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Beth McKee / Press

“Beth McKee has logged countless miles along the gulf coast between New Orleans and Florida, and her songwriting harnesses the timeless vibe of the swampland and honkytonks that line the route. Her third solo record, Sugarcane Revival is the culmination of that long journey, a collection of songs celebrating the myriad roads we travel and the rewards of perseverance..... McKee surrounds herself with a fertile and sympathetic collection of musicians on this release, including guitarists Tony Battaglia, Tommy Malone (The Subdudes), and Tim Lee (Tim Lee 3, The Windbreakers), bassists Dan Walters, Barry Dean, and Justin Beckler, drummer Juan Perez, fiddler Jason Thomas (Off-Kilter), and Evangeline’s Rhonda Lohmeyer on mandolin. While the liner notes don’t credit who plays where, McKee’s arrangements and Beckler’s mixing create a cohesive and consistent full-band sound for each cut. The playing is top notch, built around McKee’s keyboard and accordion leads, with a live, organic f”

“Beth McKee, Sugarcane Revival. When it comes to women singers in the South right now, it would be hard to beat Beth McKee. She’s been running the Mississippi-New Orleans highway long enough to know all the right stops and starts, and where the musical mojo is buried. McKee also isn’t afraid to wade into the swamps to find the heart and soul of that sound. 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. These are songs that matter, and show just how resilient a spirit Beth McKee has. Not only that, but she wrote every one of them, sometimes with help but often alone. There isn’t anyone else in her league at present, and she gives bright hope the South really will do it again.”

“A Mississippi native and former New Orleans and Austin resident now living in Florida, singer Beth McKee has long embraced the manifold sounds of the South . . . Her music sits at the edge of the swamp and the city, adding cosmopolitan polish to the regional impulses of the places she’s called home.”

“Mississippi native and former member of the New Orleans-based band Evangeline, singer-songwriter (and occasional keyboardist)Beth McKee’s latest album follows I’m That Way, her critically heralded 2010 tribute to Cajun legend Bobby Charles. Framed by the sounds of New Orleans, the blues, gospel and swamp pop (courtesy of folks like drummer Juan Perez, slide guitarist Tommy Malone and fiddler/mandolinist Jason Thomas among many others) McKee’s soulfully stirring, Bonnie Raitt-recalling vocals come across as both laid-back yet honeysuckle sincere on all eleven McKee originals. Picks include the particularly languid tale of “New Orleans To Jackson,” a head-shaking lament called “Shoulda Kept On Walkin’,” the Fats Domino-influenced, triplets-filled cautionary “Not Tonight, Josephine” and the easy- rolling “River Rush,” an atmospheric ode to nature’s healing powers. Also noted is a wryly philosophical “Same Dog’s Tail” and the heady swamp rocker “Return To”

“Here, she delivers a first-rate CD of southern-roots music that blends blues, Cajun, New Orleans R&B, deep soul, and rock ’n’ roll… this new recording reveals an artist who is chock full of talent that she channels through a pro­gram of original tunes that portend big things for the future. What really makes Next to Nowhere work are the finely crafted songs. McKee sings in a clear, honest, unman­nered style with a sweet, downhome warmth, tempered with a bluesy confidence, and she is an accomplished keyboard and accordion player. It also helps that she has a rocking band on board that is able to keep a groove in the pocket and, at the same time, keep things loose and funky. Beth McKee proves that the blues and other roots forms are the sources from which artists can shape an exciting and seductive musical vision. — Robert H. Cataliotti (Living Blues)”

“Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Beth McKee came to the attention of those outside the deep south with her stellar 2009 album I'm That Way, a collection of Bobby Charles covers. Like him, she possesses one of the most unaffected singing voices out there; it takes pleasure in the act of singing itself. That's part of what makes Next to Nowhere, her first collection of original material, so special; the other is her songs. McKee is a smoking piano, organ, and accordion player, and all are amply displayed here. The set was self-produced and Tony Battaglia's mix is clean and true. The band is a close-knit group of friends and family including drummer/husband Juan Perez. Subdudes founder Tommy Malone lends his slide guitar playing. McKee's songs effortlessly criss-cross the entire panorama of Southern music.”

““Excellent! Exactly the sort of beautifully eclectic blues-Americana blend you’d expect from modern-day New Orleans… hints at a rich variety of inspirations, with wisps of Bonnie Raitt, Tracy Nelson, Lou Ann Barton, Doug Sahm and Delbert McClinton, a loose, funky, sweetly soulful mix on an album packed with strong original material. If you’re looking for the young blood that’s reinvigorating American roots music, check out this album, this gal’s the real deal!””

DJ Joe Sixpack - Slipcue.com

"Jackson, Mississippi native McKee is a musical chef of the highest order. Her specialty is a tantalizing gumbo that refelects her deep Southern roots. And she's assembled the finest ingredients or, in this case, musicians to deliver her spicy cuisine to the fullest." - Eric Harabadian Detroit Live

Eric Harabadian - Detroit Live

" Beth plays tasty piano and accordion, which is very fine, but what she does best is sing. She sings in one of those languid to lusty voices that can make or break your heart, with just the right blend of swamp and soul." "There's a musical completeness here that's not easily accomplished by an artist--the vocals, lyrics and arrangements all flow together effortlessly, creating elegant music that speaks with a single voice." - Jim White Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Jim White - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“(★★★1/2) McKee. . sings inviting interpretations of ten R&B gems by the recently departed Cajun songwriter, Bobby Charles. We'll not see his like again, and more's the pity.”

“McKee and her flexible ensemble expanded the range of expectations in two hour-plus sets that showcased an assortment of new songs and inspired covers. The utterly reliable approach isn’t tied to some affected fad or trend, but if you haven’t seen this band yet, do it.”

“The only sub that matters here is the underlying growl that marks these performances- blasting saxes, slashing and sliding guitars, burbling organ and piano. . . and earthy beats, all keyed to McKee’s naturally lusty vocals.”

“The show is stolen however, by Beth McKee, in a class with a young Bonnie Raitt. ”

Nashville Scene

“Honky Tonk piano worthy of some Jerry Lee Lewis arson. ”

LA Weekly

“One of the great American songwriters is Louisiana’s Bobby Charles. His first hit was “See You Later Alligator” in the ‘50s, and he then went on to write “Walking to New Orleans,” “But I Do,” “Tennessee Blues” and a footlocker full of others. In certain circles, just mentioning his name causes the pros to smile and shake their heads. Singer Beth McKee decided to do a whole album of Charles’ chestnuts, and she should be given her own annual crawfish boil in Lafayette for those fine efforts. There is such an easeful joy in all these songs, even the sad ones, it feels like the sun, the moon and the herbs all lined up in McKee’s favor. With a kicking band and voice to call down the stars, Bobby Charles’ originals might have met their match here and shown why Bob Dylan wrote the liner notes on his last album. For real. ”