maandag 14 april 2014

Beth Wimmer, Live in Ter Aar, 13 April 2014

Beth in Ter Aar. Photo: Smo.
Two years ago I saw Beth Wimmer play in the Q-Bus in Leiden. It was a chance meeting as I had planned to go to a movie and wound up in the Q-Bus. Sometimes things go differently in life. The choice however was a good one. I wrote a review of the show at which I had also had bought Beth's album 'Ghosts & men'. The album connected with me at a different level than most albums do. The review of the album led to an interview with Beth which you can also find on this blog. An e-mail two weeks ago led me to sending an e-mail to Peter in Ter Aar who organised a gig in his living room. For an audience of about 12 people Beth give it her all. The stories behind her songs, that come extremely close to her life, emotions and past lovers and husband Pascal. Intimate stories that brought her songs even more alive.

I had never been at a house show before. The strange thing is that we started introducing ourselves to the people present. As if at a birthday party of a friend. A bit strange, but quite okay. Beth was sitting on a chair right in front of us, tuning her guitar, making small talk with people in the audience. A small stool next to her with a glass of water, a capo, a guitar pick and a list of songs to play this afternoon. Two sets. This is an experience. Having an artist, who's songs on one of her albums I'm well familiar with, that plays the songs right in front of my nose. If you think you're close in the Q-Bus, this is so much closer.

Beth appeared and I think was, totally at ease. Talking about her songs, her life and playing the songs. She has this, for a woman, deep voice, with power, subtleness and warmth all into one. This makes the experience even more intense due to the closeness. Within a few songs I knew that we were in for more than a very special treat.

The first set was made up of songs from 'Ghost & men'. Songs I know and love. On the album there is band setting, mostly made up of co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Damiano della Torre. Together Wimmer and Della Torre created an album that holds its own against most anyone in Americana and for that matter beyond. Together they made a great album. One I cherish and love to hear. In the room there is Beth Wimmer and her guitar. My impression was that she took everyone present in with her songs. Songs of love and death, songs of love and out of love, of ghosts and men, whether alive or from the past. As a little extra 'Heart of gold' was played and sung along with.

The second half of the set was filled with songs from her first two cds, so unknown to me. Not that it mattered much. There were the stories around the songs, the songs itself and the warm voice of Beth. Some of them will not be unknown for much longer as I bought the next cd back into history, 'Miracle girl', one of the songs I truly liked. 'Bad moon rising' was played and fun to sing. We were harmonizing. As Beth pointed out, the text of the old John Fogerty song (1969) is as up to date as possible. It spells global warming all over it.

As all good things also the house show had to come to end. This was a new and fun experience. Although I think Beth Wimmer should play for a lot larger audiences and that her songs have the quality to reach more people, in the meantime I am just glad and honored to have been present in Ter Aar. This was so much fun. Beth, thank you for your music and kind personality, Peter and Suzette thank you for having us in your home and making us feel welcome.

Peter organizes shows at his home a few times a year. He has a Facebook page announcing them: Huisconcertteraar. There may be more fun in the future. The next one is on 22 May.


You can listen to 'For the living' here.

1 opmerking:

  1. Beth Wimmer sent us this message with the request to add it as a comment:

    thank you for this wonderful, soul-felt review, Wout. i appreciate your great listening, energy, and your writing. thank you so much for taking the time on a sunday to come, join the small crowd, and listen and participate. and thanks for writing about my music! i am honored. :) with gratitude, beth