1. How long have you been playing?
I’ve been professionally playing since I am 16. I started playing in my first working band (all female) at age 20, as a drummer. I played with that band for 10 years on and off. We played shows every weekend sometimes Friday, Saturday and Sunday AND we all had full time day jobs. We opened up for Joan Jett in the Mid 80s at the Louisiana State Fair in Baton Rouge. I drummed for a trio in the 90s (L.A. Pontchartrain). We played together for approximately 4 years. Since then I decided to start writing my own originals and get out front. I’ve played in Texas, Nashville, New Orleans, and Mississippi.
One of my greatest highlights and accomplishments was definitely the release of my first CD. I gained radio airplay from one of the songs, “Messin’ With Your Mind” on the album before its release date. Another great moment was a 5-star write up about the CD Louisiana Lover, in a magazine in France called Sur la Route de Memphis.
2. What bands do you take inspiration from?
I mainly draw from artists themselves. My inspiration comes from Otis Redding, Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge and many, more. A funky groove, a rock edge and some soul—put it all together and you have me.
3. What themes do you explore in your music?
Cheating, drinking, romance. I love story songs, even if they don’t have a happy ending.
4. How many albums have you produced?
To date I have produced and released one album and a 5-song EP. I am currently working on my sophomore album. I have also worked on several other projects with friends and counterparts. I drummed on The group Soft Touch’s self-titled album / cassette in the 80s. I sang on Tommy Murphy’s compilation CD in 2009 “Livin 1, 4, 5 At A Time.” The song is entitled “Lay Down By Me Baby”
5. Take a particular song and tell us its journey from conception to birth.
Anyone who knows me, knows I have a love for Jack Daniels. I am not at all trying to promote drinking. However, I love Jack! What better, than to write a song about something you know well and love.
I was in my kitchen one day and was staring at a bottle of Jack on the counter…I think we had a party the night before and it was left over or something. Anyway, I thought…he’s “The Only Man For Me” and the conception of the song happened. First line, “he wears a black vest and a black cap too”…then the song just took off from there.
But, I got stumped for the last verse. It took me weeks if not months to finish the tune. It was Easter Sunday in 2007, and I was determined to finish, and voilà, the ending came to me. It’s one of my favorite and most clever tunes I’ve written to date. You can find this on the Louisiana Lover CD, track 5.
6. In your opinion, what is the role that music plays in New Orleans culture?
I believe music in New Orleans brings out a freedom in people, to become someone other than that 9 to 5 person, to kick off their shoes and dance, even if they don’t know the tune. I also think the air is
filled with joy in the city when a band is playing or an artist is performing. Even if it’s far away and sounds very tiny, you’re drawn to the music and want to find out where it’s coming from.
7. How do you give back to the community?
I donate my time by playing benefit shows for any organization that invites me to play and donate some of the proceeds off of my merchandise sales. I’ve played for many organizations in the past 20
years from Breast Cancer Awareness, HIV Awareness, Keeping Our Hero’s Safe, to Lady Fest and many more.
8. Where can people see you perform? Buy your music?
Currently I am playing a regular spot at the Neutral Ground Coffee House every second Thursday of each month, please check to be sure before every show. My schedule and up-to-the-minute updates can be found on my Twitter, Facebook, Myspace pages or my dot com which is http://www.bethtrepagnier.com.
My album and my T-Shirts can be purchased through my dot com via Paypal Payments. I can also be found at the Louisiana Music Factory, iTunes, CD Baby.com, Amazon, DigStation and many more places.
9. What’s next for you as an artist?
As I said earlier, I am currently working on my up and coming album. I also try to keep every door and opportunity open. As an artist I never look down one road. I try to take any path that I can to
further my musical career and gain more knowledge / experience.
My ultimate goal is to land one of my original tunes in a movie, then who knows after that….a Grammy?!?!
10. Beth, thank you for your time and your music. I look forward to the next show.
Thank you for your time as well and for honoring me with this interview. I look forward to seeing you “clapping your hands, laughing out loud and pining for your lover” at my next show.