Los Angeles singer-songwriter Beth Hart has fought for her reputation as one of the greats of blues-rock. She rose to fame in 1999 off the back of her single LA Song (Out of This Town), and went on to collaborate with legends like Slash, Jeff Beck and Buddy Guy.
Hart has released twelve studio albums since 1993 as well as several live recordings, including the revered Live in Amsterdam with guitarist Joe Bonamassa. Her 2015 release Better Than Home was named #4 Best Blues Album Of The Year by Mojo magazine. With a voice so dynamic and a songwriting approach that is emotionally raw, Hart carved out a niche for herself across genres that she is still confidently planted in today.
And nearly a year on from her sold-out stormer at the Royal Albert Hall she is only just able to admit it may have been a success, mostly remembering the nerves she felt walking out on stage at such a special show.
Music, she says, has always been and still is her greatest obsession, and she always mixes covers of songs she admires into her headline sets. But what influences the boundless passion behind Hart’s burnt-honey voice? She tells The Big Issue which songs inspired her to break her way through adversity, and which songs cemented themselves as musical milestones in her life.
Bob Marley – Exodus
When I was around 13 my brother started getting me into reggae. This song is a great example of the thing I love so much about the songwriters in reggae music. They always talk about inspiring the people of the land to come together and know their worth. Know that they’ve got something to say, no matter how many people have oppressed them or told them they’re nothing. They find joy and they share it with each other and they celebrate it. Not in a way of victimisation, but in a way of power.