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20 Questions With Keturah Allgood

The singer-songwriter on feeding rats, floating on ’shrooms, homemade juice & more.

Photo by Jeremy Ryan.

Keturah Allgood is ready to rise and shine again. And it’s about damn time. The southern singer-songwriter — who recently premiered her new single Radio right HERE — is gearing up for the Aug. 25 release of her long-overdue album Shine, her first release since 2006, believe it or not. Here’s something else that might be hard to believe: She thought it would be a good idea to waste some of her precious time answering my ridiculous questions. Let’s see if they get a rise out of her:



Introduce yourself: Name, age (feel free to lie), home base and any other details you’d care to share — height / weight / identifying marks / astrology sign / your choice.
Hi, my name is Keturah Allgood. I am not at all ashamed to say I am 45 loud and proud. I hide out in the mountains of western North Carolina and write songs that I then go play and sing for people and hope that they like it.

What is your musical origin story?
I was born into a pretty musical family. My grandmother and her sisters sang like a choir of angels. I loved listening to them sing. Everyone played an instrument of some sort. I started playing the piano as soon as I could reach the keys and got my first guitar not long after that. Music seemed to be sewn into the fabric of my DNA. I certainly didn’t have a straight line to where I am now. It was many winding paths and crooked roads that led to the place where I am now musically. Which I believe is somewhere between my heart and my bones.

What’s your latest project?
My latest project is my first studio release in 17 years! It’s an album entitled Shine. It’s essentially a record about hope, love, kindness and compassion. My hope is that people will listen to this record and find some healing and peace and realize that a little love goes a long way.

What truly sets you apart from other artists?
I am not the best instrumentalist, or vocalist or writer but something happens when you put it all together. It’s like the combination of the three seems to work out pretty well. I guess the other thing that sets me apart is that I don’t fit neatly inside a packaged box. My songs are varied and different. I don’t put any parameters or rules around my creativity. This is a great thing for my creative soul not so great for marketing me.

How will my life improve by listening to your music?
My hope would be that you would feel inspired to be a little kinder. I would like to know that you could listen to this album and know that you aren’t alone and in a world of so much negativity, beauty, light and love still exist.

Tell us about the first song you wrote and / or the first gig you played.
The first time I ever sang on a real stage was when my Aunt Rowena put a mic in my hand and pulled me up to sing with her band at the Silversteen Community Center in Balsam Grove, N.C. I got up there and sang my heart out and I was immediately hooked! I have no idea how they ended up finally prying the mic out of my hand that evening! I imagine it wasn’t an easy task!

What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you have given?
I think the best and coolest performance I have ever had happened in northern Maine. A gentleman up there had gotten ahold of my first solo record and wanted to hear me live but he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and wasn’t able to come to a show. He asked if I would mind coming up there and doing a house concert. I had never been to that area of the country and thought it sounded like an awesome idea. I got to his house and threw down a plywood board in his front yard, set up my equipment and started tuning my guitar. It wasn’t long before I heard loud rumbling noises all around me and soon I saw people coming out of the woods on four wheelers hauling their kids in wagons behind them. It seemed like an endless stream of people and before long the yard was swarming with all these people, dancing, laughing just having an amazingly beautiful time. It was as if the entire community had shown up for this guy that night: I played for hours and just watched the love enfold him. It was stunning.

What is the best / worst / strangest / most memorable performance you’ve seen?
Oh gosh, there have been so many it would be hard to pick just one. I have been pretty lucky to have seen a lot of incredible artists and live shows. This past year I did see two shows that completely blew my mind. I saw Lizzo and was absolutely floored! The diversity of the crowd was stunning and it was so amazing to see young girls sitting on their mothers’ shoulders while Lizzo came out and stage and belted out tunes of positivity and the power of loving yourself. She sang out tune after tune with just phenomenal vocal prowess all while dancing like a true boss for over two hours straight! It was truly just something fantastic to behold. Two nights later I went to see Stevie Nicks and seeing this rock legend in her element absolutely slaying, it was incredibly inspiring. She commands a stage like no other. I think that both of these artists in their own way inspire me and countless other women creatives to know that we can be exactly who we are and thrive!

What living or dead artists would you like to collaborate with?
Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Lucinda Williams, Mavis Staples, Levon Helm, Patty Griffin, Gretchen Peters, Ferron, Amy Ray, Tori Amos, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings and Ani DiFranco. That sounds like a good group to start with.

What artist or style of music do you love that would surprise people?
I’m not sure it would really be all that surprising considering that I’m not a “fit-inside-the-box” kind of artist, but I guess I would say Kathleen Battle. She is an operatic soprano. I have been enthralled with her voice for years.

What words do you hope people use when they describe you?
Honest, real, kind, and loving.

What useful (or useless) skills do you have outside of music?
I can drive a forklift, work an entire restaurant shift and get every order correct without ever writing anything down. I make a mean lasagna and am an excellent kisser.

If money was no object, where would you live?
Spain or Italy, maybe, I think. I’ve never been so I don’t really know.

What would you like to be reincarnated as?
I kinda like myself, but maybe I could be me again — only this time I would have self-love, self-worth and no shame built in right away, so that I wouldn’t have had to wait so long to be who I am at this point in my life.

Which historical event do you wish you had witnessed?
Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech” at the 1963 March on Washington.

What are you afraid of?
I am afraid of people who are driven by fear and harbor hate in their hearts for people and things that they don’t understand.

What would the title of your autobiography be?
Beautiful Disaster.

Who should play you in the movie of your life?
Melissa McCarthy.

What’s your motto?
Love • Kindness • Compassion

What’s always in your refrigerator?
Homemade juice.

Photo by Jeremy Ryan.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My lack of financial stability or ability to understand any real world stuff like taxes or Instagram.

If you had one day to spend as you please without any consequences, what would you do?
Mushrooms floating in the ocean under a full moon naked.

What was your favourite class in school and why?
Chorus… because hello, I got to sing!

What world record would you like to break?
Is there a world record that involves floating in the ocean while naked on mushrooms under a full moon?

What was the worst job you ever had?
Feeding rats.

Hear more from Keturah Allgood below, and keep up with  on her website, Instagram and Facebook.


Photo by Jeremy Ryan.
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