Beth Bombara sits outside the Magic Rat in Fort Collins, Co embarking the start of her national tour for the new release, Map & No Direction.

Coming Out of the Darkness with a Map & No Direction

Touring Bands

Beth Bombara sits outside the Magic Rat in Fort Collins, CO continuing her national tour for the release, Map & No Direction. Her tone is full of anticipation and reflection on the journey she took to compose this piece of work. Map & No Direction is an evolution for Beth. It represents a change, a growth in her creativity, and her struggle with depression.

BETH BOMBARA on the patio at the Downtown Artery.

BETH BOMBARA on the patio at the Downtown Artery.

“You know, a lot of artists have ups and downs, and I was at a pretty low point. I wasn’t inspired to write music. I didn’t want to play the guitar, and I did not even want to get out of bed. So writing this album was like a slow climb out of that. I wrote my way out of that very low point. The title song Map & No Direction was the first song that I wrote. It was beginning of the process, like climbing out of the darkness.”

BETH BOMBARA on the patio at the Downtown Artery.

BETH BOMBARA on the patio at the Downtown Artery.

The interesting thing about the album Map & No Direction is that Beth has people tell her often that those songs or that song, in particular, has helped them go through a healing process. “The song was an amazing gift to me, and it is even more amazing that it can help others in the same way. Music is a healing process. When I was writing Map & No Direction, I didn’t know what it was about until it was finished. Writing can be like self-realization for me, a kind of meditation.” Indeed Beth is in touch with a place of vulnerability that opens the door for others to seek solace and healing through her melodies.

“I didn’t know it would help other people in that way. People have sent me messages about how my music has helped them get through hard times, including life threatening illnesses, and the loss of loved ones, and say my music has helped them get through that hard time.”

Creativity is not always such an easy career path, and it isn’t straightforward.

Beth says, “I think the ups and downs of being a creative is a struggle. When the work comes it rushes, and when it doesn’t it doesn’t, and there are so many doubts that go with it. That’s what I was doing a lot in my darkest place, doubting my abilities, and that can turn into a horrible cycle. To constantly doubt yourself.”

This tour is different from past projects for Beth, “So Kit and I have done a lot of Duo stuff together, and he had an upright bass that kind of fit the songs that I was writing at the time. Then when I released my most recent album, I reached a point where I realized this Duo that we had done wouldn’t be able to get across the newer songs that I had written. And so at that point, I put together a full band.”

Beth has been a solo artist, and she has been in a duo with her husband Kit. He is front and center in her group and her musical career. She met Kit at an artist community program in 2001 and they are now married.  Beth says it is definitely an enriching relationship in both love and music. “Life is never dull, I found that we work well together because we’re so different but because different things are hard to navigate, but we’ve been able to figure that out.  He does a lot of producing and Engineering/Recording, and so having that mind of someone who can see the big picture and the vision to make whatever the best version of a song is great. So I come up with basic ideas, and then he helps me hone them in.”

BETH BOMBARA on the patio at the Downtown Artery.

BETH BOMBARA on the patio at the Downtown Artery.

Her approach to songwriting is always through a creative vein, and she lets the music come to her, and that is why her sound is so unique. It comes from a place deep within and is not forced or groomed until she processes what erupts emotionally when she lets it flow. “Generally, the music and the Melody comes to me first. Occasionally, and in this is only happened to me once,  but it is the most amazing magical thing: I sat down and wrote a song, The music, the lyrics, the melody, everything completely rushed into the session, and like one hour just sitting down. That’s never happened to me before, but that’s like a magical experience in songwriting for me. The song is Long Dark Hallelujah.”

What is next for Beth? She is taking this new band experiment and writing while on tour.

“I’m working on writing a new album while touring with the band. When we were passing through Denver we stayed at a friend’s house, and we brought our gear into her basement, and we worked out a couple of songs.”

She wants to write together each night to explore this new energy and track the songs live when they record.

“I’ve never done that on the road before with the band. So, it is a fresh first experience. I think the goal with this next album I wanted to take the song ideas to the band, and we’ll work them out together and then I’m hoping we can go and track those songs live in the studio.  We did it that way with my self-titled album which and I never tracked a record that way before. The process was a cool way to do it because you do like five takes of one song and then everybody’s like, okay, which takes did you like the best and then that’s it, and then I go in and do vocals. That is the process.”

Find Beth traveling on the road and listen to the new album Map & No Direction. Perhaps it can help you with your own struggle.

 

 

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PPeter sitting in the Magic Rat

The Magical New Venue in Fort Collins

Fort Collins Music

 

Music in Fort Collins is like a cornerstone in the foundation of the city. There are an ample amount of venues to play, from historical Mishawaka to the newly developed Downtown Artery. The town offers unique opportunities for a musician to play for an audience in almost any setting desired. A new venue, The Magic Rat, is set to open in December adjacent to the Elizabeth Hotel. It’s art deco furnishings blend with modern flare bringing feels of magic to anyone who enters the room. It is somewhat euphoric in nature and ambiance.

Sage Restaurant Group Co-Founder Peter Karpinski’s tells the story of the vision of the music space claiming, “The name derived from the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, in his famous song Jungleland the protagonist name is the Magic Rat.” The lyrics are quite romantic with a bit of a rebellious nature:

“The Rangers had a homecoming in Harlem late last night, and the Magic Rat drove his sleek machine over the Jersey state line barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge Drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain. The Rat pulls into town rolls up his pants together they take a stab at romance and disappear down Flamingo Lane.”

The famous photo of Bruce that was the catalyst for the design will be on display in the Magic Rat.

Golden velvet couches line the walls of the dimly lit warm room. All the furniture is handcrafted just for the room. The stage is open and in line with the seating, so it gives it an intimate feel.

Peter says, “Magic Rat Live Music offersswinging sounds on tap weekly, from big name artists, to local late-night jam sessions.”

The entrance is in the alley flourishes with the twinkling of lights and soon to be retail shops that are all local and small business owners. The alleyway will blossom with activity from live music, to gatherings. The Marquee gleams bright highlighting the Rat’s indoor-outdoor bar with garage doors that open when the weather is warm.

The newly designed Emporium Kitchen will have a menu within the space serving a small cuisine crafted exceptionally for the music bar. The Emporium Kitchen, Wine Market, Bowerbird Coffee, and Magic Rat all are adjacent to the Elizabeth hotel.

The Emporium is a gathering spot with handcrafted cocktails, an open kitchen and bistro, a coffee bar and a wine market. Its beauty is in its simplicity. When you want fine dining with some of the most celebrated Northern Colorado chefs, you can sit in European seating and enjoy that. If you’re going to choose an excellent wine to take on a picnic the Wine Market has a selection to suit any palate. You can get a grab and go cheese and charcuterie plate with freshly baked bread. The coffee shop features local roaster Peritus Coffee with a walkup outdoor window or an internal Bowerbird Coffee shop. The Emporium thrives on supporting local Fort Collins food, bakers, and goods. It is highlighting the best from the local food scene. The decoration in the Emporium is locally commissioned art.

It is an actual gathering place that welcomes the community to build and grow within the walls and spaces that are elegant in design and thoughtful in approach.  Enjoy the most exquisite local delicacies and stop in for a little magic and music.