By Ron Wynn
When vocalist and songwriter Beth White moved to Nashville from her Wisconsin hometown of Lancaster back in 2011, she had the identical goal many performers have upon arriving in Music City: success in the ever-changing pop music world. But White was wise enough to not put all her eggs in one basket. She earned a nursing degree at Belmont, taking guitar, songwriting and commercial voice as folk music electives. While currently working full-time at Vanderbilt hospital she still finds time to pursue a musical career that’s starting to blossom.
White last week released the video for the single “Free,” her second. It’s now available on YouTube, while the EP “Soul Evolution,” which was originally issued in 2017, has gained lots of attention thanks to the high praise heaped on the debut single “Conditional.” “Well the people at Vanderbilt are very supportive,” White said during a recent interview at the Tribune. “They understand that I have a passion for music along with medicine, and they’ve been very good about allowing me the necessary space and time to perform without losing my job. Medicine is also an important part of my life, and I feel the two kind of go together and are really important parts of what and who I am.”
White describes her sound as “soul/pop,” and in listening to both “Free,” and the previous single “Conditional,” you can hear a crisp, clear and prominent delivery, and a very strong, dynamic voice with a lot of urgency in both performances. She cites as influences and favorites Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Amy Winehouse and Kelly Clarkson among others.”Conditional” was positively reviewed by Relix Magazine when it was initially released. But when the “Soul Evolution” EP began getting airplay on Lighting 100, White’s music got an unexpected and hefty boost from a star source.
“Sheryl Crow heard “Soul Evolution” and publicly complimented us on it,” White recalled. “That was such a thrill and great encouragement.” She’s also worked with some heavyweights in the Nashville music community. An early catalyst was her involvement in the New York/Nashville Connection, a project founded by New Yorker Josh Bailey and Nashvillian Ryan Connors in 2013. They work together with artists to polish, enhance and publicize their musical vision, while also trying to cultivate a joint community between the two cities.”They helped me a lot with everything from arrangements to staging and performance,” White continued. “They’ve been a great help and given me excellent support and assistance.”
White’s also made a number of area appearances with her band that includes drummer Austin Drewry, bassist Teddy Shanahan and guitarist Ryan Casey. They’ve played at such places as High Watt, The Local, The East Room, and The Basement East. White’s single, “Afterlife” also got consistent airplay on Lightning 100. The group were chosen as semifinalists for the Road to Bonnaroo competition, reaching the Final Four among 250 bands. All that laid the groundwork for “Free.”
The song was co-written with Dynamo’s Ryan Connors, and features several well known Nashville music professionals. These include Akil Thompson (LeAnne Rimes, Kelly Clarkson), De Marco Johnson (Joe Cocker, Marc Broussard), and Jake Botts (Kelly Clarkson). It is available on multiple streaming platforms including Spotify, ITunes and Apple Music. “I’m very excited about the “Free” video, and look forward to doing more dates and performances very soon,” White concludes. “I’m very optimistic about the future.”