It’s no secret Texas has some of the finest songwriters to ever pick up a pencil and a guitar.
Yes, there’s something flowing in the waters of Brownsville (Kris Kristofferson), Monahans (Guy Clark), Littlefield (Waylon Jennings), and many other more known cities. Well chalk up Americana pop songwriter Jeremy Boothe as yet another representing Texas songwriters.
Originally from the small town of Round Rock just outside of Austin, Boothe was all but born with an instrument in his hand. In his early years, Boothe’s first experiences with music came from singing in the school choir and playing violin in the school’s orchestra program. Boothe would go on to purchase a $100 dollar guitar from his local music store.
“Coffee shop shows led to open mic nights, which in turn led to booking small bar venues and eventually forming my own band. I love songwriting. The process allows me to create, be vulnerable and hopefully form connections with my audience when I’m performing live”, says Boothe.
In 2015, Boothe set out to record a full production album. Having been in several experimental bands prior, he decided to coordinate a new arrangement by honing in on a “not so noticeable sound.” His song writing proves par to the uniqueness that is a cross between a roots folk arrangement intertwined with grit-worded song builds and supported by a rock driven beat.
Since his first album, Boothe has released “Live at Dozen Street” with Ileana Nina on fiddle as accompaniment.
On August 22nd, Boothe released his latest album, Beat the Storm. This 12-track album delivers the goods song after song, and takes you on a sonic journey of growth, change, and acceptance. Songs like “Silver Lining” and “Make a Move” caught our ear and left us curious for more.
We caught up with Boothe to discuss the album and much more.
So where did you grow up, and what got you into playing and writing music?
I grew up in a small town called Round Rock, just on the outskirts of Austin, Texas. Being so close to the “Capital City of the World” made it easy to be influenced by music. Music venues were a dime a dozen, and going to shows with friends in my teenage years and twenties quickly opened my eyes to another world. Suffice to say, I quickly got the bug once I started learning guitar.
Do you have a specific atmosphere or pastime that aides in your songwriting process, or does it often just happen sporadically?
I think my favorite time to hash out a song is in the late morning after I’ve had my morning coffee, gone through my emails, and come up with a game plan for a productive day. Then I pick up my guitar and dabble with new chord progressions and melodies. Once I find a tune I’m comfortable with, I free flow lyrics until I come up with something fitting to the mood of the song. I think this process is necessary to coming up with a topic to write about because that’s what comes next.
I think it’s important to have a routine when sparking inspiration this way versus waiting around, hoping that it will come naturally on its own. I’m a firm believer that action and motivation aren’t a linear byproduct of inspiration, but rather an endless loop that needs to start somewhere.
So you just dropped your newest album, Beat The Storm. What might be the inspirations and influences behind this collection of songs?
Whenever nuanced or diverse information changes my mindset on an issue or the way I view the world, I quickly write it down. This could come from multi-facets in my life. I might find inspiration from short-lived culture shock that settles after a road trip or a perspective flaw clearly notated in a book I’ve read over the weekend. It might be about learning to expect something new in a relationship. All of these are little light bulb moments adding to my growth as a person. I think touching it to paper finalizes that.
Where was it recorded and who was involved with its production?
Since having achieved a degree in Music, I took charge of renting several privately owned studios (in the Austin area) for the making of this project. Each individual instrument received its own finesse depending on the room and equipment used. Although I engineered and produced the album, I had a co-producer and mastering engineer for the final touches. Jamal Knox (with Signal and Flow Productions) helped me out with his keen ear. When done with that stage, Nick Landis (with Nick Landis Mastering) stepped in to buff the edges and finite each song of the album. Overall, I’m very pleased with how everything turned out.
Now I see you have/had a band, Jeremy Boothe & The Wanderers. Is this considered a solo album or is it the band too?
The answer to this question has a hybrid answer. I’d have to say that the album is both a solo and band project. I have ownership over all of the songs, but I can’t simply say that the band is on retainer; they’re my friends (and play with me when they’re available to do so).
How do you plan to maintain momentum for this release?
It’s tough to say that momentum is easy for an album during these times. Playing out at venues is not an option at the moment. I’m depending on my publicist and social media during these times.
What does being a successful musician mean to you?
You know, any ultimate goal has it’s smaller counterpart-steps that slowly alter during its journey. For me, I feel success the moment I finish a song. The support that happens after the fact are what sustains a living and what sets me up for creating more. I guess this could be said is true success; being supported financially to create.
Do you feel the pandemic has helped or hurt your creative process? (or perhaps neither)
This question has kept me up at night. I miss the interaction and the connection with my audience, in person. This is a huge driving force as a musician. It’s the number one enjoyable thing you can look forward to and it’s a great push to become better. Despite this lack of one-on-ones, I constantly remind myself that it is not the only form of support.
I regularly get words of encouragement from fans, family, and friends. It’s that love and support that gives an extra helping hand during these trial-some times.
Have you picked up any new hobbies throughout it or tapped into other creative endeavors?
I was asked years ago (by a close friend) what I would do if I had unlimited time. In a way, the answer to this question rolled into my current quarantine life. I currently spend my time keeping my mind and body active by spending more time outdoors, working out at home on the regular, writing and playing music, and reading as many books as I can.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
If it hasn’t been realized from the lyrics of my songs yet, I enjoy hiking as much as possible. I live in Texas, so I’m limited (in my opinion) on where to go, but I do my best to travel to as many National Parks as I can.
Scenario: you’ve got a crystal ball and you’re looking ahead to 2021. In the realm of reason, what do you hope is in store for Jeremy Boothe?
Staying in the realm of being realistic, I’d like to be living on a river somewhere, traveling more, and touring as much as possible. I’ve already been planning and making steps to do so; just have to follow through.