Cracking The Sky-Conversations With Creatives

CRACKING THE SKY with guest Beth Nielsen Chapman

January 03, 2021 Beth Nielsen Chapman
Cracking The Sky-Conversations With Creatives
CRACKING THE SKY with guest Beth Nielsen Chapman
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Twice Grammy-nominated Nashville based, Beth Nielsen Chapman has released thirteen solo albums and written seven #1 hits and songs recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo', Roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, Indigo Girls, and Faith Hill's mega-hit This Kiss, ASCAP'S 1999 Song of the Year.

Her song Sand and Water (1997), from her own solo album of the same name, was performed on stage by Sir Elton John to honor the memory of Princess Diana.

Recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Beth is also a breast cancer surivivor, environmentalist and considere herself a "creativity midwife", passionate about inspiring others to fully blossom into their creative life.

Beth continues to release her critically acclaimed solo albums, the newest of which, recorded and produced by Ray Kennedy, will be released in 2021.

In 2021, Beth will also debut her own podcast "The SongSchool Podcast", which will feature guest songwriters describing what they consider the "perfect song" as well as on the spot critiques for songs submitted, both live in the studio and down the phone line from the other side of the world.

bethnielsenchapman.com

CRACKING THE SKY PODCAST-BETH NIELSEN CHAPMAN

 

Cid [00:00:05] Hey, everybody, welcome to my podcast, Cracking the Sky Conversations with Creatives. I'm your host, Cidny Bullens. I'm here in East Nashville, Tennessee, where around every corner is a front porch, a songwriter and a barking dog. On my podcast, I'm talking with a whole spectrum of creative people from around the world. I dig deep into what inspires these artists and creators to do what they do and what it takes for them to make the leap into the creative unknown. I'm featuring some incredibly gifted people, musicians, songwriters, artists, authors, record producers, actors, filmmakers and more. I go inside the mainstream and outside the lines, so settle in wherever you are as we explore the process of making something out of nothing through the experience of some of the most creative people of our time. 

 

Cid [00:01:17] Hey, everybody, welcome to the podcast today, I'm really, really happy to have a great friend, an old friend, someone who I super enjoy being with and talking to Beth Nielsen Chapman, who is an incredible singer songwriter and recording artist. I want to tell a little story first before I get her on about how Beth impacted me, like almost 25 years ago now. She and I met around Christmas time in 1994, not long after the tragic death from cancer of her first husband, Ernest, but before the death from cancer of my 11 year old daughter Jessie in 1996. And within a month after Jessie's death, Beth called me on the phone. I was in Maine, in my little island home, and she was in Nashville. I remember walking around my tiny little living room up there in that tiny little house with a phone in my hand. As she spoke to me, I was completely and utterly devastated, of course, and overcome with grief. And I couldn't imagine doing anything, anything creative again in my life. She proceeded to tell me that I would write again, that I would write beautiful songs about this unfathomable loss. No way. I thought, no way. She just kept talking to me about how I would write these songs that would express the the truth of what I felt and songs that would help me heal. I didn't believe her. I couldn't believe her. I remember her sending me a rough mix or some copy of her song Sand and Water, from her album Sand and Water, which didn't come out until 1997, but she sent me a workout tape or a rough mix or something. And it became...Well, it still is one of my favorite songs on Earth. And as time would have it, as the universe would have it, I wrote the song Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth a couple of months after her call. And within that first year and a half after Jessie's death, I wrote the whole album Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth. And I credit her with that seed and the permission to write about my own grief. As most of my audience knows, writing those songs and what came after truly saved my life. So I know that's kind of a somber introduction, but it's the truth and that's how important she is to me in my life. 

 

Cid [00:04:35] Twice, Grammy nominated Nashville based Beth Nielsen Chapman has released 13 solo albums and written seven number one hits. She's had songs recorded by such varied artists, those are my words, as Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Bette Midler, Elton John, Neil Diamond, Michael McDonald, Keb Mo, Roberta Flack, Waylon Jennings, Indigo Girls. And of course, she had Faith Hill's mega hit, This Kiss, which was ASCAP Song of the Year in 1999. And there's so much more, but right now, let's get to it. 

 

Cid [00:05:20] Yay, finally, we're here. We are. We're here. It's been a while, but God, so great. I can see your face. You know, people are not going to see your face, but I'm very happy to see your face. I see you cross down. 

 

Beth [00:05:37] They're going to hear us seeing each other's face is already in our voice. So that's really good, you know. 

 

Cid [00:05:42] Oh, it's great. You're just across town. But during the pandemic, it's like, you know, you might as well be in Timbuktu, but you aren't. You're here in Nashville. I'm on the east. Your in the south, Brentwood.

 

Beth [00:05:57] But what's fascinating, though, is that we can be connected to people in Denmark, like as if they're across the street. So. Oh, that's great. That's been really good. 

 

Beth [00:06:04] You know, the rest of it's been for shit, but that's all I know. 

 

Cid [00:06:08] I know. I'm counting my blessings, believe me. So, Beth, welcome to the podcast. Thank you. You are one of the busiest, most productive, most creative people I have ever known in my life, which is the truth. We've been friends, I don't know, for twenty five years or something like that. And I'm still in awe of everything you do and everything you've done because every time. You know, I either see it on Facebook or Instagram or, you know, and, ah, I was like reading your bio and and I'm like, wait a minute, when did she do that? Where is she now? Where's she going? I mean, you've got your friggin world tour starting in, in the fall of 2021. 

 

Beth [00:06:55] All around the world... It hasn't happened yet. Those are... Anybody can type, you know, anybody can type. I always tell my my son that anybody can type. Who knows if it'll come through. Yeah. Yeah. No I, I think I put it up there it'll happen. So I'm digging into it but no I'm ...

 

Cid [00:07:09] Well I'm going to do that because I have no book gigs booked, but I'm going to just make them up and put them on my website and maybe that, maybe they'll happen. 

 

Beth [00:07:18] No they will. No you don't even have to fill in the locations. It's just like Saturday night I will be performing. I'll let you know about where and all that. 

 

Cid [00:07:26] That's a great idea. I think I'm gonna do that. You know, if you if you build it, they will come. 

 

Beth [00:07:32] Absolutely. 

 

Cid [00:07:33] Anyway, it's it's great. You've got the Christmas stuff around you and, you know, it's been there since July. I know that. So...

 

Beth [00:07:41] I have to have twinkle lights around me all the time or I lose my mind. 

 

Cid [00:07:45] It's true. An my and my my wife made me put them up on the back porch, those fiesta lights. And so they're on all year and stuff like that. But that's nice. And you, you know, you walk into your house--talk about creativity! I mean, your house is a house of creativity. You know, you walk in and everywhere you look in every single room... 

 

Beth [00:08:08] Much to the horror of my husband, who doesn't seem to have like space. There are certain areas of the house. I'm not allowed to go in without permission. You know, I have to have a pass. Anywhere there's space...Tchotchis, you know, need not apply now. 

 

Cid [00:08:27] So does he have a sign on the door that says, stop, do not enter? 

 

Beth [00:08:30] He has a sign that says, leave me alone. 

 

Cid [00:08:37] Go away. Leave me alone. I love that. I love that. Well, the podcast is called Cracking the Sky. 

 

Beth [00:08:42] I love that. I love I was jealous when I heard that. I thought, whoa, I wish I had a thought of that one. 

 

Cid [00:08:48] So I when I was thinking about creating this podcast, I thought, OK, this is what I'm doing. I'm doing it on creativity. Not that there aren't a hundred podcasts on creativity, but I know my people. I have people I know who I know I can tap to talk about the process of creativity because I'm fascinated by creativity. 

 

Beth [00:09:19] Yeah. 

 

Cid [00:09:20] So we all started young. I mean, I know you you started playing guitar and piano, like around the same time I did, around 11 years old, you know, and this cute little story in your bio about how your mother hid a Framus guitar in the closet... 

 

Beth [00:09:37] In my closet...

 

Cid [00:09:38] In your closet, for your father, for a Father's Day gift. So you found the guitar, obviously...

 

Beth [00:09:44]  I'd crawl in the closet and all I had was one of those little round things with the blow in the different, you know, has the six tones so you can get it in tune. We were living in Germany, so I didn't have access to, like a music store or anything. So everything was in German. So I'd sit in the closet and I would just get it in tune. And then I would put my fingers down on the strings in places that sounded good with each other. And then I had all these weird names for the chords. I was actually playing a D or C or G.  And sometimes in a very strange finger configuration. And then I would just name them like circle with a dot in the middle of it. And then I got to be, you know, hanging out with folk players and Joan Baez, Bob Dylan was all happening. This is like in the sixties and. Yeah. And I just remember like walking up to somebody at a campfire and they'd be playing that thing that's a circle with a dot in the middle of it. And I'd say, like that chord you're playing here. That you mean C? And I'm like, yeah, C. And I'd be like, write that down, you know. 

 

Cid [00:10:45] Yeah, yeah. 

 

Beth [00:10:46] I mean, I don't want anybody to know how illiterate I was. 

 

Cid [00:10:49] But listen, I still do that today. 

 

Beth [00:10:51]  I don't know the names of the chords. I don't know. I mean, I don't know theory... 

 

Cid [00:10:57] But that's that's the way I learned. I used to watch and I'm a little bit older than you and I used to watch Shindig and Hullabaloo or whatever in the sixties. And I would watch when they did the close ups on the finger positioning on on the guitar. I would go back to the guitar with what I thought the finger positions were and and press up against the guitar until it sounded good. So same thing. But you started playing at about 11 years old and so did you...I mean was that like it was it like a flash like, oh, this is what I'm going to do? Or did it come slow?

 

Beth [00:11:35] No it was never what I was going to do to make a living, because I didn't have a concept of that, you know. But I remember just puttering around with it, and my parents would always rent a piano and there was like musicians in my family, my uncle was a was a professional musician for many years. He'd play it all up and down the Atlantic coast and played in Atlantic City and casinos. And he had a great band, fantastic singer, Rich Kelly and friends. In fact, they've got like YouTube videos and they've got a cult following back from the day. 

 

Cid [00:12:06] Oh, how cool. 

 

Beth [00:12:07] But, I remember going in and hearing him when I was a kid just thinking, oh, my God, that's amazing. But and, you know, my Uncle Joe was a great piano player, but my parents always just had musical, like a piano is usually rented. So and I failed piano lessons really badly. But around the time we lived in Germany, between 11 and 13 or right as I was turning 13, something happened to me that ignited me creatively and just made me realize this was going to be my life raft through life. Because when we were living in Germany, it was 1968. You know what a crazy year that was. Going on 1969. And the last school field trip we had, the instructor decided it would be a really good idea to take us to Dachau, which is a concentration camp museum. And you know 12 year olds should not tour Dachau period. I'm sorry, but yeah. It totally wrecked me. I mean, I came home and got in the fetal position for a few days, missed some school. I just was so overwhelmed by what I saw. And I remember writing songs... And then I put away all my Barbie dolls. I was like, OK, the world is not a safe place. If anybody ever did that to people, they could do it again. I mean, I my mind just went to like, what's happening now. And I remember coming home and saying, you know what, time's a news go on. You know, my mom is like, why are you watching the news? Go play with your Barbie dolls. I'm like, no, no, no. I'm I got to find out what's happening with this civil rights thing and the Vietnam War. And he's all bad, you know, and she was like, what? So. Well, my dad got his orders. The next town we move to is Montgomery, Alabama. 

 

Cid [00:13:43] Oh, my gosh. Wow.

 

Beth [00:13:44] And that was a real culture shock. It's come a long way now. They have the lynching museum. It's a real accomplishment. It's a really amazing thing that Montgomery has come far enough to actually have that there. So it's still got a ways to go, as we all know in general. But it just caused me to start writing songs that were anti-war, songs that were really bad. But, you know, 12 year old trying to run an anti-war song is not pretty. But I was passionate about pouring my feelings into the songs I was writing. And that kick started me. And I hung on to that guitar like a like a life raft. You know, throughout the rest of my life, I'm still hanging on to it and a piano occasionally. 

 

Cid [00:14:26] Yeah, what a story. 

 

Beth [00:14:29] But I think it was meant to be because when we moved and then we were living in Montgomery and I was trying to adapt to, you know, that culture. And I mean, I literally wrote my way through my teenage years, probably kept me off of any serious drugs. And, you know, that that that became my go to medicine, you know, creativity. 

 

Cid [00:14:51] So did you start writing songs in Germany before you came back? So at like 12, 13 years old? 

 

Beth [00:14:59] Yeah. I mean, I started writing when I was 11. I started writing the first songs I wrote when I was 11 and, you know, in the closet before I open up, everybody's in the and I'll be somewhere other than happy songs and flowers. And, you know, I was rhyming bee's knees and, you know, Clouds and Wild's and but then when I got inundated with this awareness of the world not being a safe place, it just shifted my my need to write songs turned out to be an outlet for my fear in my worrying and thinking. That's not fair. They shouldn't be hosing those people down and setting dogs on them. And I'd write a song about, you know, that as if I knew what it felt like to be a black person in the South. But it was just my my exercise for my own sanity, really. And then as I got older and all the things in my life happened, of course, that was set in stone. My my relationship to creativity... I want to back up a little bit because I started before that. I was really blessed with parents who really, you know, were very, very happy to see their kids be creative and they never, like, critiqued me, you know. So I could bring my mom a stick with a ball of mud at the end of it and go, I made this for you. And she'd be like, oh, this is just so beautiful. Oh, my God. Look, honey, look at what Bethy made me. Look. Isn't that beautiful? What is it? You know, I mean, she was always--yes, keep doing that, you know. And my dad was the same way.  And I know that a lot of kids get shut down by their siblings or, you know, and I just, I managed to get all the almost all the way through my childhood not knowing that anything I could ever create wasn't just great. I got battered later on in life, plenty. It was really such a lovely golden years of expressing myself. I painted and I sculpted and I played with all sorts of ways to create. And I never had somebody try to shut me down and say, Oh, you shouldn't be doing that, you know. 

 

Cid [00:16:52] So great.

 

Beth [00:16:54]  Yeah. And as I as I came into being older and I started getting in the music business, of course I had the rejection that everybody else goes through. And that was kind of shocking to me. In fact, my first album came out in 1980 and Barry Beckett produced it and it was all the Muscle Shoals guys played on it. And it was supposed to be a massive success. I mean, everything else had been working out great for me right up to that point and then right as it came out, disco hit. So nothing really took off with my album. Plus I wasn't really ready for prime time anyway, but when I didn't have immediate success, I just blamed it on myself. I just took it really personally. And I didn't write for almost five years. And then I got married and had a baby and I was just pouring all my creative energy into anything but songwriting because it was too painful to me to put myself out there again and then have nobody care. So, it took me a long time. The short version is I ended up seeing Coal Miner's Daughter and there I was watching Loretta Lynn with kids climbing all over her planting potatoes so they don't starve, writing, you know, The Pill and these great iconic... And I thought--I'm sitting there in the movie theater thinking I'm really being a big baby about this stuff. I'm being a baby. So I just ended up going back into writing and and then eventually moved to Nashville, and so my but my relationship with creativity was always fairly strong and when I didn't feel creative for writing songs, I would be supplanting it with making Play-Doh heads or, you know, doing other things, making a mobile for my baby's nursery. You know, not I could not not be creative, but. 

 

Cid [00:18:37] Yeah.

 

Beth [00:18:38] But I when I teach about creativity, which is something that I'm really passionate about... The first time I ever got asked to teach it was in the early 90s. And Pat Pattison from Berkeley in Boston, you probably have met--a great teacher, a great professor of music. You know, he invited me to come to Berkeley and to teach for a week like a like a residency because I had two big hits on the radio. I had a song called Strong Enough to Bend, which was a big hit for Tanya Tucker that I wrote with Don Schlitz. And then I think I wrote a big hit song for Willie Nelson that I went to, number one. And so he had taken a couple of my songs apart. Actually, they were songs from my album that I just put out for Warner Brothers. And he had dissected them in a book that he wrote on lyric writing. And so he called me and said, look, I've featured you in this chapter. I've been teaching about your songs. Would you come and do a week of teaching? And I thought, sure, how hard can it be? You know, just talk about what I did or something. I didn't have a thought in my head. I just said, yeah, I'll take the job. So he flies me up there a couple of weeks later, and, of course, I've been really busy and I hadn't really looked at the book that he sent me and I was just kind of... Then on the plane. I'm reading the chapters where he took my songs apart and butterflied them and showed everybody. And I'm using quotation marks here when I was doing when I wrote those songs. And I was reading this book breaking out in a sweat, because I was realizing I've just been hired to talk about this stuff like that, you know, like I didn't know I did any of that. I never heard of onomatopoeia or whatever that's called. 

 

Cid [00:20:16] Yeah, it's like the it's like the circle with the dot, you know. 

 

Beth [00:20:19] Exactly. Exactly. And he was expecting me to be able to talk, I thought, on this really knowledgeable level. And I knew I was an imposter. So I walked into the class. Three hundred and fifty kids, Berkley kids, you know, like...

 

Cid [00:20:37] I'm shaking my head for those of you out there.

 

Beth [00:20:37] And they're they're smart and they've all, they all know all where all the bodies are buried in the songs that they've looked at that I wrote. But I don't know where the bodies were buried. So I walked in and I said, Pat, you're not even going to have to pay me because I'm going to suck at this, because I, I just read the chapter in your book. And I didn't I didn't know that I did any of that. He goes tell them that and tell them. So I went up to the microphone and I said, I'd like to start off with a full confession. When I wrote those songs that you have now looked at so specifically. Here's how I did it, I started off with a cord and then I made a sound and I went nyeh nyeh nyeh and made up some words and I didn't know what I was doing. I want you to know that most of the time that I was writing that song, I did not know what I was doing. And then at the very end, I analyzed what I had so far and I moved some parts and pieces around and I did sort of an editing thing, which is different than the writing thing, which comes from the creative flow and the collaboration that we have with this thing that is not inside of us. It is outside of us and it works with us. 

 

Cid [00:21:38] That's what I want to talk about. That's what I want you to elaborate on.  So if I can stop you there because that's the thing that's with me, too. I'm not, I have never been to school. I don't know I still don't know half the chords I play. And you know me. I've been doing this for a long time and I write from a certain place in me. But I that's what I want to hear about is what is that relationship with the brain and whatever else that is. 

 

Beth [00:22:08] Well, I think of my brain as my hard drive. I think of my brain as the working mechanics of my computer. And I think of my brain... my brain stores the, the experiences that I've had in folders somewhere. Some of them are hidden, some of them I can read and sometimes I don't even know how I feel about certain things until I start to write about them. And I start with a sound, it's my voice or the guitar or some combination of the two. The first time I'll sort of blah blah blah into a melody. I don't even care if it makes any sense. I just want to find out where the vowels like to be. So even as I finish a song sometimes two years after I started it, if I go back to that first work tape, the very first time the melody fell out of my mouth, the vowels are already in place and two years later, the line I wrote a year and a half after that. I didn't say I've got to match the vowels, I didn't even think about it because in my experience the songs are written and they kind of come up through these layers. Sometimes it's faster, sometimes it's slower. But I have learned to trust that I'm not writing the song by myself. And, you know, I feel like I think of creativity as air. I think of it as this. This is all around us. It's in every crevice it can fit in. Right? And it's got oxygen in it, right? And we're humans and we have to breathe oxygen. So if I'm sitting in a room with you, if somebody says to me, you're more creative than I am, that's like somebody telling me you have more air available to breathe than I do. But I'm sitting in a room with that person, we have the same amount of air available to breathe. So it is not whether or not you have creativity, it's whether or not you are open to creativity. 

 

Cid [00:23:59]  Yes. I love that. 

 

Beth [00:24:00] That's the magical, you know, perspective that I found for people who are stuck or never felt like they had a right to be creative or never felt like they had the thing. Like when somebody says, oh, she has so much talent, it makes me crazy because talent is only realized opportunity. It's not whether or not you have talent, it's whether or not you've realized your inborn, inborn talent, which is, yeah, it's like saying, oh, she's got such a body. You know, like, well, I don't know, what does she look like? She look like she's taking care of her body or in so many ways that definition's shut us down. So I feel like, you know, in my bio, it says I'm a creativity whisperer, kind of like a horse whisperer... 

 

Cid [00:24:49] And a creativity midwife!

 

Beth [00:24:52] Yeah, I do that too. And it's just because I want to coax a person's belief system out of the mud into a place where they can see ... I want to convince them that you can open those long closed doors, you can open up a space and you can do a practice to do this. And I teach this in my workshops and it's like, there's a lot of things, little tricks and stuff that you can do. But showing up is the first thing you have to have. You have to show up muscle, right? So if you don't show up to begin the process, nothing's going to happen. And sometimes you show up and you're completely closed down, but you're there, you're sitting in your chair and I'm like, good, we got that sorted. So that's the first thing. And then we're going to talk about play and play is the greatest key to getting your brain to take a hike. 

 

Cid [00:25:44] Play is a very, very important word because it's all encompassing. It's it's that word. It's like press the button and play play the song. It's playing on the jungle gym. It's playing music, it's playing... And to me, that's that's a really important word because if I play at making music, I'm much more available to the music coming in, than if I am if I define it as work. 

 

Beth [00:26:16] Yeah, and so much of the time when we are playing, we are not even aware that what we're what we're blathering about is even good. I mean, I wrote Sand and Water, not even knowing as I wrote down this line, which I think is one of the most amazing lines that ever came through me, which is a line that says "solid stone is just sand and water and a million years gone by". I remember writing that down and going, well, that doesn't make any sense, but I'll fix it later. You know, I'm certainly not getting it, you know, and I wrote it down, you know.

 

Cid [00:26:47] That song... And by the way, let me just stop right there, because that song, which we're going to play in the podcast a little bit, but that song to me is one of the most profound songs ever written by anybody. And I have my own story about that. And we'll talk about that... And and that line, you're right, it's it's a line that you go, what? 

 

Beth [00:27:14] Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Cid [00:27:15] But it and you don't even know sometimes, like you say what it really means, but it's something. It means something. It hits somebody somewhere. 

 

Beth [00:27:24] Yeah. And it's like a line like I always use the example of the kind of line that's like "she wore diamonds in the soles of her shoes", you know, like that is just an amazing. 

 

Cid [00:27:33] Or I can drink a case of you and still be on my feet. 

 

Beth [00:27:36] Exactly. Yeah, yeah. But that was along those lines, wherever they come, whatever writer's writing them, they're not writing that from thinking it up. I can guarantee you they are... It's popping through like behh... It's like it's effortless when those lines come through and then you write them down and you go, oh, that's pretty good, you know. And even when I've co-written and I you know, I was one of the writers on the song called This Kiss for Faith Hill, which was a big hit. Helped put my son through college. And I wrote it with Annie Roboff and Robin Lerner. And, you know, we had this chorus that was really good. I mean, they wrote a lot of the chorus before I even got involved. And then it ended up with this kind of like (sings) "your critical kiss". It was like this little kind of pat thing at the end. And I'm like, God, it just needs to be shouted from the rooftops. You like this kiss, this kiss or something like that. And then I just sort of threw that out there. And they were they're like, Yeah, that's good. That's good. Yeah. I mean, it's like when I said it, I didn't think... I didn't think! So, I try to teach people how to get their brains kind of a little bit more on the back burner until you can get all the raw material from the other side of the creative flow. 

 

Cid [00:28:45] Right. 

 

Beth [00:28:45] And and I think of creative flow as this... it's basically God breathing. God is breathing into everything that will allow creativity to flow. And the beauty of it is it doesn't interrupt. So if you have a plant and you plant a seed and then you put a cup over that thing, it's it's not going to push through the porcelain of the cup. You know, it's... You have to work with it. You have to allow for... We interact with how much are we going to create? Are we going to we're going to make a garden or are we going to mow the lawn or you know... And I think of God breathing through every single thing that is moving through creativity. And that includes if you leave your cheese sandwich on the piano, when you come back in three weeks, creativity will have happened. Unless it's Velveeta, which is not actually a food. But mold is creativity. You know, like you can't if you go away and you come back in six months, there will be a layer of dust on everything. You know, if everything that you ... let's say I say, come on, sit in this chair, we're going to write a song, don't be afraid. And you are like, I'm not going to be able to do this. I'm I suck. I don't have a right, nobody cares what I have to say, what all those voices that we can have in our head that stop us from feeling ready to be creative. And those actual voices in our head take up... There's this hole in the top of your head and it's where all the flow comes through and it's it takes up the real estate, you know, you can't be saying I suck and having creative flow at the same time. So I have all these tricks, like I'll say to somebody, look, just when you go to your little space, your little creative space, just bring a pot of tea and then bring some cups and bring a cup for your fear that you suck. Put it over there, give it a People magazine. Take another cup. You know, your fear that nobody will ever care what you have to say. You know, like all the little parts of you, the part of you that wants to quit writing way too early and go eat lunch or watch Netflix or some, you know, scroll the insta, you know, like that part of you, a little cup of tea. I pour little cups of liquid all around my studio if I have to. And then I just go, you guys interrupt me as much as you like, because if you tell those other voices to stop talking to you, the energy that it takes to try to stop them also stops the flow. So you have to go. Everybody feel free to join in. Don't don't be don't take it personally if I don't respond because I'm going to be over here writing my freakin song, OK? Or sitting here waiting for my song to happen. 

 

Cid [00:31:22] Right. Right. I love that. Yeah. 

 

Beth [00:31:25] So in that space of just cracking it open just a little bit, then I have to let them know and you might do all those things right. And it's possible that nothing will happen. Like you won't, you won't write yesterday or you know, like you won't write your opus that day. 

 

Cid [00:31:45] Right. 

 

Beth [00:31:46] So then you go, oh, I suck. Oh my God. See, I knew, I knew I sucked because I did all those things... you can't you can't open that ...you can't create that opening with a stipulation. If the stipulation is I have to now have an experience of creativity that's going to be fulfilling and I'm going to feel good about it. And that means I got this right. That's actually not going to work either. So I have to make another allowance for- and if you show up and you just open up and just be willing to not know what you're doing and allow yourself to putter, play, hit a few chords is easy and forgiving as you possibly can to whatever comes through. Keep the recorder on, because just in case you're brilliant and you don't recognize it, you'll have that. And then if you sit there for half an hour and you don't really feel that excited about what you came up with and you're kind of thinking maybe that was a waste of time, then you have to think, no. Actually, I just worked out. I just lifted three thousand pounds in the gym of creativity and I'm working a muscle and my muscle is the show up and be ready muscle. And I promise you, if you do that with some regularity, you will not be able to not write. . 

 

Cid [00:33:08] Right. 

 

Beth [00:33:08] You won't be able to not write. And even if it doesn't happen in that moment when you go downstairs and try to fix some soup or go to the store, the whole thing will start barreling through you because you have invited it and you're letting it know I'm here, I'm going to show up. I'm going to be ready. So I'm just around, you know, and then it'll start to flow.  I've never seen it not work to... 

 

Cid [00:33:31] And that's why and that's why songwriters or writers or any any creative person, but writers in particular have notebooks and notebooks and notebooks of one line titles. You know, we have, I have I have work tapes from 1977 in my basement! Cassettes. You know, and I have a cassette player and I keep, you know, for many years, I keep threatening to bring up those work tapes and put them in, you know, because we we, that's... I have written more songs with something I wrote 10 years before. A title that I put down 10 years before, or a line, or even a lick, because if the lick wants to be written, a musical lick, it'll stay there. 

 

Beth [00:34:26] Yeah. 

 

Cid [00:34:27] It'll be there like four years until I finally... I have this instrumental song that I wrote in DADGAD, that I wrote like, I don't know, five, six years ago. Have not been able to find lyrics for it. Can't... I know what I wanted to say but I cannot find the lyrics for it. But that instrumental... 

 

Beth [00:34:50] It's not going anywhere. 

 

Cid [00:34:51] It's got to be written at some point. Every once in a while I start playing it and see if something else comes up. 

 

Beth [00:34:57] Yup. 

 

Cid [00:34:57] So I guess I'm not supposed to write it by myself, but... 

 

Beth [00:35:00] Well you never know, I mean...

 

Cid [00:35:02] All right, I'll be I'll be over as soon as the pandemic's done. 

 

Beth [00:35:06] Yeah. There you go. 

 

Cid [00:35:09] So let me ask you this, though, in terms of... Because you're talking about the brain being a computer and you've talked about opening up and you've talked about the, you know, the hole in the top... And all of that stuff. I totally get it. You know, I think as creators, we might express it in different ways, but all of those pathways resonate with me. You know, and and the and actually, I'm listening like, oh, this is good. I'm going to try... 

 

Beth [00:35:41] Lots the tricks. I got... Yeah. I got lots of tricks.

 

Cid [00:35:46] But in terms of when it happens to you, to you, not how you're trying to tell somebody else, but when it happens to you, is that feeling of... How does it go through your body? I mean, I know you said your brain is a computer. Do you get a visceral response, like a like a physical response when you, when you write? 

 

Beth [00:36:16] The funny thing about me is I will write some of the stuff that I will end up thinking is the best stuff I ever wrote, like Sand and Water. You would think that as I wrote that song, I'd be like, oh, my God, this is so great. I'm just writing a great song right now. It's going to be a song that goes around the world and helps people for 20 years and all that's true, but I was completely oblivious. So I think I have the opposite of a visceral response. I think when I really am in the zone, I'm actually not in the center of the address of Beth. 

 

Cid [00:36:50] Right. 

 

Beth [00:36:51] I'm not in my center. I'm actually in my center, but there's this allowance of... It's like it's like here's what it feels like. If I were going to describe it, it's like there's the core of my center and then there's a way that I kind of expand. And then in the middle of the middle of that, there's this entrance of another kind of information train that brings me words that even sound like the words that are going to end up being the words that aren't even like they don't even make sense yet. But I go ahead and write them down, you know. 

 

Cid [00:37:23] So you're like channeling or you're the vehicle for the creation... 

 

Beth [00:37:27] It i s like channeling. It is like channeling... 

 

Cid [00:37:28] Yeah, I think that too. 

 

Beth [00:37:28] But I don't think channeling... And then then I'm not...  Though the hard work comes... that part's all really fun, you know, like you say and sing. And then I go back and I listen to what just happened. And when I listen, I put on a different hat, I put on the editor and the analyzer hat. And those are really important skills that... This is the stuff that Pat Pattison was teaching to those kids when they took my song apart. And they said, here's why this works so well, because this thing here and then that sets that up. And it's a logical... It's a craft, it's a study of an art form. Those are fantastic things to learn how to know more about as a writer. It won't give you the clay, the raw material as much as getting a good night's sleep, meditating and, you know, eating well and and digesting a lot of great literature and poetry. That will make your output as a creative person much better. But being able to take what you've written and now go take a little break, come back with your coffee, look at it, go hmmm, that first verse is really strong, second verse could be better, blah, blah, blah. So like when I critique a song in a workshop, or if you played me a song and I was going to give you some feedback, I would be listening with that hat that's like, let's see if it'll go through the sieve of does it, who's talking to who about what? And, you know, do I understand what this song is about? What's it communicating to me? Is it moving me. Is it telling me something? Yeah, all those things. And sometimes it can be a song that's really kind of like an impressionistic painting. It doesn't have to be nail on the head. So there's a whole different there's a huge variety of... As long as the song works, it can be a whole bunch of things. So getting the song air tight is a whole process of really fine tuning and going line by line and then playing it for somebody like Rodney Crowell and like, is this done yet? You know, and bouncing it off on another writer or looking at it the next day with fresh ears so... That process... Sometimes I'll come the next day and I'll go to bed that night and I'll go man I just wrote the best song. It's so perfect. It's just so great. And I'll wake up the next morning and I'll look at and go, ew, there's a lot of work I got to do on this thing. I don't think I can be the same person at all the stages of dress that a song goes through. 

 

Cid [00:39:47] No. I get that. Yeah.

 

Beth [00:39:48]  Every once in a while, you know, I'm sure you've had it happen where the whole thing just falls through in twenty minutes and it's all written. 

 

Cid [00:39:52] Yeah, and it's and it's all rarely but yeah. It'll happen. 

 

Beth [00:39:55] Thank you! Thank you!  

 

Cid [00:39:56] Yeah exactly. That's a big thank you moment. And I guess the visceral thing for me and and I think you helped me clarify my question was because-- when I teach, I talk about what moves you like a song has to move you. It can move you in fifteen ways. It could be the beat. It could be the lyric. It could be the music. It can be the emotion. It can be whatever it is. But in some respect it has to move you. And I think it has to move...It has to move me first. I have to be moved. And that's what I think I was asking about the visceral part of it... It's not the right word, but... 

 

Beth [00:40:35] I think when I'm actually writing something, I have no idea. But I have actually convinced myself that it's good because I have to kind of get excited. I mean, I get excited about it even six months later, if I look back at it and go, that's a really good song and that's a great song. And I might not have even known the difference when I was writing the two songs. So I think I really do kind of become absent from my my the part of me that would judge where it is, you know, if it's this or that or better or worse, kind of pulls back. And I try to make that happen because there's this incredible thing when you're very forgiving in the first half of the writing process where you just take all the lines, take all the funny words... When I co-wrote with someone, I said, you can't be there's no such thing as being stupid, you know, like there's nothing that's stupid. Let me hear every word that you're coming through your mouth, because that is often a clue, because I think the song is already completely, perfectly written. We're downloading it in in segments or layers. A lot of times when I write with Annie Roboff, we've written a bunch of stuff together. She'll be playing a melody and she'll be just singing those nonsense words. 

 

Cid [00:41:44] Yeah, I do that too. 

 

Cid [00:41:46] I'm hearing, I'm hearing nothing in that that's going to end up being the line and she'll sit there and go, well, I don't really write that many lyrics. I go, yes, you do. You really make it easy for me to hear what the lyrics want to be. And it's very subliminal. Again, it's getting out of the way of the thing. But but the fine tuning part, you know, I read something recently and something Mary Gauthier, I think, wrote where she said there's a big difference between the editor and the critic. The editor is a very important, useful part. But you don't want to edit before you you've got enough to work with. So I don't I try not to edit at the front part in the part I edit, or I'll go this part's working... And I have this like, for instance... With a lot of songwriters, they've worked really hard on a song and they don't want to give up any of the verses. And I'm like, OK, but the second verse, let's just lift it out of the song. We're going to put it over here to the left of me. I have this thing I have prepared for myself that I suggest that you prepare for yourself in your writing. It's called the altar of things that aren't going anywhere.  And I suggest you get whatever your deity of choices. Jesus, whatever you love of the spirit world, put it on up there, get some candles, some incense, pretty tablecloth, deck it out in your brain. And then when you're working on the editing part of your song, be willing to go in there with your pith helmet and your pickax. Carve out the parts that aren't as great. OK, put them on the altar of things that aren't going anywhere. And now you have a lovely hole in your song. And do you know what Creative Flow absolutely loves is a void. . 

 

Cid [00:43:25] Yup! 

 

Beth [00:43:26] Because if you've been to you know, if you just went to Berkeley for six months and you were, you know, you got a scholarship and then you went to the class and all they talked about was all this picky, picky stuff about why this song is perfect and why that song is perfect and you're all perfected out and your brain is so full of new information and you haven't written for six months because... Because you're just a mess and you don't know if you've even got it anymore, because it's just so hard and there's so many things to remember. And how did Beth write those songs? Oh, my God, they're so brilliant. And then Beth is standing in front of you and she gets up on the microphone and she says, I want you to know that when I wrote that song, I did not know what I was doing. And then you burst into tears of joy and relief. And that's what happened with three little girls right in the audience were so relieved that they didn't have to know all that. 

 

Cid [00:44:13] So, OK, here's a question. And it wasn't on my list. And we're not talking about anything on my list, and that's just fine. 

 

Beth [00:44:20] We knew we were going on the magical mystery tour. 

 

Cid [00:44:22] Yeah, that's all good. And because I only have them in case anyway. But I knew I wouldn't need anything with you. But, you know, so there's the difference between talent... And you've already talked a little bit about that and how to do something. So, the craft. 

 

Beth [00:44:45] That's right. 

 

Cid [00:44:46] So, so in my experience, the craft of writing has been about my experience of just keeping doing it. You know, and observing and listening to other people's stuff, I never went to school. I don't know how to... I can't read music. I don't know any of that stuff. And not to say that any of that's bad. But, you know, when I was thinking halfway through my career that I would go to music school, I had people say, don't do it, no, don't go now. Because, you know, you know you've written... 

 

Beth [00:45:23] I think that music school can get a bad name because it can be just kind of a little bit one sided. And I mean, I think Pat Patterson is one of the great, great teachers because he doesn't, he does that so brilliantly, the whole critique part of it. And he has amazing, amazing teaching things he's, you know, created over the years. You should have him on your show. He's fantastic. But, you know, there's I'm like, I, I try to get people back to that childlike place...

 

Cid [00:45:51] Right. 

 

Beth [00:45:51] Of the blank white piece of paper that guess what? When Bob Dylan writes his next song, he's got the same thing on his plate that you do, which is a blank white piece of paper. And having that catalog hanging over your head is not a plus. 

 

Cid [00:46:04] Which he just sold. 

 

Beth [00:46:05] So. Right. So but I mean, he's got this whole body of work that he could try to live up to or just you've got to be childlike and start from the place to scratch. But the thing that is really powerful about being able to switch hats, is that the craft I think you can go to music school as long as you maintain your relationship with that childlike part of creativity, which I'm always preaching about, that people tend to lose or they or they don't think they ever had it. That that's the part that really breaks my heart, where somebody says I'm not really talented. But like, if you're breathing, you're just as capable of reaching the places where this experience is. Now, whether or not you've learned the craft like you might be, oh, my God, I just wrote this thing. And then you play me something and it's not finished. But it's really inspiring. And it's got a real it's got legs, but it's not done. And it can be very difficult for writers that are just finally getting their, you know, into the joy of it. And then I come along, go now. I want you to take out that second verse and move that around and move that around and then fill that in, and that's terrifying to them. And that's why I try to make it fun, like putting things on the altar of things that aren't going anywhere. It's a good way to not feel like you have to lose it. And if it ends up back in the song fun, you know, but but give yourself a chance to to go out past your comfort zone. And then that thing where you can like you said, you know, you listen you listen to music. Well, while you were listening to music, you're your amazing computer brain was making notes like, oh, and that's interesting because that then that's why that works. And so you're writing your own book on lyric writing. You're filling it in as you listen to music and absorb it and live with it and and you let it own you. And that is what you bring when you shift from, OK, I've got this thing that's all inspired. Now I'm going to look at it analytically and see what needs to be different or better. Then when you have the hole in your song, I want people to throw all that away, take that hat off. Good God, don't try to fill in those blanks with the critique guy or the editing guy. Yeah, that's like going to suck. What I want is let's go back to the childlike swing set and just swing in. And that's how I write the second half of the song as I'll be singing up to it and then go and see what all that on my mouth and try to get back to that innocent child like play, that word again: Play, you know, to play is to invite the you don't know yet into the dance. You don't know what it is yet, you know. And I tell people, look, when you come to my workshop because you want me to teach you, how to, so you can know how to write a song. I said you're not going to, you're going to want your money back because basically I'm going to teach you how to be comfortable not knowing what you're doing, because that's where all the good stuff happens when you don't know yet. And you're just about on the edge of what you know and you're hanging one foot over and you don't have anything to put your foot on yet and something comes along and goes right under your foot. It will do that. I've had it happen so many times, but you can't... It's an uncomfortable place for a lot of people. I don't know why. I don't know why... 

 

Cid [00:49:13] Well, it's a fear... it's that unknown thing. I mean, everybody wants to feel grounded and knowledgeable and, you know, I can do this and all that stuff. And and I think that's the thing about creativity itself is that, as I say in my intro, we're creating something out of nothing. Period.

 

Beth [00:49:33] I love that line. I love that line in your intro. 

 

Cid [00:49:34] We're creating something out of nothing, whether you're, you know, growing a garden, planting a seed or writing a song or painting a painting or writing a book or whatever, or making dinner. 

 

Beth [00:49:47] Yeah. 

 

Cid [00:49:47] You know, I mean, yeah. You've got things that you're putting in the pot to make the stew, but you start with nothing, you've got to go to the store first and get the ingredients, you know, so so we're all making something out of nothing. And that's what's so fascinating to me. 

 

Beth [00:50:06] Absolutely. 

 

Cid [00:50:07] Is that if that is that well, we've talked about it and you've talked about it, you know, and and so that's the fear. You know, I'm sitting here, I've got a keyboard over here. I've got three guitars over there, you know, and and I but I have stuff to do. I have stuff to do before... I have to do my taxes. I have to vacuum the cat hair off the rug. I have to go for a walk because I have to exercise today, you know, whatever it happens to be before I sit down and go... (takes a breath)...

 

Beth [00:50:44] Yep, yeah. 

 

Cid [00:50:45] With nothing, that blank page, that blank thing. And that's the fear. But you've already explained well how you encourage people to allow and I think that's a big word, let and allow. We have to let that... Whatever it is, whatever it is, and sometimes it's inspiration and sometimes it isn't. Yeah, you know, I mean, we're not I'm not always inspired to write, you know. 

 

Beth [00:51:16] I mean, you can just but the thing is, it's like it's like a relationship. So, If you've been married for a certain number of years, sometimes you just don't jump on top of each other and tear each other's clothes off anymore. But in order to have a very rich sex life, there are things that you do to nurture and to give the opportunity for things to sort of happen that maybe you weren't even thinking about...

 

Cid [00:51:41] OK, so we're into... 

 

Beth [00:51:43] Now that you started kissing me on the back of the neck, maybe I want to start thinking about it now... 

 

Cid [00:51:48] I've got to put a note in the podcast that says, you know, around 50 minutes in, you want to tune in because she starts talking about sex. 

 

Beth [00:51:57] That's right. I mean, it is. I mean, Shelley Peiken has a great blog that she calls it song sex. When you co-wrote with someone, it's like you're going into a place, a very intimate place with another human. You might not have ever met them before that day. So, I mean, to me, the relationship that you have with your creative flow, I think of it as somebody that's like almost a being. That's like a thing that I can I can show up for it. I can ignore it. I can I can have it practically pour itself into the top of my head when I'm just trying to get the grocery store done and all different things. But but it is something that is worth nurturing. It's worth consciously creating a regular date with. Like I make a date with myself to write. I make a date with myself to just play. I don't even have to say I have to write a song. I'm just going to 10 minutes a day. I'm going to plunk around on the piano. I might play Mozart or I might play some I'm working on and then for, you know, at half the time something I'll just start writing through me. And if I didn't do that in a casual no pressure way, I might miss out on a lot of ideas and things that come through, you know? 

 

Cid [00:53:11] Yeah. I love that about you and I envy you that. And because I keep myself away from it sometimes. 

 

Beth [00:53:18] But I and I also understand that I do because I don't naturally. It's like getting on my elliptical machine. It's right there. And take two seconds just once I get my legs like to. Yeah, I do three of these. I'm like, I love this. This is why don't I do this every day. That's a weird thing about it. I don't understand why I even have my own resistance to it. I don't understand that. Yeah. But it's kind of like, you know, when you go on a juice fast and you start feeling really good after like two days, you're like, why don't why am I eating all that crap, you know? And then, you know, you're back to eating the crap. So, yeah, we deal with that, you know, as humans. But but I feel like it's just there's so much hope for people to enrich their lives. And I you know, I tell people about, you know, do your body of work, do your body of work in your life, it can be bread baking for one year, maybe painting the next year...

 

Cid [00:54:05] Exactly. 

 

Beth [00:54:08] ...writing songs. You know, you can come to my workshop never having written a song, and you might find that you absolutely love it, you know. And if you don't, you'll find out that you can be creative in another way that you will love. 

 

Cid [00:54:18] Well, that's the thing about creativity and I totally agree with you. Because I encourage people to to do something creative. Anything. And I and I'm going back to that word visceral. But it isn't maybe it isn't visceral, but it's the flow... That thing like you talk about opening up your head and letting it come through you. But if we stop ourselves from the natural flow of, whether it's spiritual or, you know, with a small s, you know, or whatever it is, then we aren't living our fullest lives here. 

 

Beth [00:54:59] I mean, think about like if you found a journal or you heard, you found an acetate from your great great grandfather of a song they wrote, that they just wrote because they wanted to write a song. You would it would be a treasure. It would be an absolute treasure to have that. And all of the chicken scratching of all the humans that left a trail of what their experience was. That's what we call art. Art is this thing where you walk in the museum and you look at these renderings of human experience brought into color and field and dimension and beauty and smells and I mean all the senses, all the senses... Art lives in all the senses. So.. we are in the sense of the audio, you know. But I mean, I've seen people... I mean, I feel audiences shift and change, and I'm sure you have felt this, too, because you've written those kind of songs. I know you know... The song you wrote for your daughter is just one of the beautiful songs of going through grief and loss. And I mean, you know, that thing where you sing that song, you wrote it for yourself. You didn't write it to save the world or help other people, but it is helping other people because you are resonating this experience that you went through that's just unspeakably impossible to put into words. And you did. And so they feel that connection. And even if they haven't lost a child or haven't lost a loved one, they feel that resonating. And they know nobody gets out of this world without going through some kind of loss like that. And they are right. They're filled. It's a nutrition of of us to give to each other. We are feeding each other and saving each other with what we create. And it sounds really lofty when I say that. This has nothing to do with fame. 

 

Cid [00:56:47] No, nothing. 

 

Beth [00:56:48] In fact, you know, I use Van Gogh all the time because what if you said, well, nobody's I'm nobody's buying my paintings, why would I be bothering? I mean, is such a drag, you know? I mean, if he had had that attitude he paints because he had to paint. 

 

Cid [00:57:01] Listen, I have one of my songs, The Lights of Paris from the. Oh, yeah. Somewhere between heaven and Earth. I love them, you know, which Rodney co-produced, Rodney Crowell and talks about Vincent Van Gogh and the line in the song. As I stood in a room full of Vincent Van Gogh, I couldn't tear myself away, struck by light and color, pure genius on display. Well, he never knew he was a genius. He never knew that he would have a room in the Musee d'Orsay and other rooms in every museum, you know, and be taught in every class and stuff like that. 

 

Beth [00:57:38] And maybe he maybe on some level within himself, he did know he was a genius, but he never got anybody helping him, like supporting that. You know. His life was really hard trying to exist in a world that where he had to render this beauty but didn't have a lot of support for it. So, I mean, you can't it's hard to be creative even when, you know, even when things are going well, it's hard. It's hard to show up. And I say that it's not it's not hard to show up, but it's it's something we for some reason, I think collectively humans just sort of think, wow, I think I'm going to watch another Netflix and maybe I'll do that tomorrow. There's a kind of laziness that we can easily fall into. And that's why I try to just get people to, like, make it really simple. Five minutes, five minutes of the show up, showing up and then plunk around. And then sometimes it'll turn into two hours because once you get on the thing, you feel good. 

 

Cid [00:58:32] Yeah, that's what it and that's what I say in the beginning, is you're one of the most productive people that I know.

 

Beth [00:58:38] It's funny that you say that because I feel like I'm productive. I feel like I'm constantly behind and I never get what I want to do done and well that's what I'm always bitching and moaning about. 

 

Cid [00:58:46] You're crazy. You're absolutely out of your mind! 

 

Beth [00:58:50] It looks like I'm doing a lot of stuff. Anyone can type. Anyone can type. 

 

Cid [00:58:54] Anyone can type. OK, I'm going to I'm going to use that. Yeah, well, speaking of what you're doing, you're not behind, you just recorded a new record, which I had the honor of singing on. 

 

Beth [00:59:04] Yes. You sang on one of my favorite songs on there. 

 

Cid [00:59:06] So when's that coming out? What's the name of it? What's going on with it? 

 

Beth [00:59:10] I don't know the exact name of it. I've named my world tour, the All Around the World Tour, which one of the songs I wrote with Graham Gouldman is called All Around the World. And I work with Ray Kennedy. As you know, he has done a fantastic album with you and, you know, all the great stuff. 

 

Cid [00:59:26] He's a great old friend and co producer. 

 

Beth [00:59:30] So I've never done an album the way that we did this record. It was so much fun. And I really kind of got tricked into getting out of my own way in a way that I never have done. So, you know, I'm a really, I consider myself a pretty good singer. So when I make my records, I would, you know, do the vocal and capture the vocal with with the tracking thing. But often I'd come back and I'd sing it and then sing it and, you know, have it all get right. And Ray World, It was like... 

 

Cid [01:00:00] Oh I know Ray World,. 

 

Beth [01:00:01] First of all, a great band he put together, fantastic band. And then just playing with that band was like they made me think I was really a good guitar player, you know, it's like I'm like totally getthing good. I don't know what I'm doing different but I'm on it today! And then, you know, sitting down and then of course Ray, you know, it gives me these headphones and I'm like, OK, Ray, can you turn my vocal up? He goes, yeah, but, you know, we're all sharing the same headphone mix. I'm like, What? What, you're sharing the same headphone mix?  No. No. No.  I have to have my own headphone mix.  No go with it. It's fine, you know? And I'm like, yeah, but it's like I'm going to want my vocal a lot louder and I'm not going to want the drummer to have to hear it as loud as I'm going to want to hear it. He goes, No, it'll be good for him. It's fine. He can hear it is loud. No, no, you don't understand. But in my codependent way, I thought, well I'm not going to have my vocal as loud as I want it, because I'm not going to do that to my band, you know? So then I had him turn it, you know, I got to do the minimum and then I kind of took an ear off. But what happened was because I was not listening to my voice, I was in the band. I was like first time I ever got in a band where I just went, I'm in the band, you know. 

 

Cid [01:01:11] I'm shaking my head yes because I know. Yeah.

 

Beth [01:01:14]  Some chick is singing, you know, from the neck up, some chick is singing. I don't know who that is, but I'm in and I was all about my testicles in the band. You know, I shouldn't say it that way because I don't have testicles, but you know what I'm saying? 

 

Cid [01:01:29]  Yes I do know what you are saying! 

 

Beth [01:01:34] You do. That's right. (Laughter)

 

Cid [01:01:35] Even though I have a mustache. 

 

Beth [01:01:37] My virtual you know...I felt very grounded in that band. And what was so fascinating is when we come in, we'd listen to the tapes. I'd be like, damn, that's a good vocal. That's really good. I should not listen to myself more often because I'm not, I'm not in my head. And I just got I fell into the song and I lived inside the song and, you know, the edits we did were just little tiny things, and it was so much fun. And anyway, it's coming out in 2021and I don't know the exact date yet, but...

 

Cid [01:02:08] It's fantastic! I've heard a lot of it. Not the final mixes. 

 

Beth [01:02:12] Yeah. We're about halfway through mixing it. And now Ray, I have to get I may have to have Lucinda and Steve Earle kidnaped and brought to another country for a couple of weeks so I can get Ray to finish my record. 

 

Cid [01:02:23] I know. I know. Listen, I've been trying to get him to to do the podcast. You don't know who Ray Kennedy is. You can look him up. And he just he he produced me and he's produced you. And but also a couple other names like Lucinda Williams and Rodney Crowell and Steve Earle and, you know, a whole bunch of other people. 

 

Beth [01:02:44] He's also an inventor. I mean, he's a...

 

Cid [01:02:46] Oh, my God, please. No, he's the mad scientist. He's a mad scientist genius. 

 

Beth [01:02:51] And he's come to you know, my husband was when I told him I was going to do the record with Ray, he's like, how are you ever going to get it done? Because when Ray and I get in a room, we go off. You know how he can talk and I can talk. 

 

Cid [01:03:05] Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Beth [01:03:06] Oh, my God. You can just sit there and lose five hours. And it was really weird because we talk I mean, it's like that hasn't changed. But for some crazy reason, we cut 17 songs in six days. I don't even know how that happened because most of the time I think we were talking. So anyway, I love it.

 

Cid [01:03:25] I love it. I love it. Well, that's it's it's it's all awesome. You're awesome. We've been friends for a long, long time. And you live in my heart for various reasons. And I'm going to tell that story at some point. 

 

Beth [01:03:41] Oh, good. 

 

Cid [01:03:41] Your heart and your spirit are such a gift to me and I'm sure to all you touch. Your songs are, you know, an inspiration. I'm just grateful that you're here and that we you you know, I didn't have to ask any questions, really. I mean, forget that, we're going to talk about this. 

 

Cid [01:04:05] And so Beth Nielsen Chapman dot com. 

 

Beth [01:04:10] Yep. And it's spelled like the Nielsen ratings NIELSEN. 

 

Cid [01:04:14] There you go. Yeah. Beth NielsenChapman.com and Facebook and YouTube and Instagram. 

 

Beth [01:04:22] And also I want to say too, thank you so much. I'm going to make you come on my podcast. First of all, I love that you're doing this podcast and I love the title of it in the whole in depth kind of thing. It's great. And I'm doing a podcast in 2021. That's kind of more like I'm critiquing songs on the fly and it's really fun. And I'll have some guests and I'd like to have you come on and be a guest. We'll just do like a little ten minute chat on on how you love to do that. 

 

Cid [01:04:50] I'd love to so that. Fantastic. 

 

Beth [01:04:50] Yeah. It's called the it's called the song Song School podcast dot com. You can go there and upload a song and be considered to be on the podcast. 

 

Cid [01:04:58] It's going to be a song school podcast, dotcom, go there, upload a song and you never know, maybe... 

 

Beth [01:05:06] I might be calling you and say, oh come on, let's do this thing an  I'd critique it right on the spot. You know, and I love doing that. A lot of songwriting teachers don't like critiquing songs, but I find it really interesting, that even if a song is really far from being done, you know, there's always something. There's a kernel, something in it that's working. And this is a human being who did this thing. And maybe there's two lines that are just like really working. And I'll go right to those two lines that go now, this is really working. The rest of the song has to be on this level. Now that I know that you can do this level, you know, and they go, oh, and it's really fun to see people go back and rewrite them and they bring them back and then we'll put them back on the podcast with the new, improved Tide version of the song. 

 

Cid [01:05:54] So, oh, that's going to be fantastic. Well, like I said, I'm so grateful that you you're here and you've made my week. You've made you know, I'm just happy that's all. 

 

Beth [01:06:08] I'm just glad we can do this because it's a cool idea. And I can't wait to to hear all the other people you must be interviewing. It must be really fun.  And it's really great to see you so happy. You know, I see some days that were so difficult and and you've always, you know, carried through with such strength and humanity. But it's so wonderful to see this beautiful woman in your life who's super talented. And I can't wait till we get on the other side of this pandemic so we can all have a proper dinner together. 

 

Cid [01:06:39] Yeah, I know. I mean, my wife, Tanya Taylor Rubinstein, loves Beth Nielsen Chapman. The three, the three, the three named people. Beth, thank you so much for being here. 

 

Beth [01:06:51] It's been my pleasure. And I'm super excited to hear this go out into the world. 

 

Cid [01:06:55] Well, we're just going to keep cracking the sky. 

 

Podcast Intro
Personal Story about Beth and Cid
Beth Nielsen Chapman Introduction
Early Experiences with Creativity
Teaching Creativity
The Brain, Creativity, Showing Up and Play
This Kiss and Creative Flow
How Does It Feel When You Write?
Talent and Craft
Something Out of Nothing
Showing Up Part II
What's Happening Now
Podcast Outtro