At Belles and Gals we’re huge fans of SaraBeth and have featured her on the site a number of times. Last night I drove up to Cambridge to see both her and Glen Mitchell appear on stage together. It was a fun, intimate gig with some great music which was the perfect mixture of new and released songs, while it was high on laughs too – a really enjoyable night. I was lucky enough to have a chat with the lady herself just before the show!
Hi SaraBeth! I recently came to see your gig at Culpeppers as part of your recent UK tour. Now you’re back! You must love playing in the UK?
I do! We’ve had a lot of opportunities this year that have come up – when we first started booking our UK tour in August we didn’t know that other things were going to come in. It was a real honour to be asked to play at the BCMA awards, so as a result, as we were going to be here anyway, we decided we’d put in another show, and see some friends and family while we’re here. It’s a much shorter trip this time- June as was great too as we did the Buckle and Boots festival and then we played in Cardiff the next day, kinda like this time, last night we were a full band and tonight it’s just me and Glenn (Mitchell) acoustically. We’re gonna do some new songs, we hope we remember the words to them, because we’ve just recently written them (laughs!). Yeah we do, we just love it, the fans here are so great to us and they keep coming out to show after show and we’ll keep coming back as long as they keep having us.
Your latest EP ‘Full Speed Ahead’ hit number one in the UK country charts – that must have been exciting?!
Yeah it was! I have a friend over here and every time I have a release come out she always posts and keeps tracking it all day long, she is so great! I saw that she tagged me in a post and the post before I was at number 2, so I knew when the next notification came through I was freaking out before I even swiped, because I had a feeling she was gonna say I’d got number one. I was at a gas station and I was buying a bottle of water, in line checking out when I saw it. It’s an honour, anywhere, the great thing about today with the internet is that wherever you are in the world you can reach people, and as musicians that’s what we wanna do – whether we wanna move someone to be happy, or just think of a happy time or to help them get through something, or maybe to just put your emotions out there and say you’re not having great day and you need to cry – just listen to this song. It’s cool to see that people around the world are moved by music and sharing the music is just great.
You mentioned appearing at the BCMA’s – it must have been an amazing night!
It was really cool! I’ve never presented an award at an awards show, so I had another UK first – I’ve had a lot of firsts in my career over here. After presenting the award I got to close out the show, the crowd were amazing, they were having so much fun. Everyone had been sitting at their tables, then they all came down to the front, dancing and really having fun, which is what country music is so great about – dance along, sing along, move along. It was a great celebration for all the winners and nominees and British country music. I know I’m not British, but it was great to be a part of and celebrate and be so excited for so many of my friends. (We agreed at this point that SaraBeth was an honorary Brit!)
You are famed for endless tweets about coffee. If you had to give up singing or coffee, which would it be?
It would have to be coffee! It would be really hard – but there are other beverages out there!
Which artists have been an influence on your career?
Honestly that kind of changes from day to day. Obviously it’s a lot of country artists because that is what I was bought up on – growing up the Dixie Chicks and Shania Twain were huge, I knew every single one of their songs and I still do to this day, all the words. There are so many people that come into country music and it might be a brand new artist that puts out a really great song, maybe an independent artist or maybe a major record label artist, but yeah it’s just ever changing.
If you could play the perfect gig, where would it be and who would you duet with (you’re appearing with Glen Mitchell tonight, so he is excluded!).
I like quaint venues, you know, theatre style venues, places where you can actually play. Full band shows are really fun because you can actually rock out but when you write music you don’t write it with a full band, we write it with just us and a couple of guitars. So, yeah a very good acoustic venue would be the answer. I absolutely love doing shows with Glen Mitchell, but if he is out of the running, I would love to do a duet with, probably Brett Eldredge, because he’s got such a great voice and if you see him sing live he is such a phenomenal vocalist – I have a lot of respect for people that have that vocal talent, I really look up to people like that.
After graduating college you spent a summer teaching music in the Dominican Republic – that must have been some experience?
Yeah it was a really cool thing and a time when I learned a lot about myself, because going over there I only knew one other person and it was going to be for a summer. I put myself out there, out of my comfort zone. I had to teach in Spanish, not my first language obviously! I was only supposed to be a camp counsellor, but one of the music teachers couldn’t come, so the week before we left I got an e-mail saying ‘hey, we see you have a heavy background in music and we see you’re bi-lingual, would you like to teach?’. I was bi-lingual, but all of a sudden I don’t remember a word of Spanish! But it was a cool thing, just to meet the kids was great – it was an organisation called the ‘Dream Project’ and they are kids that have families who are living on about a dollar a day, so it was kind of a Montessori type school where they take in the best kids from the local schools and want to build them up and set them up for success later in life.
What can we expect from SaraBeth in the coming weeks and months?
Well, I’m gonna take some time off – I get back from the UK and then I have a couple of award shows in Nashville that I’m going to which will be a lot of fun. After that I run a half marathon and then its Thanksgiving and Christmas and I just haven’t been home to see my family and normally I see them once a month. Not going home to Texas is just really hard, so I’m gonna drive home, it’s like a 13 hour drive and I’ll take the dogs. I might have to go back to Nashville a few times, but for the most part I’m gonna be doing some writing and stuff like that, but just be home. And if I take trips they are going to be fun vacations which have absolutely nothing to do with music, not that I don’t love music but I start again January 6th or 7th, so I’m going to take the time in between and maybe just sleep!