Award-winning songwriter Beth Whitney shares deep wisdom and quiet strength in her music. Growing out of her immersion in the wilderness where there can be no distractions, Whitney digs deep to uncover the roots of grief and love that connect us to nature and to one another. Her new album Into the Ground grows out the ground where Beth Whitney has dwelt for so long, her music, and her family.
The Washington native grew up in a family that sang together on road trips, she didn’t start playing guitar or writing songs until she was in high school. A compound fracture on her right hand ended her pitching days on her high school softball team. One day, Leroy, a friend from church, handed her a guitar, asking “Could you use this?” Whitney wrote her first song as a project for her sophomore English class. “I had pretty much waited until the last minute to finish the project,” she laughs. Since she had been writing poetry since middle school, she decided to write a song about “looking around you and seeing people you would not ordinarily see.”
Beth Whitney honors the gifts she’s been given, whether they’re musical instruments such as the guitar Leroy gave her—“I have been given quite a few musical instruments, and they all came along at a time when I could use a new direction”—or a song. In her songwriting, Whitney “honors the original song seed—whether it be an idea, a hook, a line. I used to wander around and then sit down and craft it out, but these days, with two children, I feel like I write most of my songs in the car. I learned from Julia Cameron to delight and engage in the time I have to write my songs.”
Whitney released her first album, Leave Your Shoes, in 2007, which garnered heavy airplay in the Seattle area. In 2008, she and Aaron Fishburn, whom she’d known all her life, got married. She released Yellow in 2010 Ukulele in 2012, both of which won songwriting awards and were put into heavy rotation by a local AAA station in the Seattle area. In 2013, after the birth of their son, Beth partnered with a neighbor and fellow artist, Bradford Loomis, to write and record a self-titled album, The Banner Days (2014) and Hand Me A Hymnal (2015.) The collaboration garnered critical acclaim while they toured extensively across the nation including a performance at the Lincoln Center in New York, and reached over 2 million streams on Spotify for their co-write, “My Beloved.”
Beth and Aaron had their second child in 2017, and a few happy but sleepless months later, released The Wild Unrest. Though Beth and Aaron decided to forgo touring and only perform regionally with the new baby in tow, the album was released at The Triple Door in Seattle, earned placements on network tv shows, and earned a featured performance of “Raven” with the Wenatchee Valley Symphony.
Beth Whitney’s warm, vibrant vocals envelop us, resonating with a shimmering depth as they dig into our souls in search of the mysteries that shape our connections to the world around us and to each other. The Washington native dwells in her songs, exploring every note and phrase, turning them inside out, pulling us into her own journey as an intimate partner, sharing in her joys, her grief, her wonder, her gratitude. Sometimes her songs soar with a hymn-like spaciousness that swirls and spirals upward and transports us in flights of wonder; sometimes her songs echo with a rhythmic cadence that digs into the messiness of our daily lives, going to ground in search of the deep-rooted love that helps us grow. Whitney’s orchestral folk echoes the intricacies and warmth of choral music, as well as the soulful, tender, and fiery vocals of Sara Watkins, Courtney Marie Andrews, and Alison Krauss.