Beth Kille doesn’t like to be pigeonholed. The powerhouse guitarist and vocalist behind the Beth Kille Band is sometimes pegged as a country singer, but she’s a rocker to the core.
Her band releases its debut EP, Stark Raving Songbird, on May 8 at the High Noon Saloon. Kille says it’s a chance to show off a new sound.
“This is the first time I’ve done anything like this,” Kille says. “I’ve had a few solo records and ones with Clear Blue Betty,” her first band. “But I’ve been playing with the current lineup for the last two years, and we’re getting into a groove and getting our sound. This EP is designed to celebrate that.”
On Stark Raving Songbird, Kille is joined by drummer and husband Tony Kille, bassist Michael Mood and 2014 Madison Area Music Association award-winner Michael Tully.
Kille is a 19-time MAMA award-winner herself, landing “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 2006 and 2010. On her website, she describes her music as a “unique blend of rock, country, folk and blues.”
Stark Raving Songbird takes on a decidedly more rock feel, but Kille says there is no surprise there. “I always considered myself a rock musician, but the last album was country and Americana, and it was pretty successful with airplay,” she says. “I got pegged as a country musician right away.”
When not performing and recording, Kille coordinates a dizzying number of activities designed to empower women to create and perform music. She co-founded Madison’s Girls Rock Camp, which offers girls ages 8-18 the chance to learn an instrument, form a band and “rock out to hundreds of screaming fans at the end of the week.” This has expanded into Ladies Rock Camp, offering women ages “18-190” the same opportunity.
Additionally, Kille facilitates the Madison chapter of “Chick Singer Night,” a showcase for women singers held four times a year at the Brink Lounge. “They get to be backed by an amazing house band while they sing their songs,” says Kille. “I try to get both veterans and people who haven’t sung before.”
Kille and husband Tony are also parents to Gus. Somehow in her busy schedule, Kille hopes to set aside time to write more songs and get her band into the recording studio.
She says the album is a group effort. “I couldn’t be happier with what the band added to Stark Raving Songbird,” says Kille. “Everyone’s so creative and capable. The songs I wrote on my acoustic guitar turned into these things that I couldn’t have imagined in my head if the other three guys weren’t in there with me.”