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Beth Bombara Remains Optimistic With 'Evergreen'

Nate Burrell

St. Louis-based singer-songwriter Beth Bombara will perform at Barleycorn's Tuesday, Jan. 21, on a bill with Joey Lemon and Samantha Crain.

Bombara's 2019 album Evergreen earned accolades from the critical community and further established her as a recording and touring entity.

She recently spoke with KMUW about the album and her ongoing friendship with Crain.

Interview Highlights

At times Evergreen recalls Neil Young or Emmylou Harris albums from the '70s. Were those touchstones for you?

My intention was to harken back to some of those albums. A happy medium between the cool, vibe-y stuff that was going in the '70s and now.

How was it that Evergreen became the title cut?

It was the song, to me, that thematically summarized what I felt like I wanted the album to be about. The energy that I wanted to put out. A more optimistic [point of view]. Life happens and I'm going to take the approach that I'm going to look at things in a positive light. Things might happen and I'm going to be constantly looking for the good. Evergreen has multiple meanings, it can be something new, something fresh. It was the optimistic idea that I wanted to wrap the whole album in.

It takes a while to get to that track. There are other songs, "I Only Cry When I'm Alone" or "Upside Down" that might not seem as optimistic. Did you want the record to unfold that way?

I think I did and I think that, to some extent, that reflects my personality a bit too. My husband likes to say that I'm the big optimist in the relationship and if it weren't for me he'd be really sad all the time.

You're playing this show at Barleycorn's with Samantha Crain, but you toured as a member of her band before.

The first band she ever had. We were both just figuring out what we were doing. When I first met her she decided she was going to go out and do a bunch of touring. She said, "Do you want to start playing with me? We'll do this duo style and figure this out?" She added two more band members later on. I learned a lot from being on the road with her. That was a long time ago!

Have you had much contact since then?

We've kept in touch. She's come through St. Louis, where I'm based out of, and when I'm on the road too. I've said, "Hey, Sam, I'll leave you a key to my house and you can just stay there."

Jedd Beaudoin is the host of Strange Currency. Follow him on Twitter @JeddBeaudoin. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.

Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.