocalist, Susie Glaze has been called by BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED "an important voice on the California Bluegrass scene." Her album "Blue Eyed Darlin'" was the winner of the Just Plain Folks 2006 Music Award for Best Roots Album and Folkworks Magazine's Pick for Best Bluegrass Album of 2005. "One of the most beautiful voices in bluegrass and folk music today." (Roz Larman of FolkScene). Susie's new release "Green Kentucky Blues" and additional recordings can be found at www.susieglaze.com.