Dangerous Betty isn't so dangerous
FM: Let's talk about your recent stint with Boston. That's such a cool gig. How did this happen? How did you and Tom meet?
Beth: I was singing at the Clevelander on South Beach many many years ago. He had apparently been on vacation and saw me singing. There was no internet then so he called the club, they gave him the number of the booking agent. He called the booking agent who wouldn’t give out my number (thank goodness) but took his with the message; “call Tom Scholz from BOSTON”.
FM: Did you think someone was playing a joke on you?
Beth: Actually, it was one of his representatives that called and I spoke to so I knew it was really from him.
FM: So then, you called him?
Beth: Yes. I called him, and he explained he had seen me there and wanted to work with me. We wound up getting together numerous times. He helped with my “Dangerous Betty” project and I sang and played flute on BOSTON’s “Corporate America” album. We parted ways (amicably) because of distance. Then 17 years later he called me to see if I wanted to join the band.
FM: Does that feel surreal? I’m sure you were a fan of Boston growing up. Tom Scholz is such a brilliant and talented guy. What’s it like performing with Boston?
Beth: Yes, it’s crazy to me. Those songs shaped the 70’s. And Tom is beyond talented. It’s an amazing experience to work with him. I wish I had the opportunity to spend more time with Brad. I only hear the best things about him. He had one of my favorite voices.
FM: I agree with that. When you have the opportunity to go on YouTube and listen to "More Than a Feeling," vocals only, it will blow you away. That's where you can really appreciate Brad's range.
Beth: I'll do that.
FM: Tom has a reputation as a perfectionist. Is it fun performing with him or can it get stressful?
Beth: I never find it stressful because I know what to expect and try my best to deliver that for him (and the music). He wants things a certain way and that makes sense because it’s so true to the original recordings. Understanding that, it just keeps me running at my peak performance.
FM: I saw you with Boston last year at the Seminole Hard Rock. You did great. You’re the second female to be included in that band besides Kimberly Dahme. How does that feel?
Beth: Well, thanks!! It feels amazing. And I am really just one of the guys. There is no differentiation among us musicians. And that feels great.
FM: What is the best thing you enjoy about performing live?
Beth: I love the feeling of singing out and people responding to it. I truly feel like it’s the exact place I’m supposed to be.
FM: What is the most stressful thing about performing live?
Beth: If you make a mistake there is no going back and fixing it (like you can in the studio). So that adds the pressure.
FM: Who are some of your musical influences? It can be anyone, not necessarily a singer.
Beth: Hall and Oates!! Daryl Hall was the reason I started writing songs.
FM: He has one of the best and most recognizable voices in the music industry. What music gets you excited and why? Rock? Alternative? Rap? Polka?
Beth: (laughing) Love me some good polka! I love so many kinds of music. but I get revved up if a good grooving R&B song comes on. I want to dance!
FM: When was the last time you listened to a new artist or band?
Beth: I try to listen to new ones all the time. There is some great alt rock stuff out now that gets me excited for quality music again.
FM: Who calls you Betty?
Beth: (laughing) A dear friend, Mario Inchousti, used to always call me Betty. He was a keyboard player I knew from the UM days. His then wife and I became great friends and remained that way for 20 years. But he’s the only one who did.
FM: Do you feel Dangerous?
Beth: (laughing) Some of these questions!
FM: Hey, I've gotta ask. You did put out a CD titled "Dangerous Betty." So, dangerous?
Beth: (laughing) Oh, I have my moments!
FM: Who are your top three musical influences and why is that?
Beth: Bands, or personal? Or both?
FM: That's up to you.
Beth: Definitely Hall and Oates. Love those guys. Michael McDonald and Billy Joel. All great songwriters, great singers, and musicians.
FM: What musician or singer impresses you?
Beth: I have always loved Michael McDonald. The way he uses his voice, his writing talents. I just love him. I remember being surprisingly impressed by Lady Gaga. When she first came out I thought she was just a decoy dance artist. Then I saw her on an American Idol appearance and she played piano and sang. I realized she was so much more.
FM: She does have an amazing voice.
FM: How would you describe yourself as an artist in one sentence?
Beth: A singer / songwriter from the heart.
FM: Which songwriters inspire you most?
Beth: Any singer that uses their voice well. Tori Kelly, Kelly Clarkson, Brian McKnight.
FM: Who inspires you as a woman?
Beth: People who work hard and are driven, and don’t make it about male or female. We are all musicians working in our craft. Usually one person doesn’t stand out for me. It’s more general for me.
FM: With your musical accomplishments, what are you most proud of?
Beth: Finishing my CD project. Singing at Glastonbury for 125,000 people. Doing backgrounds for Barbra Streisand.
FM: How do you spend your free time? Moshing? Alligator wrestling?
Beth: (laughing) Well, I've never moshed, I don't think I have, at least not intentionally. (laughing) Alligators? Not lately. I don’t have a heck of a lot of free time right now. But I do hang out with my family who recently moved down to Florida. I love to work in my yard. I love house hunting (yes, I’m a lookie-loo). And any chance I can I’ll get on my paddle-board and be on the water!
FM: Are there any projects you’re currently working on?
Beth: Not at the moment. I’m always writing for my own satisfaction. But right now I’m more focused on gigs and the next tour!
FM: Anything happening on the Boston front? I always look forward to seeing them live.
Beth: Nothing is scheduled at the moment for 2018 but I hope it does happen again.
Beth: I would like to continue touring. It’s my happy place. Maybe placing a song or two in a movie, or with an artist. Just enjoying music and wherever it takes me.
FM: Beth, it's been a pleasure. Now, give yourself a plug. Where will you be performing over the next 2 months? Where can our readers find you on line?
Beth: At the moment I’m home from touring and I am thoroughly enjoying my local piano bar gig, Casablanca Café in Fort Lauderdale. I'm there every Friday and Saturday night 8:30pm -12:30. Until that next tour calls and I’m off!
FM: All right readers. You know where to go see her.
Beth: Thank you, Fretboard Magazine!
FM: Thank you Beth Cohen, it’s been fun interviewing you!
Craig Marks, Editor
For further information, visit www.beth-cohen.com