If Dolly Parton and Aretha Franklin had a love child it would be Americana roots duo Stand and Sway. Steeped in soul, poetry, and harmony, Beth Wood and Ara Lee James blend together in a way that tends to break things: ceilings, hearts, ideas about genres. The power of these two voices together is undeniable, and their music changes the weather. If you see them live, prepare for foot-stomping, tear-inducing, mountain-sized joy.
Texan-raised, Oregon-based singer-songwriter Beth Wood has won almost every major songwriting competition in the United States, and with 20 years of touring and 11 studio albums under her belt, she’s done. With anything that doesn’t bring her joy. So she’s added writing books and publishing poetry and teaching songwriting to pass the torch of music for music’s sake. Beth’s second book of poetry, Ladder to the Light, is the winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Awards Readers’ Choice Award and was a finalist for the Stafford/Hall award for poetry. Beth’s mission is to raise the vibration through word and sound - through creativity and music as a spiritual practice. When you see her live you’ll taste this, and you’ll understand why Beth has long been one of the most beloved singer-songwriters in the industry.
Appalachia-raised, Washington-based Ara Lee James is a singer, poet, and truth-teller with an unmistakable sound, commanding presence, and a voice that will leave you speechless. Ara has been singing professionally for over 20 years as an award-winning soloist, studio vocalist, and songwriter (formerly Ara Lee). Often called a “force of nature,” Lee believes the human voice has the power to reach through walls of dogma and speak beauty to power. Rooted in the traditions of gospel and deep South soul, Ara holds court on stage like a modern-day mystic. When you see her live you’ll wonder what just happened to you, and you will understand why Beth grabbed her after a show and said “We have to work together.”
Wood and James Stand and Sway. They also teach and mentor, leading OPEN SONG workshops in conjunction with their tours to help people uncover their musical selves because they believe that creativity is magical, abundant, and available to everyone. Stand and Sway’s upcoming album, “DEEP BLUE”, is set to be released in the fall of 2019.