Beth Snapp shares hope and optimism in her cover of the Steve Winwood classic Higher Love — premiering exclusively on Tinnitist.
It can be argued that those songs that truly resonate are the ones that speak to our humanity and inspire us to peer well beyond the horizon. Southern singer-songwriter Snapp’s striking version on 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.”
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 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 sense that Snapp convincingly conveys with clarity and conviction. She repeats the surging refrain over and over, and each time, the message becomes that much more emphatic.
“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,” Snap 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.”
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 as 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 as a semifinalist in the prestigious New Song Songwriting Competition. It also gave her entry to open for or work with such artists as Iris Dement, Scott Miller, Jill Andrews and Cruz Contreras.
The new single finds Snapp sharing the love 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.”