One Empty Chair
From the loft above an old farmhouse built in 1937, Mason, Texas singer/songwriter Beth Williams, full-time professional musician since 1973, runs Willow Creek Records her own record label named after a peaceful creek that runs through Mason County. By owning and running her own record company, Beth has been able to maintain control over her career, move at her own pace, stay grounded and focused on God, her family and her beloved dogs. Driving down a Texas highway, or a quaint country road, you'll often hear Beth's original songs on the radio, or you may catch her singing them in a concert setting. Be prepared to find yourself intently listening to Songs, Stories & Scriptures that move & inspire you. 'YODELIN' IN HEAVEN' - 2003 Beth's most recent CD, Yodelin' in Heaven is an album of her 'Greatest Hits', along with 2 never-before-recorded original songs. The goal of this project was to have an entire CD with positive, 'Message Songs'....songs that offer hope, comfort, spiritual insight and reassurance that life & love never really end. An absolute 'must have' for all friends & fans of Beth Williams music!! 'IN THIS OLD HOUSE' 2001 - Produced by Texas Music Legend, and Award Winning Producer LLoyd Maines, In This Old House was voted one of Austin's Top 10 Albums of 2001 and received a tremendous amount of critical acclaim and radio airplay. Of this CD, Bill Conner of KNBT in San Marcos, TX says 'Beth's songs are not written as much as crafted, her soaring vocals add just the right amount of electricity to each track. When you hear her psychedelic yodel-chants on Track 5, you'll laugh out loud, and you'll be hooked for good.' 'STEADY CONVERSATION WITH THE LORD' 1999 - In 1999, Williams produced & released Steady conversation with the Lord, an album full of tried & true hymns, gospel favorites, and 2 of her own gospel compositions. The least 'arranged' of her CDs with only Beth on acoustic guitar/ lead vocals & harmonies and Ric McRae playing lead guitar (George Straits lead guitarist for over 15 years), a number of listeners have declared this to be their favorite recording of hers. Many have said they feel as if they're sitting in Beth's living room listening to songs that take them back to a simpler, more innocent time...a time of love for each other, God & country. 'ONE EMPTY CHAIR' 1998 - In 1998, Williams produced & released One Empty Chair, which was recorded 'live' in just 6 hours at Willie Nelsons ARLYN studios. Beth's second all original CD charted in Gavin & European charts, solidifying Beth's place in the Texas music scene. Having been taking her music ministry, 'Keeping Time with Beth' to nursing homes & hospitals for 8 years at that time, the majority of the songs from One Empty Chair were written out of her experiences in these facilities. 'FIRST CLASS' 1987 Although living in Texas, Beth's musical journey led her to recording in Nashville in 1987, where she was embraced with her debut, First Class, produced by Ed Penney. 'Man at the Back Door,' 'Wrong Train,' and 'These Eyes' all charted in Billboard right in the middle of Steve Warner and Roseanne Cash. With producer Ed Penney, and musicians such as Sonny Garrish, Greg Galbraith, Pig Robbins, & Johnny Gimble, Beth's recording led to her being named one of the Top 10 'Best New Female Vocalists of the Year' by the ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC, 'Best Female Performer' by INDEPENDENT NEWS, and 'Best Independent Female Vocalist' by CASHBOX Magazine. BETH WILLIAMS...HER MUSIC MISSION AND WHO SHE IS..... Beth Williams is a motivational singer, songwriter & performer who combines music with messages that inspire, encourage, entertain and empower. In an effort to share her experience, strength & hope and drawing on her own experiences in life, she delivers messages through music and spiritual insight. Giving people hope and making them feel better about themselves and their own spiritual journey, Beth's music includes messages that make a point, illustrating through story and song. Combining music with messages that entertain & inspire, Williams musical mission is to encourage, uplift, comfort and empower. Labeled by radio & media as writing 'Message Music', Mason, Texas singer/songwriter Beth Williams' soaring vocals and artful lyrics are a powerful God given gift. The HILL COUNTRY SUN writes 'Her songs are open and passionate expressions of optimism, rooted in an obvious faith in God and the world. And her voice is wonderful.' with Ronnie Witcher of KACQ Radio adding, 'Yes, she is a wonderful singer, beautiful voice...but there's something more. This songwriter does 'Message Music', she makes the spirit soar!' Her unique approach and creative abilities as a guitarist set Williams apart and 'Beth is blessed with a beautiful singing voice that has the dynamics to go from a whisper to the full power of cathedral bells.' says Austin Americana. Beth's songs have received much critical acclaim along with a tremendous amount of radio airplay. 'Beth is an accomplished guitarist who writes crisp, meaningful lyrics' writes Sam Kindrick of ACTION MAGAZINE. 'Her work is an amalgamation of spirituality, hope, recovery, real love, and ecology. One has only to listen to her words and voice, to understand that she brings her heart, soul, and the depths of her personal experience to each performance.' 'Ms. Williams infuses her music with the lessons and fallout from her search for life's meaning, her search for the path to peace and harmony', writes ROCKZILLAWORLD and 'her spirituality shines through with the optimism in the message', says the MUSIC CONNECTION. Williams is also a record-company entrepreneur who has taken a novel and exciting approach to a music career in a field already vastly over-stocked with ambitious young talent. An attractive lady with an engaging smile and a delightfully easy going personality, Beth has recently celebrated her 30th year as a self-employed performer in the music industry and has embarked on a professional journey different in many ways from the standard no-hope litany of bars, clubs and one-night stands that seem to be the destiny, or at least the vocation, of most of today's musicians. Rather than seeing what she can 'get' out of the music business, Williams music mission is to help others through her music. Of Beth's 2001 CD, Jim Beal of the San Antonio Express & News adds 'In This Old House is a collection of songs that make people feel good. No sappy writer, no overt heartstring tugger, Williams instead is the kind of person who walks on the sunny side, uses common sense, sees the glass as half full and finds the silver lining in dark clouds. She's able to translate that optimism into songs such as ' Voices,' songs that can do more for self-esteem than any six pop psychologists. ' 'Besides the obvious, great singer and guitar player, Beth Williams bares her soul in her songs and her performance. This is a brave and good thing' says Texas Music Legend Lloyd Maines, producer of Beth's latest CD, as well as producer of such greats as the Dixie Chicks, Pat Green, Joe Ely and many others. Kathleen Hudson with Texas Heritage Music adds 'Beth not only writes inspiring songs, she has the voice to stop you in mid-sentence. I mean, we listened.' HER FULL STORY... Beth was born on Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico where her father was stationed at the time. Growing up in a military lifestyle, she moved every 1 - 3 years, living in Puerto Rico, Pakistan, the Philippines, Texas, Georgia, and Okinawa, twice, all before she was 17. Between tours of duty, the family flew back to the USA, and drove from California to Georgia to visit relatives. During these hot, dusty drives, Beth recalls her dad singing to help pass the time for her mother, two brothers and Beth. She believes it was the comforting sound of her fathers resonating voice, and her mothers gift for playing piano that instilled her love of music early on. Beth recalls, while living on Peshawar AFB in Pakistan and taking a walk one summer day at the age of 12, she noticing a lone GI sitting on the bleachers at a deserted baseball field, playing his guitar. Moving closer, quietly, watching & listening to him, it was at that moment, she says, that her destiny was sealed, and she felt the passionate call to music. Beth ran home to tell her parents she wanted a guitar! Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Okinawa, and her parents bought her a $10.00 guitar at the PX, with a promise to buy her a nicer one if she practiced. From the very beginning, Williams spent a large amount of time writing her own songs. Living with her family on Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa at age 15, Beth won 1st place and $75.00 at the Kubasaki High School Talent Show after performing My Lord's Song, an original composition. At 17, Beth and her family moved from Okinawa to San Antonio, Texas where Beth attended her senior year & graduated from John Jay High School. Immediately upon completing high school, Beth began leading the music, and sharing her inspirational songs with a Christian group who met in downtown San Antonio. She was also engaged to help lead the music at a Christian community in Seguin, Texas, and was invited to share her songs with many of the local San Antonio churches. Enlarging her Musical Rainbow, Williams also began making her living as a fulltime professional musician at that time. After some years of struggle, Beth Williams' musical endeavors seemed to be paying off. In addition to performing overseas and touring military bases, her musical journey eventually led to Nashville in the late 80's where she was embraced with her debut, First Class, produced by Nashville's Ed Penny. Williams began to make her mark in the commercial field as she charted 3 of the songs from this album in BILLBOARD and CASHBOX magazines right in the middle of Steve Warner and Roseanne Cash. But Beth found the obligation of touring to be more than she wanted to deal with and to conflict with her desire to be a 'Stay at home' wife and mother. Just as her career was heading mainstream, she began moving in the opposite direction with her songwriting and musical abilities. Besides, as Beth says, 'I've always loved music, but it didn't take me long to learn to dislike the music business'. So, wanting more artistic control and 'voice' in her own music, Beth gave up the pursuit of a commercial music career and came home to the Hill Country where she could combine her artistry and family life in a way that gives her control over her own musical destiny. In 1990, believing in the healing, uplifting power of music, Beth created 'Keeping Time with Beth', an Interactive Music & Exercise program for the elderly. Nursing Homes, Retirement Centers, and Hospitals have been able to use her music & abilities to further healing. Martha Leight, Activity Director at The Summit in Austin, TX says 'Watching the 13 year love affair between Beth and the residents, the smiles, awakening of memories and toe tapping to her music has brought many a tear to all who work in long term care.' Seeing the need for quality music among the elderly, Beth began working as a liaison between nursing homes, hospitals, and Austin musicians by creating 'Songs for Seniors'. She continues to work with the elderly, the power of her music to heal and uplift transcending across age and station. 'ONE EMPTY CHAIR' 1998 - In 1998, Williams produced & released One Empty Chair, which was recorded 'live' in just 6 hours at Willie Nelsons ARLYN studios. Beth's second all original CD charted in Gavin & European charts, solidifying Beth's place in the Texas music scene. Having been taking her music ministry, 'Keeping Time with Beth' to nursing homes & hospitals for 8 years at that time, the majority of the songs from One Empty Chair were written out of her experiences in these facilities. 'STEADY CONVERSATION WITH THE LORD' 1999 - In 1999, Williams produced & released Steady conversation with the Lord, an album full of tried & true hymns, gospel favorites, and 2 of her own gospel compositions. The least 'arranged' of her 4 CDs with only Beth on acoustic guitar and Ric McRae playing lead guitar (George Straits lead guitarist for over 15 years), a number of listeners have declared this to be their favorite recording of hers. Saying they feel as if they're sitting in Beth's living room listening to songs that take them back to a simpler time, this CD speaks to and has touched hearts & lives, resounding with comfort & hope in a troubled world. Steady conversation with the Lord continues to receive airplay on Christian radio across Texas and overseas. With songs like Rock of Ages, Precious Memories, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Power in the Blood, Swing Low & others, this CD is a must for any friend of Beth Williams music. As an added treat, Beth's husband, Laird Palmer, sings Life's Railway to Heaven & Jesus Loves Me, with Beth adding beautiful vocal harmonies. 'IN THIS OLD HOUSE' 2001 - Of this CD, Bill Conner of KNBT in San Marcos, TX says 'Beth's songs are not written as much as crafted, her soaring vocals add just the right amount of electricity to each track. When you hear her psychedelic yodel-chants on Track 5, you'll laugh out loud, and you'll be hooked for good.' Beth had been talking with Texas Music Legend Lloyd Maines for several years about the possibility of having him produce her next CD. One of the most sought after producers in Texas, Lloyd has produced CDs for the Dixie Chicks, Pat Green, Ray Wiley Hubbard, Joe Ely and many others. Williams finally met up with Lloyd at the Old #9 Songwriters Workshop in Waring, TX. After Lloyd heard her perform several original songs live, he sent Beth an Email offering to Co-Produce her 2001 CD, In This Old House. This release was voted one of Austin's Top 10 Albums of 2001 by musicaustin.com and received a tremendous amount of critical acclaim. In This Old House will give listeners a true picture of Beth's incomparable musical craftsmanship, as well as her remarkable capacity as a lyricist. But the album will prove to be far more revealing than simply the work of an expert technician. One has only to listen to the words, as they soar through the beauty of the Lloyd Maines production, to understand that Beth brings her heart, her soul, and the depths of her personal experiences for all to hear. In This Old House provides a truly eclectic experience so moving that, while it may not change the heart of the country purist, or the hard rock fanatic, it will give them pause for reflection and surely touch something in everyone who hears it. Lloyd, through his own inspiration and faith in Beth, has guided her into the creation of a work of art that, as you will see, transcends all the traditional musical borders. But, you'll have to hear it to believe it. 'Now' gives a positive, uplifting message about a journey to happiness at this moment. O-D-I is an intriguing, Irish-sounding optimistic song about letting go of worry, while 'Voices' deals with deep feelings of inadequacy, fear and self doubt. 'Ruby and John' tells the story of Beth's dying grandmother, sadly failing but eager to cross over to reunite with her beloved husband. In 'This Farm ', you can hear the anguish and frustration of rural folk coming to grips with invaders from the city seeking to change their way of life. The title song, 'In This Old House', tells the moving story of a perfect love, and the peace it brings. With many of these songs being labeled 'Message Music', Mayor Gus Garcia proclaimed Feb 14, 2002 'Beth Williams Day in Austin, Texas'. Beth also had a song from this CD, 'A Ladder I can Climb', released in the Jane White Movie Soundtrack and Southwest Texas University Travelin' Texas III CD. 'YODELIN' IN HEAVEN' - 2003 Beth's most recent CD, Yodelin' in Heaven is an album of her 'Best Hits', along with 2 never-before-recorded original songs. The goal of this project was to have an entire CD with positive, 'message songs'....songs that bring hope, comfort, spiritual insight and reassurance that life & love never really end. An absolute 'must have' for all lovers of Beth Williams music!! Chosen by an Award Winning Disney producer as the lead vocalist, Beth's voice can be heard singing 'Big Rock Candy Mountain' on a Walt Disney Children's Album released in 2003. Williams' voice can also be heard on radio commercials and numerous jingles, including the Mrs. Baird Bread & Southwest Airlines jingle. As a composer, Texas singer/ songwriter Beth Williams' writes with a poetic beauty coming from within, captivating audiences with her divine voice,giving her soul wings and her heart lips. Her hauntingly beautiful voice, accompanied by intriguing guitar makes her an artist of paramount stature. Best known for writing what has often been referred to as 'Message Music', her acoustic, creative abilities as a guitarist and original approach erases musical boundaries, as she builds an eclectic bridge between folk, Americana, gospel, country, blues, pop, and Indian- bluegrass music. Beth's breathtaking vocals and artful lyrics, along with her unique musical qualities, are to be cherished. Beth Williams....Truly a Texas treasure!!!!