Sisters songwriter releases new album
Last updated 8/30/2022 at Noon
Beth Wood, poet and local musician, is releasing her latest full-length album.
Wood moved to Sisters from Portland in April of 2020 during the beginning stages of the COVID-19 shutdown.
“It was a weird time to move for sure, but I had to move out of the house I was in, in Portland, and I was also realizing that I am not a city girl,” said Wood.
Wood has always had a soft place in her heart for the Sisters community after coming here for many years as an artist and instructor for Sisters Folk Festival and the Americana Project song camp. Wood has also been the leader of the Sunday community celebration during Sisters Folk Festival, inspiring with her words and bringing the artists together for a morning of celebration.
“I figured moving to Sisters at that time was a great time to try it out when the world changed — it’s been amazing, and I could have never predicted how different life could be. And I am so thankful to be putting down roots somewhere,” said Wood.
Musically, everything also changed for Wood during the pandemic because touring stopped, and recording in-studio with other musicians stopped, and everyone was at home. Wood found a silver lining by being given a chance to be still and stop moving for a while.
“It was nice to figure out more of a balance of life, and being on the road all the time was exhausting and not sustainable,” she said.
Right after the shutdown, Wood launched her Patreon page, a subscription service used to support artists.
“It has been such a supportive community and a place to make and share music and poetry, and have accountability to write something new each week,” she said.
Wood did some live-streams via Zoom, and shared a new song with her patrons every single week. The pandemic created a time and place for Wood where creativity was the way of coping with the times.
Wood’s latest record comes from the collection of songs Wood wrote for her patrons each week.
“I didn’t set out to write a new record but realized I had all these songs that I had written already, and they were just stripped-down acoustic songs,” she said.
The songs were just Wood, her guitar, and her words, and when she decided to make the record, she turned to Keith Banning, local producer, at his Grange Recorders recording studio right here in Sisters.
“I recorded the songs with Keith Banning and just wanted to add some sparkle to the songs,” she said.
The bare-bones recordings were done with Banning and then a friend of Wood’s, producer Tyler Fortier out of Eugene. He added some other musicians and sounds to the bare-bones recordings. Fortier plays multiple instruments, and she gave him free reign to add elements to the songs.
“We also didn’t want to detract from the intimate feeling of the songs, and adding the musicians added the sparkle,” she said.
It was eye-opening for Wood, as she and the other musicians on the record were never in the same room all together. They recorded at different times, putting the songs together with Fortier. When David Jacobs-Strain was in town, Wood and Jacobs-Strain recorded a song with Keith Banning at The Belfry.
“It was very minimal production-wise putting it together to create this record,” said Wood.
The record is titled “Love is onto You.”
Wood released three singles leading up to the record release August 30, including “The Speed of Lonely,” which is inspired by where she grew up in West Texas with wide-open sky where you can see for miles.
“I wrote that imagining what that sounds like,” she said.
The second single, “Keep the Change,” is a song Wood wrote with her dad and recorded at The Belfry. The rocker of the album is “Love Keeps the Flame,” the third single released ahead of the drop.
Writing was a way to soothe Wood during tough times in 2020.
“I draw a lot of inspiration from the natural world, learning from nature, which I did a lot during those times. I also draw from words themselves, from reading, and listening in my community. I wrote these words to help process the overwhelming emotions,” said Wood.
Aside from Wood’s musical endeavors, she is working at Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, surrounded by words all day long.
“It is so much fun on so many levels and it’s really fun to go into work and interact with people and learning the book publishing industry,” she said.
Wood soon will start working as their event coordinator, hosting events and talks.
“We all know how important story is to human-beings and it’s fun to work within it,” she said.
“Love is onto You” is out as of August 30, and will be available on all streaming platforms as well as a physical CD. Connect with Beth Wood on her website: http://www.bethwoodmusic.com or via her Patreon page at www.bethwoodmusic.com/patreon/.