Beth McKee, the Gulf Coast singer, songwriter and pianist, celebrated for her musical residence “at the edge of the swamp and the city” (posits INDY WEEK, North Carolina’s leading arts & entertainment newspaper), brings a crew of dazzling talent, assembled as The Swamp Sistas Songwriter Circle, to Isis Restaurant & Music Hall, Thurs. Mar. 16. The unique, in-the-round, acoustic performance is part of her original series of regional tour stops, introducing a cream of the crop collective of southern, female singers and songwriters. Tickets are available in advance or at the door ($12/15). Isis Restaurant & Music Hall is located at 743 Haywood Rd, Asheville, NC 28806; phone (828) 575-2737).
The Isis Music Hall lineup features Asheville area artists Kellin Watson and Laura Blackley, New Orleans singer songwriter Lynn Drury, and Beth McKee. “The Swamp Sistas Songwriter Circle provides a showcase for each musician’s repertoire, but we all ‘chime in,” Beth explains. She always learns at least one or two of the others’ songs so she can support them musically, on stage. Her effort is reciprocated, and the result is an intimate platform in the unfailing realm of collaborative female entertainers of the south. For the Asheville show, local favorites Kellin Watson and Laura Blackley will join her along with New Orleans songwriter Lynn Drury.
With previous Swamp Sistas Songwriter Circle performances in 4 southern states so far, McKee is proud of the momentum. “The Swamp Sistas Songwriter Circle is a powerful vehicle for southern female songwriters to gig, collaborate, and share our projects and followers. We are developing a regional, original-music enclave, a shot in the arm, for songwriting women of various ages, stages and musical styles, and collaborating along the way.”
Thus kicks-off the seventh year of the Swamp Sistas, a grassroots social movement, begun by Beth McKee in 2010, as an entity listed on Facebook that quickly evolved into something much bigger. You could say we’re activists,” Beth notes, “but more accurately, in this arts and culture era, characterized by independent strength and surgical communication skills, I’d say we’re inter-activists.”
After developing the Swamp Sistas Songwriter Circle as the opening set for several La Las and noting how well received it was, Beth decided to nourish it further and began to book shows independently of the La Las.