On Sugarcane Revival, (May, 2015) singer-songwriter Beth McKee offers fiery-sweet songs full of tenacity and promise, sung to a deep southern groove all her own, a composite of regional impulses from places she’s called home; Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Florida and North Carolina.
The appeal of her honest vocals and roots-y piano style was evident on McKee’s previous solo albums, Next to Nowhere (2012) and I’m That Way, the 2010 tribute to New Orleans songwriting legend Bobby Charles. In her adopted hometown of Orlando, McKee used the albums to establish a solo career, after her 1990s success with New Orleans-based MCA Records act Evangeline.
“Bobby Charles mastered simplicity and universal truth in his songs; Beth was his favorite interpreter of the bared-soul truth his songs communicated,” says Jim Bateman, Charles’ longtime manager. “Everything she does taps into that universal thread that everyone understands without thinking.”
As her indie career burgeoned, McKee embraced the sense of community she enjoyed while living in New Orleans, establishing her legion of Swamp Sistas, 2,500 strong on Facebook. She leads the group in a rally against hunger by organizing a roving music festival called the “Swamp Sistas La La,” a re-vamp on the traditional Creole house party to benefit communal causes. McKee also regularly hosts songwriter showcases in Orlando and Winston-Salem to support local talent and road test her new material.
Beth's songs speak a universal message and encompass the musical genres that emerged from the Southern US: Soul, New Orleans Rhythm & Blues, Zydeco, Gospel, Country. Beth writes of the courageous human spirit with a voice that rings true and from experience. That’s a message that — no matter who we are or where we come from – we need to hear.
"On Sugarcane Revival, she’s performed the admirable feat of squeezing out sparks all along this journey, and also roping in enough uptown grooves to make an album that can appeal to everyone — kind of like if Laura Nyro had been roommates with Carole King and Bonnie Raitt on Decatur Street in the French Quarter during the ‘70s." Bill Bentley- The Morton Report
"McKee delivers these lines with intensity reminiscent of Aretha Franklin in her classics 'Think' and 'Respect.' Ed Whitelock- Popmatters.com