BETH SNAPP’s “Higher Love” Finds Hope on the Horizon
September 22, 2020 by 1888media
It can be easily argued — and successfully as well — that those songs that truly resonate are the ones that speak to our humanity and inspire us to peer well beyond the horizon. Beth Snapp’s striking new single a cover of the Steve Winwood classic “Higher Love” does just that. It’s sung for a cause one that is particularly powerful in a time when the struggle for civil rights has not only intensified but become all the more essential.
Snapp recorded the single at the behest of TriPride an organization that works towards building a stronger and more inclusive community across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. “When I was first approached by TriPride to cover this tune my first thought was wow they hit the nail on the head thematically,” Snapp says. “To choose a song that calls for a higher love and peace between neighbors is the most imperative message we can be spreading especially at a time when the divide has become so much deeper. I was so proud to get to be a part of that message.”
Indeed the song’s lyrics share an incisive message that’s not only timeless but especially telling as well:
“Think about it there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart, I’ll look inside mine”
Based on the cover of the recent Kygo remix featuring Whitney Houston, Snapp’s powerful take on the tune echoes a sense of optimism and shares the insight that reinforces that essential theme. With a stirring yet sumptuous arrangement that features features Snapp on vocals and guitar, Dave Eggar on cello, Phil Faconti on guitar and bass, Justin Short on drums, and Will Cassell on guitar, the song practically soars, bringing with it an upbeat optimism that Snapp so convincingly conveys with clarity and conviction. She repeats the surging refrain over and over, and each time, the message becomes that much more emphatic. Her rendition was engineered by Mike Stephenson at Classic Recording Studio in Bristol, Mixed by Johnny Nice and mastered by Andy VanDette.
“The thing that hit me in the midst of recording this song was that the majority of our communities are now getting some sense of some of those feelings the LGBTQ+ communities have been struggling with since…well, forever,” Snapp suggests. “One of the joys of Pride events is this ability to come together for folks who have at some point in time experienced such deep feelings of isolation. Now, we’re all experiencing a very small amount of isolation, and many of us can’t handle even this small moment in time. Imagine having to deal with that your whole life, or else having to fear the consequences if one chooses not to. Many people are lashing out in anger. Many are polarizing our communities. And yet, this organization, which is made up of people who are all too familiar with that pain and indignity, is choosing to spread this healing message of positivity, hope, community, and, most of all, love.”
As a widely praised artist, Snapp’s always been able to dig deep into the music that inspires her. As a child, she felt well connected to the Appalachian environs where she was raised. Notably, most members of her family hailed from the area of Southwest Virginia that the Carter Family once called home. Her mother, aunt and cousin sang together in a gospel trio, leaving her with an indelible impression and a determined desire to sing. By the time she was in high school, she was performing regularly at her church, at weddings and even at funerals. By the time she was completing her graduate studies, she was ready to venture out on her own and begin offering her original compositions.
Her debut album, 2014‘s That Girl in the Magazine featured contributions from Dave Eggar, Tim Stafford, Rob Ickes, and Trey Hensley as well the Stafford’s bluegrass band Blue Highway. Her sophomore set, Write Your Name Down, was released in 2017 and introduced the song “Grime and Grace,” which brought her honors that year as a semifinalist in the prestigious New Song Songwriting Competition.
It also gave her entry to open for such singular artists as Iris Dement, Scott Miller, Jill Andrews, Cruz Contreras and Dave Eggar, as well as make a series of guest appearances on albums by Eggar, Stafford and Blue Highway.
Ultimately, it earned her continued kudos from those who found themselves enticed by her unerringly accessible fusion of folk, bluegrass, roots and pure pop. Leah Ross, Executive Director of the ever-popular Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion festival, described her as a “local jewel.” Tim Stafford insists that of all the artists coming out of East Tennessee in the past two decades, “Beth is easily the most original and talented.”
Tom Netherland, writing in the Bristol Herald, declared, “Beth Snapp sings like a cage-less bird flies. Freedom waves in her delivery of lyrics, upon the wings of which glide distinction and the boundless glory of a soul undeniable.”
The new single finds Snapp sharing her satisfaction once again.
“Being able to connect and collaborate with my friends and colleagues and create something that was a little outside the box was just the therapy I needed,” she reflects. “Hopefully the listener will feel the joy that we felt in making it. After all, we all need to take a page out of this book. We need to realize we’re all in this together. We all need that higher love.”