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Beth Rowley

Language available : english
Beth Rowley is a singer who employs a healthy crossover feel of vintage rhythm & blues and gospel music welded onto contemporary pop and jazz elements. She was born in Lima, Peru in October of 1981 to British missionary parents who moved when she was two years old. Raised in Bristol, England, her initial influences included Mahalia Jackson, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Roy Orbison, and (through her guitar-playing father) Woody Guthrie. Rowley attended St. Mary Redcliffe and Temple schools before being noticed at an open-mike night in London, and she subsequently formed a funk-soul-acid jazz band, the Apogee, when she was 16. After high school, she studied casually at Weston-Super-Mare College, and formally for a year at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music. Meeting and conferring with vocalist Carleen Anderson, Rowley was inspired to develop her own sound, but gained initial professional experience as a backup singer with Enrique Iglesias and Ronan Keating. Working more on the underground scene, she teamed up with saxophonist Ben Castle of Jamie Cullum's band in 2000 and began writing her own material, influenced as much by country and bluegrass as soul music. Her EP Violets was followed by the full-length Blue Thumb album Little Dreamer, which included songs co-written with Castle and covers of tunes by Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and Willie Nelson. With backup from Duke Special, the album was also shaped by Blur producer Steve Power with help from Kevin Bacon and Jonathan Quarmby. Upon release, the album graced the U.K. Top Ten and saw Rowley nominated for Best Female Vocalist at the 2009 Brit Awards. The same year, she appeared onscreen in Lone Scherfig's An Education, while also contributing to the soundtrack of The Edge of Love. In 2010, she parted ways with Universal and continued on her own path, playing live shows across the U.K. and performing with Jools Holland & his R&B Band. 2013 saw the release of the Wretched Body EP, and after a move from London back to Bristol, Rowley took time some time off but still performed when she could. After an eight-year semi-hiatus, she returned to the studio to record new material. The resulting album, Gota Fría (Cold Drop), was released in mid-2018 on the independent label Stoopnik and was preceded by the single "Forest Fire."
© Michael G. Nastos /TiVo
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