I have known Vickie Blythe and her husband Greg Beattie for several years, mostly through the acoustic folk group, Calaveras . Greg was on the Acoustic Vortex House party Series board of directors with me and Calaveras played at the Acoustic Vortex a number of times. I have heard Victoria sing solo many times, but always within a Calaveras set. I recently saw her complete solo act (with my friend Walter Strauss on guitar) and wondered at all the great music I had missed over the years.
But that is about to be remedied. Victoria has released a stunning album of 13 tracks of her angelic voice, backed by Walter Strauss on guitar, Greg Beattie on backup vocals, Dave Decker on acoustic guitar, Tim Ellis on Antipodal guitar, John Burr on piano, Bevan on bass and keyboards and Mark Holzinger on electric guitar. Jim Norris provides the beat on the drum kit. In addition to lead vocals, Victoria also plays guitar, piano, violin and viola, bass, mandolin, recorder and Native American Flute, and her greatest love, the viola.
Victoria's voice started to emerge early, actually very early in kindergarten, when her teacher recorded her singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for a school play. She took the hint and studied both classical voice and jazz. She quickly put the talent and the training to work and has been performing professionally since she was a teenager. Her song "Dancing with You" won the West Coast Songwriters Song of the Year award and has appeared in a number of television shows and in movies, including "Anywhere But Here".
Victoria performs her own material for the most part, but the new album contains some of her cherished covers as well as songs written by or with her husband Greg Beattie. Greg has also has won numerous songwriting awards including Grand Prize in the West Coast Songwriters International Song Contest. Given that both of them have a shelf full of music trophies and record together and separately, they are a Northern California music power couple, to say the least.