Singer/songwriter Beth Longwell – who is appearing on Friday (5/28) at Cafe Zoe – is frank about the fact she plumbs the depths. She once hit bottom, abusing alcohol, and now praises the joy of recovery through song. Her debut album Through & Through – a collection of folk/rock tunes – brims with autobiographical lyrics:
“The greatest gift is the present moment
You just gotta open it, I’ll show you how
When the chaos doesn’t cease
The only place you’ll find some peace
Is here, right here, in the now”
(from Live In the Present)
Beth’s musical career continues to take shape. She’s appeared throughout the Bay Area since the CD was released, and one cut from the album is in rotation at Live365 channel WomensRadio. You can watch her perform in Menlo Park this Friday night (5/28) at 6:00 pm at Cafe Zoe.
Beth shares her artistry in her day job as a music therapist at the Community Living Center at the Menlo Park VA. “I got into music therapy when I was at Berklee College of Music,” she says. “Things weren’t going well for me at the time. When I got into recovery, I wanted to use music in the way it had helped me.”
Music therapy, she explains, is the use of music in a clinical setting to reach a goal. She brings instruments into patients’ rooms to play and experience music together. “Sometimes we work to put their life story into a song,” she says.
Currently, she’s quite content to juggle her role as therapist and performer. “I love how it’s going right now,” she says. “My day job really helps sustain me and I love playing music at night.”
Photo by Chris Gulker