Cathryn Beeks is a singer/songwriter who’s band The Cathryn Beeks Ordeal rocks acoustic Americana in San Diego. She hosts The Homegrown Hour, a show featuring local music, on Sundays at 8 p.m. on KPRI 102.1 FM. She’s been hosting live shows in SD for almost a decade and has published a newsletter for her site ListenLocalsd.com every Monday since 2002.
Interview by Songwriters Marketplace:
SM: Cathryn Beeks, For the sake of transparency it would be best for us to admit that you are one of our favorite people. So, how about telling us a little of your background.
I grew up in Mira Loma, CA in the 70’s; moved to the desert and learned to make music in the 80’s; traveled around the US trying to become famous in the 90’s and in the 00’s I found San Diego, the man of my dreams and the best job anyone could have. Alot of great stories from every decade, too. Someday I’ll write it all down.
SM: We’ll look forward to that. Cathryn, you host a Homegrown Radio Show in San Diego, produce and promote local shows and events, and perform in your own band The Ordeal, as well as write. You are a busy lady, what drives you, from where does that energy come?
It’s all stuff I really enjoy doing so it makes it easy. When I first moved to San Diego I worked, at different times, as an executive secretary for two very high powered real estate agent ladies. They inspired me with their drive, energy, work ethic and downright love of the job. They WERE real estate. I took what I learned from them, along with my administrative skills and started ListenLocalsd.com, and I love what I do.
SM: Great website, by the way. How important is local music to a community?
I think a city’s music should be as adored and supported as it’s sports teams are. It’s like getting your produce from a farmers market or steering away from Starbucks… local music defines a community and gives it it’s soul. It should be celebrated and supported.
SM: We just had a delightful conversation with a person who actively supports local music in a music loving southern town. What do you feel is different, or unique, to the San Diego music scene and what is needed?
I’ve experienced many music “scenes” across the country and San Diego, hands down, has the most friendly and talented group of people I’ve ever met. Though it’s always changing, growing and evolving it always offers a laid back and welcoming vibe.
SM: One of the things we noticed about you is your ability to be so inclusive and social in your business approach. Do you think that is important to a performer, or songwriter?
I think it’s important in life. The more the merrier is not just a cliche for me. As a performer I guess it depends on whether you’re trying to appeal to the masses or you just want to get your point across.
SM: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I wrote a song called Desert Music and the last verse sums it up pretty well:
picture me 2013
living in the lap of luxury
all those years of bottom feeding
made me stronger gave me the freedom to
feel the music and feed my soul
try to get my songs on the radio
so that I could one day settle back down
in my dusty little desert town
Actually, I never plan to leave San Diego but our big dream is to have a little place in East County where we can have concerts and camp-outs. I even built a website for it using photos from the web that best captured my “vision”. The place is called Wish Rock Ranch and you’re welcome to poke around if you’re curious. We won’t be taking reservations until I make it big, though. Please hold.
SM: Our site is for songwriters and fans of songwriters, what, in your mind, makes for a good song?
In my mind it’s the song that does that magical thing to you… reaches places you forgot about. And it stays with you for days the perfect words sung just right over the best chords you could possibly think of. There are tons of theories and formulas but a good song is a good song, no matter what.
SM: You may balk on this question, you are such a generous soul, and we know you love every songwriter and performer in town, but we’ll ask anyway. What are your favorite venues in San Diego? Who are your favorite songwriter/performers in San Diego? Who are your favorite bands or groups?
Ya, I gotta pass on that one. Only because I don’t like to jinx anyone… but I have a list of performers “ready for the big time” and I can’t wait to watch it all go down. :)
SM: Fair enough. Folks can go to your link below and find some wonderful writers and performers. It is a part of our vision that local producers and promoters around the country (or outside the country), will use Songwriters Marketplace.com site to connect and share ideas. What tips would you give a local promoter, from another town, to help them support their local artists?
Really the tip for everyone is the scene, not just the promoters. The most important thing is to get out and support the live shows. That’s the fire that lights the whole thing. Songwriters should support each other and the shows that support them.
SM: What would be the best advice you could give an aspiring songwriter or songwriter/performer?
Collaborate, hang out with the people who inspire you, play with others as often as possible and never EVER give up. There are plenty of places for people to play here in San Diego no matter what level they’re at. Write often, play live, even more.
SM: We are sure there is a question we didn’t ask, is there anything you want to share that we missed?
I’d just like to say how blessed I feel to be involved in a community so supportive of it’s music. We all appreciate Songswagger.com and Songwriters Marketplace and all of the people out there doing something proactive to help expose our thriving scene. I invite everyone to visit Listen Local San Diego to find out what we have going on during the week and with our special events, AND to check out our new blog at Listen Local SD Blog
Presented below is a review of the many events that Cathryn has created and manages in the San Diego area. All of them support the local music community, and if you’re a songwriter or songwriter/performer we encourage you to check them out.[cincopa 10757488]
Thank you Cathryn for a wonderful interview.
Ken and Dave
If there is a terrific person supporting songwriters in your city that we should have a chat with, please Contact Us to let us know about them.